Posted by: Kathy Temean | May 31, 2017

New Literary Agency Looking for Clients: Root Literary

Holly Root is the founder of Root Literary, which opened in 2017. Prior to opening her agency, she worked at Waxman Leavell Literary, Trident Media Group, and William Morris. Based in Los Angeles, her clients include #1 New York Times bestsellers, international bestsellers, RITA winners and nominees, and numerous titles named to Best Books of the Year lists by Publishers Weekly, The Washington Post, NPR, the American Library Association, RT Book Reviews, Kirkus, and Amazon. She represents authors of commercial fiction for adults and kids, as well as select nonfiction.


Women’s fiction
YA including SF/F

MG including SF/F
Select nonfiction

Holly’s Fiction Wish List

general fiction/women’s fiction of all sorts: I’m particularly interested in upmarket execution of commercial concepts; I’d also love a page-turning domestic suspense (my taste leans more on the domestic end, a la Liane Moriarty–I find the interplay of human relationships, when well done, every bit as potent a story driver as espionage).

Middle Grade Fiction: If the following apply, I will probably like it: funny (honest-funny over slapstick, generally speaking), adventurous, magical whether in actual plot or only in feel, unforgettable settings whether real or fantastical.

Young Adult Fiction: Genre benders, structural innovators, and trope reinventers welcome.

Lighter Women’s Fiction/Chick Lit: A perfectly executed poolside confection is a thing of beauty.
SF/F: Send me the book that could be a hit with both your neighbor who reads four books a year *and* the hardcore genre devotee–I like the broadly commercial reads.

On the single title romance front, every time I swear my list is full, someone makes a liar out of me. Quit being so innovative and smart, romance authors! (Never stop.) I’m especially interested in romance that blends in other genres.

In all areas, I love a good high-concept hook.

My nonfiction list is smaller, and therefore a little harder to define a wish list for. The projects I’m most likely to pursue pair a distinctive voice with a strong platform to match.

Taylor Haggerty is a literary agent at Root Literary representing commercial fiction for kids and adults. She focuses mostly on young adult and middle grade fiction, romance, and women’s fiction. Prior to joining Root Literary when it opened in 2017, she worked at Waxman Leavell Literary and Gersh in Los Angeles.

I love books that surprise me: the ones that are just a little unexpected, a little more clever, or funny, or twisty than I’d anticipated going in. Across the board, I’m looking for high-concept premises and manuscripts that demand to be read in a single sitting. I tend to connect with a strong sense of place, beautiful writing, and a voice that jumps off the page, and love books that blend genres or try new and interesting modes of storytelling, whether that means playing around with format, or putting a new spin on a tried-and-true trope.

Here are a few things that are particularly high on Taylor’s wishlist right now:

YA & MG:

In YA, I’m especially eager to find fast-paced, high-stakes fantasy with incredible and unique worldbuilding, magical realism, and accessible, character-driven SF. On the contemporary side of things, I’m looking for a smart, funny, romcom (bring on the banter!) and would love to find a romance that feels larger-than-life. Across the board, I love sibling and found-family stories, swoony romance, and anything centering on friendship. Some of my all-time favorite reads include Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Robin LaFevers’s Grave Assassins trilogy, Elizabeth Wein’s Code Name Verity, and Jandy Nelson’s I’ll Give You the Sun. I’m also on the lookout for MG projects that strike that perfect balance of heart and humor. I’m particularly drawn to friendship stories, and books featuring kids who are passionate about their interests, whether that means space, art, magic, monsters, or cupcakes. I welcome authors from all backgrounds and am particularly excited to boost underrepresented voices.

Romance & women’s fiction:
Send me books that are perfect for the beach! I’m always looking for smart, funny, voice-driven projects to add to my list — the more fun and escapist, the better — and have a tendency to fall for books that blur the lines between romance and women’s/general commercial fiction. (My client Sally Thorne’s The Hating Game is a great example of my taste here.) High-concept is key! For romance, I’m primarily looking for contemporary, or a big, hooky historical series (moreso than paranormal or romantic suspense right now, but never say never!). In women’s fiction, I’m partial to multi-generational stories, and anything with a historical element that still feels relevant and important today. I want the book that you can recommend to your mom, best friend, neighbor, and yoga instructor all in one go, as well as books that are just plain fun – and extremely well executed.

I’m actively building my client list, and would love to hear from you if you think we might be a fit!

About the Agency

Literary agent Holly Root launched over two dozen New York Times bestsellers before founding Root Literary in 2017. The agency’s clients benefit from our agents’ proven skills in identifying talent, negotiating advantageous deals, and advocating for our books all the way from submission to publication. We offer our clients broad-based industry insights as well as individualized strategic thinking to empower each author to define and pursue their own unique path to success.

We love what we do, and we do it best in partnership with authors who combine skillful storytelling with the drive to build a lasting body of work.

If you are seeking representation, please send a query letter and the first 10 pages of your manuscript to

All material should be pasted in the body of the email, as we do not open attachments. Only electronic queries for completed, full-length works will be considered. Once you submit a query, you will receive an automated response confirming receipt and noting our current turnaround time.

Holly and Taylor work very closely, often passing projects back and forth and occasionally signing clients together, so we welcome queries addressed to the agency in general. If you are specifically querying one of us, please include that agent’s name in the subject line of your email.

We do not represent screenplays, poetry, novellas, short stories, or picture books.

No paper, phone, or in-person pitches, please.

Talk tomorrow,



  1. Thanks for the info. Both agents have been on my radar for awhile. A new agency to query.


  2. This sounds so exciting! I wish these ladies repped what I do, but the new agency sounds wonderful for anyone who does what they’re looking for 🙂

    Good luck, ladies!


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