Pub Rants

Guest Blog: Sara Megibow

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STATUS: I’ve been working contracts this week so now I’m weeding through the 178 emails that need attention.

What’s playing on the iPod right now? SMOOTH OPERATOR by Sade

Note from Kristin: My wonderful assistant for three years, Sara Megibow, is now an acquiring agent! She is actively looking for great projects and here she is in her own words.

Three years ago my baby boy turned one and I told my husband, “Yes, I will go back to work but only if the job is PERFECT!” About two weeks later, I interviewed with Kristin at her original office in Denver. When I came home from that interview I was breathless and I told Mark, “My gosh, that is the coolest industry in the entire world – I love what she does and I want to be a part of it!” Thus, history was made.

I am happy to announce that Kristin has recently honored me with a generous promotion. My new title is Associate Literary Agent and YUP – that means I am now able to take on projects of my own!!! Thank you Kristin!

So for all you writers out there I am here to say – there is one more hungry agent in the hunt!! I have the backing of the Nelson Literary Agency – complete with fabulous training and support, a network of powerhouse co-agents and a history of publishing successful books (95 sold as of most recent count!) And I have three years of experience reading query letters, sample pages and full manuscripts with an eye toward picking that which will sell (and sell big). I helped Kristin choose PRIVATE ARRANGEMENTS by Sherry Thomas (named one of Publishers Weekly’s top books of 2008) and HOTEL ON THE CORNER OF BITTER AND SWEET by Jamie Ford (released this month to HUGE accolades).

Going forward, here are some of my personal preferences and favorites:

Science Fiction and Fantasy = This is probably my all time favorite genre. For me, it is important to create a vivid, intense world that is incorporated seamlessly into an engaging story with complex characters. No big deal, right? Here are some recent reads which I feel capture these qualities: OLD MAN’S WAR by John Scalzi, THE LIES OF LOCKE LAMORA by Scott Lynch and HIS MAJESTY’S DRAGON by Naomi Novik. I also love everything written by Robin McKinley and Carol Berg.

Romance = I know I’ve said it before, but I love super sexy, intelligent romances. My favorite authors are Sherry Thomas (I know, I know, I’m biased) and Pamela Clare (everything she’s written). I also adored MOON CALLED by Patricia Briggs and Carolyn Jewel’s recent release SCANDAL. I’m a romantic, so about any subgenre works for me (except inspirational) as long as the writing is superior and the characters are solid.

Young Adult and Middle Grade = I have to admit, vampires and werewolves are not top on my list right now. I know it can still be done, but I am secretly on the look-out for books set in the real world (with a multicultural spin or a historical spin would be great). I loved UNDONE by Brooke Taylor and AN ABUNDANCE OF KATHERINES by John Green.

Finally, that all-encompassing genre of commercial fiction. For me, just about anything goes as long as it’s well written. I couldn’t put down MISTRESS OF THE ART OF DEATH by Arianne Franklin. Bring on the historicals and the multiculturals in this area too.

Happy writing to you all – I can’t wait to read more proposals! And thank you again to Kristin for this wonderful opportunity!

60 Responses

  1. Sandy said:

    Congratulations, Sara! You have one of the coolest jobs in the world. I’ve read and loved most of the books you listed. If you haven’t read Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss, I highly recommend it. I loved it just as much, if not more, than Lies of Locke Lamorra.

    Again, congrats! Can’t wait to query you. 🙂

  2. Kat said:

    Congratulations! That’s such good news for both of you- Sara gets a promotion and Kristin’s agency is expanding!

    Good luck!

  3. Anonymous said:

    Congrats, Sara! I’ve actually been wondering for some time what exactly your role was at the agency and whether you took on your own clients. I hope that along with your new title, you’ll be contributing to the blog as well, because more smart agent voices are always good.

  4. Lapillus said:

    Call me green. A career in publishing is probably the only one that could pull me away from my babes, too.

    Congratulations on your promotion!

  5. onetiredmama said:

    Congratulations, Sara! You must be so excited. I’m excited; it means more room for new authors at the Nelson Literary Agency. Can’t wait to read about your first deal.

  6. Marion Gropen said:


    BTW, it sounds like you’ll be repping all the stuff I love to read, so would you mind announcing the releases of everything you sign? I may not be a writer or an editor (I do finance, operations and management for publishers), but I’ll definitely want to run out and buy copies!

  7. Mattlorenz said:

    Sara, congrats! I love the Nelson Agency because of this very blog. In fact, I have been planning on querying my love story manuscript to you guys for quite some time now (I’m just making sure that it’s 100% before I submit it to you). It’s great to know that sometime in the near future your fresh pair of eyes might be looking down at my query letter!

    Matthew Lorenzo

  8. jwhit said:

    Excellent, Sara. Best wishes in your new role.

    Now, what is the address? bounced with the message:
    Sorry, no mailbox here by that name.

    I got that address from the website Submissions FAQ. I also see that it’s the same all over the website, so something appears to be broken at the moment.


  9. Kristin Laughtin said:

    Congrats on the promotion! I love your enthusiasm for your job; I think it’s what anyone would want in their agent. And since you mentioned your love of science fiction/fantasy, I will definitely be querying you at some point in the future.

  10. Amy Nathan said:

    Well when something wonderful happens the only thing to say – whether the person is Jewish or not – is MAZEL TOV! Ya know, some things just express the *right* emotion.

    It’s like we peek into Nelson Literary with this blog, reading the newsletter etc. And I wish you the best — even though you didn’t say you love, love, love women’s fiction. 🙁

    Best of luck!

  11. Rebecca Chastain said:

    Congratulations, Sara! I love it when agents say they’re looking for fantasy/science fiction. It’s music to my ears. I hope to send a query your way soon. Good luck with all your new clients!

  12. Sherry Thomas said:

    You go Sarah. And take your time. I think part of Kristin’s success comes from her choosiness (is that a word?) So take your time and I know the Force is with you.

  13. Tara Maya said:

    I confess, I’ve sent my congratulations in the form of a a query myself. I apologize to your bloated inbox, but the chance of having you as an agent is too good to pass up. 🙂

  14. Carradee said:

    Ooo, congratulations! If I were ready to be querying, I’d have sent one your way.

    As things stand, you’ve been added to my short list of agents to query.

    I look forward to hearing about your projects!

  15. Donna said:

    Congratulations, Sara! What an accomplishment! Good luck with it all and I’ll be sure to add you to my list of agents to query with my work! Have another exclamation point!

  16. Eika said:

    Congrats, Sara! Hope you have as much fun as Kristen does, every day.

    And now I have more reason than ever to finish editing my story. Just gotta wait for one more beta-er to tell me what’s wrong with it, as the first two agreed on three points and argued the rest.

  17. Kat Sheridan said:

    Congrats, Sara! I had the pleasure of meeting you at a writer’s conference (COFW), and totally enjoyed your presentation! So glad to hear about your promotion! I’ll have my query off to you soon (A Pocketful of Ashes – gothic romance in the tradition of Jane Eyre – with better sex. Crazy woman in the tower included!) Again, many congratulations!

  18. booklover said:

    Congrats! If I wrote longer I would send you a query about my current WIP, but since I don’t it is just a waste of time :). Maybe Rhiane’s story since that would be more YAish…. Oh well. Congrats again!!

  19. Bethany said:

    I’m curious…if I queried Kristin and was asked for a partial, but rejected, can I query Sara when I’m done with my next rewrite? (Does anyone know?) If so, I can’t wait! 😀 It’s SF…

  20. Margaret Tanner said:

    Hi Sara,
    Congratulations. I haven’t been to this blog before I was recommended by a fellow writer. It is nice hearing success stories, I am so pleased things have turned out so well for you, although it certainly sounds like you have earned it.
    I have been researching Agents, so I can query one who is actively acquiring writers, so I will have to bump you up to the top of my list.

  21. Vic said:

    I’ve no intention of trying for some shameless pre-querying self-promotion here but I do want to offer my congratulations to Sara.

    I’m not surprised when I hear lots of excitement – agents who read and adore fantasy are scarce on the ground.

    (But fellow bloggers, it’s bad form and unprofessional to start hanging your linen on the line in advance of a query. It makes you look desperate. If you’ve got the right product, you don’t need to be desperate. The agents will come to you. If you haven’t, then spend time polishing.)

    But Sara? You read fantasy!!! Exellent. It is truly good to know you’re on the team.

  22. Just_Me said:

    Congratulations! I’m so excited you’ve joined the team!

    But… The Lies of Locke Lamora? Really? Hmmm. I didn’t fall in love with that one.

  23. Hank Phillippi Ryan said:

    Sara–you’re a complete rock star. If I started listing how much you’ve done for me, and how incredibly supportive, smart, hard-working and generous you are–well, there’d be no more room on the blog.

    Congratulations. Champagne’s on me. And I wish you–and your new clients–all the happiness in the world.

  24. Kerrie said:


    Congratulations. I would love to talk with you sometime about maybe speaking & listening to pitches at the 2010 Northern Colorado Writers Conference. Kristin was there in 2008.

    Director of NCWC

  25. Liz C said:

    I had to laugh – I’ve just recently read (and loved) two of the three science fiction and fantasy books you mentioned, and the third is on my nightstand. Sounds like I should read the other authors you mentioned as well. I’m guessing I’ll like them.

    Congrats on your new job!