Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Reiko Davis of DeFiore & Company

Reiko Davis is a literary agent with DeFiore & Company.

Before joining DeFiore in 2016, Reiko Davis was at Miriam Altshuler Literary Agency for four years. She grew up in Kansas City, received her BA in Comparative Literature and Art History from Brown University, and is a graduate of the Columbia Publishing Course.

Reiko’s interests are varied, but on the adult side she’s primarily seeking literary and book club fiction. She loves historical, contemporary, or multigenerational novels both in the U.S. and internationally; family sagas; voice-driven coming-of-age stories; the occasional rom-com; and fierce, compassionately written works that grapple with identity and belonging and portray diverse lived experiences. She’d love to connect with promising writers of short fiction who are at work on a debut story collection and/or novel.

She also represents select narrative non-fiction projects that explore social justice, issues of race and gender, and the history and experiences of women and people of color. She loves compelling journalistic narratives that read like fiction or that use an intimate personal story as a lens for a larger issue or analysis. She consumes a lot of true crime in her free time so is open to seeing projects in the vein of I’ll Be Gone in the Dark, The Fact of a Body, or Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil if a project like that were to cross her desk.

On the children’s side, Reiko is actively looking for middle grade projects that aren’t afraid to tackle big questions or important emotional truths, and do so through remarkable storytelling, humor, and heart. Right now she’s especially on the lookout for middle grade non-fiction in the areas of mental health, science, political activism, environmentalism, and narrative history. She has a real soft spot for middle grade novels that empower kids to make a difference in their communities.

She’s not looking for adult genre category fiction (fantasy, sci-fi, thriller, horror) or adult nonfiction with a highly prescriptive bent.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Kate Davids of Arc Literary Management

Kate Davids is a literary agent with Arc Literary Management.

Kate is looking for nonfiction projects, particularly practical nonfiction, in cooking, personal finance, business, pets/animals, gardening, mental health, and new age. She also enjoys history books that delve into interesting subcultures, like anime or tabletop RPGs.

In fiction, Kate has a soft spot for science fiction and fantasy that has great action and world building that leverages real world cultures or histories. She loves fiction that represents diverse cultural backgrounds in their settings and characters.

For children’s books, Kate is looking for titles that can help both parents and their children explore the world together. This includes bi-lingual books and books about travel and multi-culturalism. She also likes a good laugh and an “aww” moment or two.

Kate joined Arc Literary after 3 years working at Simon & Schuster as part of their Organic Growth Initiative. She uses her background in market research and digital marketing strategy to help her clients find new audiences and better appeal to the audiences they may already have. Prior to working in publishing, Kate worked in marketing strategy and research in a variety of industries for brands like Weight Watchers and Unilever. She loves exploring different cultures, including subcultures. For her, books enable readers to explore new and different perspectives, with authors as the all-important guides and gateways.

Born in Arizona, Kate moved to New York City after first studying and living in Toulouse, France, and then London. She has always loved international cultures and travel, visiting her family based in Rome as often as possible. She has become an expert on traveling on a budget. She currently speaks French and Italian, and has also studied Japanese and Spanish. When she is home, she can be found reading comic books, watching anime, or trying out new recipes in the kitchen.


Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Claire Draper of Azantian Literary Agency

Claire Draper is a literary agent with Azantian Literary Agency.

Claire is an agent at Azantian Literary Agency who represents graphic novels, young adult, middle grade, adult romance, nonfiction, and memoir, and prefers to work with books that are funny, lighthearted, romantic, emotional, hopeful, and adventurous, with a fast pace, high stakes, and strong emotional development for the main character(s). They live in New York City with their partner, cats, and too many plants to count.


“I fell in love with books later than some, when my high school best friend dragged me to the theater to see Twilight. I became a book fanatic after that. There was not a time you could catch me without a book on my person or fanfiction open on my phone. I read every YA novel available and quickly moved on to the adult romance section, which was decently larger at the local Borders. I decided I wanted to be involved in books any way I could. I ended up moving from California to New York to try and get a degree and weasel my way into book publishing.

“After studying Queer Diversity in Children’s Literature at New York University’s Gallatin School and pursuing multiple internships, in 2016 I spent a fantastic (if short-lived) two weeks working as a bookseller for the Strand, before joining InkWell Management as a receptionist and agents’ assistant. In early 2019, I moved to the Bent Agency to start building my list with a collection of very queer books for kids of all ages, including graphic novels, picture books, middle-grade, and young adult. And then I embarked on books for adults, when I decided to return to my favorites with particularly queer memoir, queer romance novels, and select adult nonfiction.

“For all the books I work with, I prefer to work with queer creators and BIPOC creators, and strongly encourage those creators to send me their work. Regardless of genre, age, or subject, I like lighthearted, emotional, hopeful, adventurous reads. I am largely genre-agnostic, but I do prefer books with a fast pace, high stakes, and strong emotional development for the main character(s). I do not want to see books from authors writing identity-based books not of their own identity.

“For graphic novels, I like a diverse cast of characters, in nearly any genre or location. I love art that challenges traditional styles and is easily recognizable as belonging to a particular artist. I like stories for all ages, fiction and nonfiction, but especially love when a book has strong themes of love and/or friendship, and is extra queer.

“For illustrator portfolios, I like to see a decent sampling of your work, including anything from character design, to fan art, to sequentials (any paneled work, webcomic, zine, etc., will suffice). Please let me know whether you are exclusively an illustrator or author/illustrator.

“For YA and middle-grade contemporary, I love fiction where the main character has average, everyday challenges and we see how they overcome them. I love books that are lighthearted and emotionally poignant. I am especially interested in queer, disabled, and BIPOC protagonists, especially when the books are not issue-driven.

“For YA and middle-grade genre, I love fast pacing and high stakes. I am generally not preferential to any specific genre (fantasy, horror, sci-fi, etc.) as long as the rules of the genre are respected and understood. Much like with contemporary, I am especially interested in queer, disabled, and BIPOC protagonists, especially when the books are not issue-driven. But above all, give me a good, page-turning adventure.

“For queer adult romance novels, I want books with queer protagonists that have distinct personalities and a fast pace. I love nearly any genre, but require that the story is queer, feminist, and body-positive. I can’t bear to read dated ideals of partnership, relationships, femininity, and masculinity. I DO NOT want books where the characters participate in sexual acts without consent and/or while heavily intoxicated. Consent is key and a non-negotiable. Sweep me off my feet, please! I’ve been reading romance novels since I was a teenager, so make sure to respect the rules of HEA and give me some good trope-filled romance. To reiterate, I love a wide range of sub-genres in this space, so send it all.

“For memoir, I am particularly interested in queer authors writing about their queerness and the intersections of their identity. I love books with humor and interesting perspectives, and enjoy a big personality or narration to go with the contents of the memoir. I do not want conservative or conservative-leaning memoirs.

“For select adult nonfiction, I love creators with a fun and interesting platform, who are the experts in their field, and have something interesting and crucial to say. Subjects for this may include but are not limited to: plants, crafting, DIY, cleaning, homemaking, cooking, art, feminism, queer theory, parenting, and media criticism.

“By pitching me at a conference, please address me as Claire or Mx. Draper and ensure your manuscript will NOT contain the following or it will be considered an automatic pass: Suicide ideation, Eating disorders, Sexual assault, Gratuitous violence.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: CoCo Freeman of the Linda Chester Literary Agency

CoCo Freeman is a literary agent with Linda Chester Literary Agency.

“I am a graduate of Bard College with a B.A. in Written Arts. Before joining Linda Chester, I worked for Tom Yoon Productions developing projects and editing existing material. I am very happy to have entered the world of my first love, books. I am looking for smart adult commercial fiction in a variety of genres, including mystery/thriller/suspense, fantasy, romance, women’s fiction and historical, Young/New Adult, Middle Grade and select picture books.”

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Marin Takikawa of The Friedrich Agency

Marin Takikawa is a literary agent with The Friedrich Agency.

Before joining TFA in early 2021, I got my start as an assistant to three agents at Foundry Literary + Media, following internships at The Book Group, Folio Literary Management, and Triada U.S. Born in Tokyo and raised in Singapore and NYC, I graduated from the University of Rochester with degrees in English and Business. Right now, I support Molly Friedrich and Lucy Carson, in addition to handling audio rights for the agency. I’m an eclectic reader, and hope that my list will showcase this range as well—in addition to fiction and nonfiction, I also hope to represent select YA.

For fiction, I’m looking for character-driven upmarket and literary fiction. In particular, I’m always driven by the need to understand people and discover the various kinks that aren’t visible from the surface—what drives them? What do they desire most but can’t get? I’m particularly enamored by genre-bending works, fiction with a speculative or magical bent, literary suspense, narratives about complex family relationships, and those that subvert forms of power, specifically neocolonialist ones.

My tastes in Young Adult are similar, although with more focus on speculative concepts and maybe surprisingly, contemporary rom-coms like LOVE & GELATO, ANNA & THE FRENCH KISS, and TELL ME THREE THINGS.

In nonfiction, I gravitate toward memoirs that balance personal narratives with engaging and insightful research and/or cultural analysis. I’m also looking for narrative nonfiction that is resistant and radical in nature, that questions why we have the institutions, ideas, and systems we have in place. I often think about the legacies of colonialism, how it haunts and perpetuates in various forms in the modern age (such as the environment and in capitalism), but also about collective action and its sense of possibilities and what the future could look like. I’d love to hear from you if your work is in this space.

Regardless of category, I’m looking for a singular voice that will guide me through any literary terrain and is not afraid of pushing against the status quo. And above all, it’s important to me that my list is filled with writers from historically underrepresented communities, as well as diasporic voices.

In my spare time, you can find me dancing, watching anime, or hiking. I’m fluent in Japanese, and you also probably don’t want to bad-mouth me in Mandarin 😉


Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Lori Galvin of Aevitas Creative Management

Lori Galvin is a literary agent with Aevitas Creative Management.

“I represent both fiction and nonfiction writers for the adult market. For fiction, I am especially interested in working with writers of crime (suspense, thrillers, horror, and mysteries); bookclub fiction or upmarket commercial fiction (including women’s fiction, historical, grounded speculative or grounded sci-fi). I’m drawn to novels with vivid voices and strong emotions and I’m a passionate advocate for all voices. And for nonfiction, I am interested in working with food writers, writers on culture, and true crime writers.”

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Cindy Bullard of Birch Literary

Cindy Bullard is a senior literary agent with Birch Literary.

Cindy has ten years of experience in working with editors, agents, and publishers, as an author, on the “other side,” of the desk (she uses a pen name). Cindy opened Birch Literary to help other writers on their own path to publication.

She is seeking:

Please do not submit unfinished work.

In adult fiction, Cindy is looking for traditional mysteries (standard PI, classic detective, or cozy), true crime, police procedural, thriller, and suspense.

In children’s fiction, Cindy would like to see middle grade and YA (sweet, quirky, mystery, cozy). Please do not pitch MG or YA that has dark or heavy topics.

At this time, please do not pitch romance or picture books.

In nonfiction, Cindy loves books about nature (kids and adults), memoir, self-help from experts, and personal narrative.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Cheyenne Faircloth of Handspun Literary

Cheyenne Faircloth is a literary agent with Handspun Literary Agency.

Cheyenne (she/her/hers) joined Handspun as an agency assistant in 2021, after graduating with a B.F.A. in Creative Writing, and a certification in Publishing from the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Before Handspun, Cheyenne interned as an editorial assistant at Howland Literary, and was a member of the editorial and acquisition teams at Lookout Books, an independent publisher that is home to National Book Award Finalist Edith Pearlman. Cheyenne also independently managed a book blog where she collaborated with both major and indie publishers to promote upcoming titles and participated in various promotional activities centered around supporting debut authors. 

Cheyenne is most interested in manuscripts from historically excluded communities, i.e. queer, BIPOC, AAPI, neurodivergent, and disabled voices.

Her interests include YA, Southern Gothic, folkloric elements, gothic romances, fantasy stories with political elements and well-grounded world building, non-western mythology, sports romances in conversation with institutional issues/sexism/gender, and creatures from myth told through a queer allegorical lens.

She is not currently accepting middle grade, picture books, or nonfiction.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Annalise Errico of Ladderbird Literary

Annalise Errico is a literary agent with Ladderbird Literary.

Annalise is a graduate of Lesley University where she earned a B.A. in Creative writing with a double minor in Literature and Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies. She is excited about uplifting stories by authors with marginalized voices and intersectional identities, ultimately making room for the diverse voices that have long since been ignored and suppressed in the literary world and beyond. When she isn’t agenting, Annalise spends an excessive amount of time snuggling with her cat, Mittens, and writing romance novels that are more swoony than strictly necessary.

Annalise is looking for more queer, BIPOC representation across the board, especially in romances that give Happily Ever Afters to complex and palpable characters.


Annalise is looking for narrative nonfiction centering in on women’s stories and queer stories, such as: true crime with a feminist lens (think “We Keep the Dead Close” by Becky Cooper); memoirs that focus on identity (think “Know My Name” by Chanel Miller) or alternative formatting (think “In The Dream House” by Carmen Maria Machado); and research-heavy historical narratives about queer or feminist icons (think “Romantic Outlaws” by Charlotte Gordon).

Adult Fiction

Romance is Annalise’s genre of choice, especially when they center on queer and BIPOC protagonists and love interests, such as Talia Hibbert’s “Take a Hint, Dani Brown”. For historical romance, Annalise wants to see queer Regency period novels (think Cat Sebastian), and queer novels set outside of Euro-centric history. Romances about bisexual women sit particularly close to Annalise’s heart. Happily Ever Afters are a must (per rules of the genre, and Annalise’s adoration). Her favorite tropes are enemies-to-lovers; serious-and-sunshine; and second-chance romance. She does not accept erotica or romances featuring unhealthy or abusive relationships to any degree.

Annalise is looking for queer thrillers that function as social commentary such as Alyssa Cole’s “When No One Is Watching”. She loves novels with interesting formats such as compilations of files and articles (think “Night Film” by Marisha Pessl). She is always intrigued by complex who-dun-its. It is hard to sell Annalise on thrillers that feature violence against women as their main plot. She is not a good fit for supernatural, ungrounded thrillers; thrillers that border too close to horror; or thrillers that use the “bury your gays” and/or “fridging” trope.

Commercial/Women’s/Contemporary Fiction:
Annalise wants character-driven contemporary fiction that has enough plot movement to keep the reader invested (no character studies, please!). She likes books that use alternative formats (like “Daisy Jones & The Six” by Taylor Jenkins Reid) and question the boundaries of typical contemporary fiction. She loves books that focus in on fictional celebrities or reflect upon fame such as “The Comeback” by Ella Berman and “The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo” by Taylor Jenkins Reid. Books with happy endings are a plus. Annalise also wants fiction featuring change as a thematic focal point with unabashed self-love and romance, like Claire Christian’s “It’s Been A Pleasure, Noni Blake”.

New Adult
Annalise wants New Adult romance and contemporary fiction that focuses on found family and a during- or post-college bildungsroman plot. She would especially like to see fiction set immediately post-college that follows the protagonist’s trials and tribulations in the “real world”. It is hard to sell Annalise on a new adult book that doesn’t feature romance in some facet.

Young Adult Fiction

Annalise wants YA historical fiction that focuses in on a lost perspective such as Stacey Lee’s “The Downstairs Girl”. While it doesn’t have to be a foremost plot, she wants romance in her historical novels. As with all things, having a queer component is going to make work more appealing.

Graphic Novels:
Annalise will accept YA graphic novels by author/illustrators (only) who focus in on marginalized experiences (whether in a realistic or fantastical world). She wants sweet graphic novels like “The Tea Dragon Society” by K. O’Neill or emotionally resonant ones like “On A Sunbeam” by Tillie Walden.

Annalise wants heist fantasy stories like “Six of Crows” by Leigh Bardugo that have a found family element and are high-tension. She wants fantasies that aren’t overrun by world-building, but are atmospheric enough to transport the reader; character-driven fantasies (especially with a dabble of romance) are her favorite. She also loves witchy fantasies that focus on queer women of color (think “When We Were Magic” by Sarah Gailey).

She is looking for mysteries and thrillers that have elements of YA contemporary such as bildungsroman plots and romance (especially LGBTQIA +) but doesn’t stray too far into high-school drama (think “A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder” by Holly Jackson). Like Adult mysteries/thrillers, she does not want anything that ventures too far into horror.

Annalise is looking for quirky and offbeat books that focus in on ride-or-die women-centric friendships. She also wants queer, BIPOC rom-coms like “I Wish You All the Best” by Mason Deaver that have found family elements and are shamelessly romantic. She loves romances that feature large families that are realistic and honest (think Morgan Matson). She does not want stereotypical high-school drama (no mean girls, please!) or tropes like cheating, nor does she want YA Romeo and Juliet retellings in any way, shape, or form.

What she is NOT looking for:
Picture Books
Middle Grade
Science Fiction
or Poetry at this time.