Nelson Literary Agency

Our Team

Joanna MacKenzie

Senior Literary Agent

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

Kristin Nelson

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

Brian Nelson

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. 

Angie Hodapp

Director of Literary Development

As an active member of the Denver literary community, Angie 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 most 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), teaches and practices Pilates (she's a Nationally Certified Pilates Teacher with a specialization in exercise for people with neurological conditions), knits (she can't stop buying yarn), waits on her cat (an adorable tabby named Pluma), and travels the world with her husband.

Samantha Cronin

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 Heater

Literary Associate

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.


Current Response Time to Queries

1 to 3 weeks.