Nelson Literary Agency
Who We Are
In business for nearly two decades, NLA is a full service literary and media representation agency with a proven track record and a reputation of advocating for authors above all else. Our mission is for every NLA author to make a living solely by writing. We build authors from debut to bestseller. We enjoy storytellers and love what we do.
Why Choose NLA
NLA clients have topped bestseller lists, become international bestselling stars, experienced blockbuster film success, earned major advances, and have sold millions of copies in the U.S. and around the world. We have a reputation for author advocacy, transparency, and we are one of the few agencies that actively audits publishing royalty statements—which has resulted in close to a million dollars recovered on behalf of our clients.
Based in Chicago but originally from Poland (via Canada), Joanna has spent her entire publishing career in the agenting realm and landed at NLA in 2017. She is all about thrillers and narratives that deal with the themes of identity/immigrant experience as well as those that delve into how relationships make us who we are. Clients include Kate Baer, Kathleen West, John Galligan, Alison Hammer, Kristen Simmons. MORE
President and Founding Literary Agent
Based in Denver, Kristin established NLA in 2002 and over the last decade+ of her career, she has represented over forty-five New York Times bestselling titles and many USA Today bestsellers, including Marie Lu, Josh Malerman, Sherry Thomas, Jamie Ford, Stacey Lee, Hugh Howey, Ally Carter, Gail Carriger. MORE
Chief Operating & Financial Officer
With a passion for all things finance, Chief Operating and Financial Officer Brian Nelson spent eighteen years as an environmental engineer. As the agency expanded in 2016, he joined the team to handle all day-to-day business operations and financial administration, and to liaison with NLA’s certified accountant. When not at his computer analyzing the numbers, he enjoys reading all the books by NLA clients, playing tennis, and doing yoga.
Director of Literary Development
Prior to coming to NLA, Angie worked in magazines, her last stint as Editor-in-Chief of a long-standing craft publication. As an active member of the Denver literary community, she has served as a board member for Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers, and she regularly teaches highly regarded writing and publishing workshops, including at Denver’s prestigious Lighthouse Writers Workshop. She is the author of two nonfiction books for writers: Do You Need a Literary Agent? and Query Craft. She began her career at NLA in 2011, where she has worked as a reader, contracts manager, and royalties auditor. Currently, she devotes 100% of her time to literary development. In partnership with the agents, she edits client material, prepping and polishing manuscripts before they go out on submission. She also works one-on-one with clients to develop new story ideas and directions, and she screens manuscripts requested by the agent team. When not working, she writes a little fiction of her own (mostly of the dark variety), waits on her cat (an adorable tabby named Pluma), feeds her neighborhood crows, and enjoys the fruits (and rums) of her husband’s in-home tiki bar.
Contracts Manager & Royalty Auditor
With a passion for numbers and drilling down to find even the smallest of errors, Sam began her career as a marketing analyst at Google. Joining NLA in 2015, Sam put her superior business brain and data-analysis acumen to work, initially for NLA’s digital platform, and then as NLA’s Contracts Manager and Royalty Auditor. In partnership with the agent team, Sam not only advocates for our clients at the negotiation table, but also arms our agents with data-driven insights that help them formulate career strategies for their clients. Her laser focus and auditing savvy has resulted in NLA’s recovering thousands and thousands of dollars in missing royalties. When not tracking down resolutions, Sam enjoys hanging out with her husband and three kids on the beach, reading for pleasure in the spare moments she can grab, and doing fundraising drives and activities for nonprofit organizations she is passionate about.
Maria joined NLA in 2018 after gaining experience at several other literary agencies. She is now Kristin Nelson’s administrative mastermind, handling all things queries, submissions, and foreign rights. She is an essential first reader, reporting to the agent team on requested manuscripts and providing developmental comments on client material. As a citizen of the world, Maria is multilingual and lived in Latin America and Asia for several years. She has been a bookseller, a SFWA mentee, a PitchWars mentor, and occasional writer of speculative fiction. She is passionate about advocating for marginalized voices. When not reading submissions, Maria enjoys new motherhood, wrangling her two cats, and daydreaming about her next adventure abroad.
When Tallahj was sixteen, she stood up during her high school’s career day and declared she wanted to work in publishing. Kristin hired her on the spot. Now, five years later, Tallahj is a senior in college majoring in English Literature. She does everything from reading queries and writing reader reports to producing marketing materials, utilizing her graphic-arts talents to design book-fair catalogs and clients’ praise-and-rights sheets. Her valuable analysis of NLA’s newsletter clicks has guided the team in creating its content for the last two years. When not at the office, Tallahj focuses on doing her schoolwork, picnicking in the park with friends, enjoying spicy Jamaican fare, and loving on all her young siblings and nieces and nephews.
Current Response Time to Queries
1 to 3 weeks.
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