Headwater Literary Management
My Manuscript Wish List
I'm looking for work in the following categories:
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.
Submissions should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
You can find Headwater Literary Management's submission guidelines at: https://www.headwaterliterary.com/submissions
Our agency handles queries through Query Manager, a link to which is on that above page as well.
Guidelines & Details
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: