Posted by: Kathy Temean | August 19, 2019

Agent Hillary Jacobson ICM Partners

Hillary Jacobson is actively building a list consisting of commercial and literary fiction, YA, select middle grade, as well as narrative non-fiction and memoir. She reads widely and is on the hunt for any and all writing that provokes a strong emotional reaction, adds an important perspective to the cultural conversation or forces the reader to challenge what they think. (Or ideally all of the above!) She’s especially invested in promoting underrepresented voices and eager to read stories not set in the US. While she certainly is drawn to the very dark, she does love more joyful stories too.

More specifically, she wants:

  • Any fiction or non-fiction that explores the unique burdens and pleasures of the modern female experience. Sally Rooney, Curtis Sittenfeld, Carmen Maria Machado and Meg Wolitzer are some of my favorite writers working in this space!
  • In that vein, she wants to see anything that promotes, analyzes, or incorporates feminism.
  • Memoirs that read like tightly plotted and suspenseful fiction a la BRAIN ON FIRE, HOUSE IN THE SKY, EDUCATED or THE FACT OF A BODY
  • Similarly, she loves true crime that feels as immersive and suspenseful as the best thrillers. SAY NOTHING, I’LL BE GONE IN THE DARK and RED NOTICE are some of her recent favorites.
  • Suspense, or what she likes to call “secrets & lies” novels. She definitely gravitates toward the dark and disturbing, and she LOVES feeling unsettled. Think THEN SHE WAS GONE, TANGERINE, THE PERFECT NANNY, ANATOMY OF A SCANDAL, WATCH ME DISAPPEAR, BITTERSWEET, TELL ME LIES or all of Liane Moriarty.
  • She’d especially love to see these stories told from diverse perspectives like in THE EXPATRIATES, LITTLE FIRES EVERYWHERE, THE MOTHERS, BEHOLD THE DREAMERS, or STAY WITH ME
  • She’s a sucker for a truly shocking and mind-blowing twist, in the vein of I LET YOU GO or BEHIND HER EYES
  • Speculative fiction that features a world like ours, but with a twist. The everyday with just a touch of the unreal. Books like THE IMMORTALISTS, STATION ELEVEN, THE AGE OF MIRACLES, PROVIDENCE, or NEVER LET ME GO
  • For YA:
    • Incredibly inventive and distinctive world-building like in THE THOUSANDTH FLOOR, WARCROSS, or GRACELING
    • Contemporary is all about the voice. Favorites include I AM NOT YOUR PERFECT MEXICAN DAUGHTER, DEAR MARTIN, SPEAK, FANGIRL, THE HATE U GIVE, and PRETTY LITTLE LIARS.
    • High concept executed brilliantly like ELSEWHERE, EVERY DAY or EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING.
    • Historical from unique perspectives and/or with a magical twist. She loved THE GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO VICE AND VIRTUE, THE DIVINERS, and PASSENGER
    • Always a plus if you can subvert the tropes of the genre!
  • #ownvoices!

But sometimes she surprises myself with what she falls in love with, so please do query her even if your manuscript falls outside these guidelines!

Submission Guidelines

Submissions should be emailed to

Please send her your pitch and the first ten pages of your manuscript in the body of an email. I respond to every query, hopefully within about a month or so.

Talk tomorrow,



  1. Thanks for the interview!


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: