Hannah Fergesen: Before settling in New York City, Hannah worked and went to school in Denver, where she obtained her degree in Writing for Film and Television. Opportunities in New York presented themselves before she could run off to LA, and she course corrected her career toward publishing, a dream of hers since childhood. After stints as a remote intern for a well-known agent, a bookseller at the famous Books of Wonder, an intern at Soho Press, a literary assistant at Trident Media Group, and a freelance editor working with well-known authors, Hannah joined KT Literary in 2016.
I am a geek and a total TV junkie. I love TV shows because they often have fantastic ensembles and character arcs that can be savored over long periods of time. My favorite shows work so well for me because of impeccably-written characters and/or ensembles, people struggling with big emotions, and gut-busting comedy or perfectly executed snark.
So what am I looking for? In the less specific, I’m looking for stories that capture everything I’ve mentioned above, as well as stories that scare me, awe me, thrill me, and sentences that give me chills. I love adventure, women in the lead, weird stories, diverse and QUILTBAG characters, and dark and twisty stories with enough light to keep me hoping and rooting for the characters.
Less abstractly, I’m looking for YA and MG, as well as some select adult fiction.
In YA and MG, I’m looking for speculative and contemporary stories, running the gamut from fantasy, mystery, horror and magical realism, to family-oriented dramas, historical fiction, and stories dealing with contemporary issues, such as mental health or addiction.
For both YA and MG, I’m very interested in finding a good, twisty mystery or suspense. If they’re historical (I’d love to find an Amelia Peabody-esque YA historical mystery), or have a speculative bent, even better. And if anyone has the novel-version of BRICK, please send it to me!
I love dark, complex fantasies like SIX OF CROWS by Leigh Bardugo, or THE IMPOSTER QUEEN by Sarah Fine, especially if they have a non-Western setting. If there’s a historical aspect, like THE GIRL FROM EVERYWHERE by Heidi Heilig, I’m sold.
I am into contemporaries with light Sci-Fi elements like MORE HAPPY THAN NOT by Adam Silvera, as well as pure Sci-Fi with politics and an edge like Battlestar Galactica, or a bold re-imagining of another time (like FIREFLY did with the Old West).
I’d love to see historical fiction in both YA and MG like SALT TO THE SEA by Ruta Sepetys and IVORY AND BONE by Julie Eshbaugh. Anything with a Gothic or Art Deco setting makes me tingly, but I’d also love to see something about a little-known event or era, particularly if it has present-day relevance.
In MG, I would love to find something that I loved as much as REDWALL when I was a kid. Fantasies with some whimsy and darkness are wonderful, like THE GIRL WHO CIRCUMNAVIGATED FAIRYLAND IN A SHIP OF HER OWN MAKING by Catherynne Valente, or THE SCHOOL FOR GOOD AND EVIL by Soman Chainani. Fun, fast-paced adventures and and mysteries appeal to me as well.
In adult, I want weird and/or lyrical fantasies and speculative mysteries ala anything by Neil Gaiman and Chuck Wendig, as well as Lev Grossman’s THE MAGICIANS, VICIOUS by Victoria Schwab, DEATHLESS by Catherynne Valente, or KRAKEN by China Mieville. I’d also love something with a good twist, like DARK PLACES by Gillian Flynn (GONE GIRL less so, but the idea is the same).
What I’m looking for, above anything else, is something that keeps my eyes glued to the page, reads beautifully, and curls my toes. And anything that sets my editorial Spidey-senses tingling! I’d love to find a book in a genre or category I didn’t know I wanted. That is to say, if you write YA or MG and you didn’t see your genre on this list, but you think we’d be a good fit, send it anyway! More than anything, I want to represent and work with writers whose books I love, and that could very well be you.
To query us, please select one of the agents at kt literary at a time. If we pass, you can feel free to submit to another. Please email your query letter and the first three pages of your manuscript in the body of the email Hannah at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The subject line of your email should include the word “Query” along with the title of your manuscript. Queries should not contain attachments. Attachments will not be read, and queries containing attachments WILL be deleted unread. We aim to reply to all queries within two weeks of receipt. For examples of query letters, please feel free to browse the About My Query archives on this site.
In addition, if you’re an author who is sending a new query, but who previously submitted a novel to us for which we requested chapters but ultimately declined, please do say so in your query letter.
If we like your query, we’ll ask for the first five chapters and a complete synopsis. For our purposes, the synopsis should include the full plot of the book including the conclusion. Don’t tease us. Thanks!
We are not accepting snail mail queries at this time. If you have an aversion to email, perhaps we’re not the best agency for you. We also do not accept pitches on social media.