Posted by: Kathy Temean | August 11, 2013

Katie Shea at Donald Maass

katie sheaKatie Shea joined the Donald Maass Literary Agency in 2011. She was previously an agent with the Johnson Literary Agency. She specializes in fiction and memoir, especially women’s fiction and commercial-scale literary fiction. She is also seeking memoir, narrative non-fiction, food, pop culture, health and lifestyle, and realistic YA. She is most interested in coming-of-age stories and stories of unique relationships. Some of her favorite authors include: Joan Didion, Mary Karr, Michael Cunningham, Alice Sebold, and Jean Kwok (Girl in Translation). She is a graduate of Marist College.

A balance of depth and playfulness. Give me the good with the bad. A set up of a story with immediate conflict. I want to see secondary character who can star in their own novels. An interesting structure: how do you entice your reader to read past the first page, structurally? How are you delivering your plot in an interesting way? I love seeing novels that deal with specific themes/subjects, such as a sport, a school club, a job, etc. Using these specific angles could help branch your story to a wider audience. The most important thing I hope to see in a YA project is a universal message. What are you trying to say about this story? How will THIS novel affect your reader? I want to represent novels with a solid message. Something that will take a hold of you and never let go. Something that you will continue to think about for weeks, years, or maybe a lifetime. These messages should be big. Big enough for all ages.


To query, email Katie at with query, a synopsis, and the first five pages pasted into the body of the email, no attachments please.

Response times:

Query letters — up to 4 weeks from receipt.
Partial manuscripts – up to 4 weeks.
Full manuscripts – overnight to a few months.

Talk tomorrow,


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


%d bloggers like this: