Erik Hane

Headwater Literary Management

My Manuscript Wish List


I'm looking for work in the following categories:

Adult Nonfiction

  • Politics and Current Affairs: A major pillar of my list is in contemporary political writing. I'm very interested in class-conscious and identity-conscious analyses of our current political moment, especially if it's about the nature of power, socialism and other strands of leftist thought, critiques of capitalism and its intersection with fascism and other reactionary movements, and in general any sort of sharp, rigorous work that helps explain why our world looks like it does and how it can be made better. I work in this category with columnists, journalists, art critics, historians, essayists, and other specialists.
  • History, especially American political or social. Cultural and political movements, especially related to leftism, labor, and power.
  • Science, specifically evolution, biology, animals, or neuroscience; think Elizabeth Kolbert, Ed Yong, E. O. Wilson, Yuval Hurari.
  • Cultural criticism, essays, commentary: this could be on anything, but off the top of my head I really like great writing on politics, race, social trends, leftism/socialism, videogames, Weird Twitter, and anything else you can convince me the world should care about.
  • Sports with a larger (and necessary) cultural angle; think Grantland. Specifically I really like tennis, football, and basketball. I am DESPERATE to see a college football book written about from a leftist cultural perspective.
  • International stories, especially in places undercovered by Western media, and ESPECIALLY places and people affected by U.S. foreign policy.


Adult Literary Fiction

I don't put much of a premium on literal subject matter in literary fiction. It's all in the writing; everything I like, I like because of the way it's told. I'm interested in unique structural or craft decisions, as long as they make sense and feel necessary. I like folklore, ghost stories, myths, religion; I typically pick up realist fiction, but I really love when things feel slightly surreal because of the prose. As with the nonfiction described above, I really like fiction that's class-, race-, or power-conscious, that sets up shop in the many divides, contradictions, dangers, and inequities of the world. I really like understatement; the most important craft decision an author makes is what to leave unsaid but present just off the page.

One highly specific request, in case the author of such a project is reading: I'd love to see a novel that engages with what would happen and how the world would look if the workers won.

Miscellaneous things I'm probably not the right agent for: long backstories; privileged people self-actualizing away from external consequences; office culture; stories that would get called "light" or "whimsical"; military, police, or other types of officers as protagonists; benevolent rich people.

I do not represent Thrillers, Young Adult, Children's Books, or Middle Grade.

Fun facts about me:

Along with Laura Zats, I'm the co-host of "Print Run," an (award-winning!) podcast about the book world that perhaps you might like. I also actually write a lot, myself; I've published some short stories and essays, and am nearing completion on a novel. I'm from Littleton, Colorado, but have lived in Galesburg, Illinois, New York City, and now Minneapolis. You can probably surmise my politics from the above discussions, but: I'm a socialist. I'm also Catholic, which from a book perspective means I really like stories of Saints, myths, legends, and other things listed elsewhere in here. I really love tennis, video games, football, and being outside here in Minnesota. I tweet too much, but that's a great place to get to know me if we don't know each other already.

Submission Guidelines

Submissions should be emailed to

You can find Headwater Literary Management's submission guidelines at:

Our agency handles queries through Query Manager, a link to which is on that above page as well.

Guidelines & Details


Listen To My Podcast Interview

Vital Info

Fiction: Fantasy, LGBTQ, Literary, Science Fiction
Non-Fiction: History, Journalism, LGBTQ, Pop Culture, Science, Sports

Favorite sub-genres: Folklore, Magic, Magical Realism, Mythology, Speculative
I'd like the next...


Swamplandia! (Karen Russell)

The Tiger's Wife (Tea Obrecht)

Scribe (Alyson Hagy)

Severance (Ling Ma)

10:04 (Ben Lerner)

Lost Children Archive (Valeria Luiselli)

Normal People (Sally Rooney)

The Yiddish Policemen's Union (Michael Chabon)

City on Fire (Garth Risk Hallberg)

Dissident Gardens (Jonathan Lethem)

A Brief History of Seven Killings (Marlon James)

Cloud Atlas (David Mitchell)

A Visit From the Goon Squad (Jennifer Egan)



Trick Mirror (Jia Tolentino)

They Can't Kill Us Until They Kill Us (Hanif Abdurraqib)

October (China Mieville)

Impossible Owls (Brian Phillips)

How to Write an Autobiographical Novel (Alexander Chee)

I Contain Multitudes (Ed Yong)

The Sixth Extinction (Elizabeth Kolbert)

Sapiens (Yuval Noah Harari)

The Great Derangement or The Divide (both by Matt Taibbi)

Nixonland (Rick Perlstein)

On Immunity (Eula Biss)

The Empathy Exams (Leslie Jamison)


My favorites include...

Other people, groups, and media/art that I love but didn't list yet or didn't seem right for the "next" category:

Music: The Weakerthans, The Decemberists, (early albums of) Cold War Kids, Lana Del Ray

Magazines: The Baffler, n + 1, Jewish Currents, Current Affairs, The Nation, Bookforum

Book Authors: Colson Whitehead, Flannery O'Connor, Marilynne Robinson, Thomas Pynchon, David Foster Wallace, James Baldwin, Joan Didion, Hunter S. Thompson

Some of my favorite political writers/commentators working today: Ryan Cooper, Sarah Jones, Osita Nwanevu, Rebecca Traister, Bomani Jones, Adam Serwer, Eric Levitz, Vann Newkirk, Ezekiel Kweku, Andrea Long Chu, Moira Donegan

Podcasts: Trillbilly Worker's Party, No Cartridge, Season of the Bitch, Shutdown Fullcast, You Can't Win, Your Kickstarter Sucks


My Upcoming Events:

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