Joanna MacKenzie

I owe my love of books to the librarian of my childhood bookmobile, who, after I had worked my way through The Baby-Sitters Club and Sweet Valley High, lifted the velvet rope and let me into the grown-up section, where I discovered V.C. Andrews. And to my father, who gave me Cat’s Cradle, Wuthering Heights, and One Hundred Years of Solitude for my fifteenth birthday.

A seasoned publishing professional with nearly twenty years on the agenting side, I’m driven by the stories my authors tell, both with the novels they write and with the careers they build. I represent New York Times bestsellers, Edgar and Anthony Award nominees, and critically acclaimed storytellers writing in all areas of adult and young adult fiction.

Visit me at Publishers Marketplace and follow me @joannamackenzie.

 

#MSWL

  • High-concept, twisty, unputdownable stories with a strong voice in the areas of women’s fiction, thriller, and speculative. (Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam, Before I Go To Sleep by S.J Watson, Dark Matter by Blake Crouch)
  • Timely commercial fiction in which the personal intersects with the world at large, and/or that explores toxic friendships and complex, challenging family dynamics. (Luster by Raven Leilani, This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel)
  • Heartfelt and timeless stories that you want to re-read about identity, unlikely friendships, reinvention, second acts, and women finding their voices and power, especially with touches of magic or speculative. (The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow, Tell The Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt)
  • Voicey, confident, atmospheric mysteries set in close-knit communities; creepy islands and Midwest-set are a plus. (The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman, Only Murders In The Building, the Shetland series by Ann Cleeves)
  • Because I came to Chicago by way of Poland and Canada, I’m always looking for stories about the immigrant experience. (The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri is a longtime favorite.)

Recent binges: Riot Baby by Tochi Onyebuchi, Leave The World Behind by Rumaan Alam, The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave, Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner, Emily in Paris on Netflix

  Query Joanna

Joanna’s Recent News

Library of Michigan

Sarah Zachrich Jeng’s The Other Me named a 2022 Michigan Notable Book.

Indiebound

Kate Baer’s I Hope This Finds You Well lands on the Trade Paperback IndieBound Bestsellers list.

Kate Baer’s collection of poetry I Hope This Finds You Well is an instant New York Times Bestseller.

American Booksellers Association

Kate Baer’s I Hope This Finds You Well makes the ABA Indie Next List.

USA Today

John Galligan’s Bad Moon Rising named one of 5 Books to not Miss.

Kirkus

In a starred review, Kirkus declares that “intriguing characters take a wild ride through backwoods Wisconsin in this irresistible mystery” Galligan’s Bad Moon Rising.

 

Bustle

Alison Hammer’s Little Pieces of Me named one of the Best New Books of Spring.

Kathleen West’s Are We There Yet? called “a breezy yet affecting read filled with struggle and hope” by People magazine.

In an exclusive submission, two book deal, Berkley’s Cindy Hwang acquired rights to The Beach Trap by Alison Hammer and Bradeigh Godfrey writing as Ali Brady. 

Kate Baer’s What Kind of Woman was selected as the GOOP book club pick for January.

Katrina Monroe’s The Drowning Girls, a feminist horror about a woman untangling a generations-old curse after returning to the village of her youth, to Mary Altman at Sourcebooks.

Gillian Libby’s debut novel Something Real, following three twenty-something friends finding love as they leave New York City, in a 3-book series deal to Rachel Gilmer at Sourcebooks.

Joanna’s Film/TV Options

Currently Under Option

Optioned to:
MiMo Studio

Currently Under Option

Joanna’s Featured Books