Posted by: Kathy Temean | February 21, 2020

February Agent of the Month – Alexandra Levick – Part two of Interview

I am very happy to announce that Alexandra Levick at Writers House is February’s Agent of the Month. Scroll to bottom for how to submit a first page and maybe win a critique with Alexandra.

Alexandra Levick earned an M.S. in Publishing: Digital and Print Media from New York University and a B.A. in English with a concentration in Creative Writing from the University of Rochester. She is a former bookseller with training in both the children’s and adult markets and has experience working on the house side of publishing in publicity. She is an agent at Writers House.

Writers House was founded in 1974 and since that time has become one of the largest full-service literary agencies in the world. They pride themselves on providing an extraordinary amount of individual client attention, combined with the benefits of full foreign rights, subsidiary rights, and contracts departments. They house an accounting department equipped to provide forensic royalty and financial analysis, as well as a digital department focusing on the ever-changing technological landscape of the publishing world today.

Alexandra started at Writers House as an intern for Brianne Johnson and was quickly pulled from the program to begin working for Senior Vice President, Merrilee Heifetz. Later, she covered senior agent, Stephen Barr’s, paternity leave and began working as an assistant to senior agents Brianne Johnson and Rebecca Sherman. In 2015, she graduated from New York University with my Masters of Science in Publishing: Digital and Print Media, with a specialization in Media Content Development.

Alexandra is actively growing her picture book, middle grade, young adult, and adult lists.


What am I looking for?

Picture book author-illustrators, a wide range of middle grade and YA, and more speculative-leaning or genre-bent upmarket adult works. I’m committed to working with writers from diverse backgrounds and am looking to put forth a list of outstanding creators who will be able to provide windows, mirrors, and sliding glass doors (thank you, Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop) into all kinds of experiences. I’m particularly looking for own-voices stories about historically underrepresented characters, identities, and cultures.

No matter the genre or age-range, I crave a distinctive voice and strong thematic point behind the work—I want to run screaming to my friends and family about your book because there is so much to discuss. I love character-driven stories that revolve around BIG topics (discussing things like mortality or grief in a new and hopefully somewhat uplifting way is always an instant lightbulb!). Upon further consideration, I’m not looking for ‘issue books’ per se, rather I’d like to represent authors and stories that stand for more than just a good yarn; I’d like to represent authors who provoke conversations around important and necessary topics in our world today. I don’t just want contemporary versions of these stories, either. Send me your fantasy, your sci-fi, your genre-bender!

So please, send your work over to me. I can’t wait to give it a read.


Below is  Part two of my interview with Alexandra

Have you noticed any common mistakes that writers make?

Often it seems writers will talk around the plot in their query, rather than getting to the heart of what the character wants, what obstacle is in their way, and how they will take action to overcome that obstacle and achieve their want.

What are your feelings about prologues?

Sometimes they’re necessary for a story!

Do you have a place where you keep writers up-to-date on what you would like to see? Blog?

My website:

Do you give editorial feedback to your clients?

Absolutely. I’m a very editorial agent and work thoroughly with my clients to prepare manuscripts, pitches, samples, etc. In all of my editorial work I aim to ensure that the end-product becomes more clearly what the client wants, not what my vision is for the project.

Have you ever represented a children’s book illustrator? Does an illustrator have to write before you would represent them?

At this point in time, I only represent author-illustrators.

What is your typical response time to email/phone calls with your clients?

I always make myself available to my clients when they need to speak.

How do you like to communicate (email vs. phone)?

Sometimes email, sometimes phone. It depends on what the situation calls for.

Would you ever send a manuscript to another agent at Writers House if it was good, but not your style?

Absolutely. I do this all the time.

Do you handle your own foreign/film rights contracts or does your firm have someone else who handles those contracts?

We have fully staffed Global Licensing, Business Affairs, and Media Licensing departments which all work together with the main agent to negotiate foreign/film contracts. We also work with film co-agents in a similar way. I am personally always actively involved in any kind of negotiation for my clients.

Do you see any new trends building in the industry?

To be quite honest, I don’t sell to trend and am not all that interested in trends in general. I want to shepherd incredible stories that transcend more than one specific moment in time.

Any words of wisdom on how a writer can improve their writing, secure an agent, and get published?

Read, write, read, write, read, write, and read, again. I think most authors remember the writing part of the job, but what you are reading has an enormous effect on what you are writing. I also think it’s important to take time to fill your creative well.

Would you like to attend other conferences, workshops writer’s retreats?

I attend a limited number of conferences and workshops each year. I love teaching and interacting with writers in person (it’s so much fun!), unfortunately, I only have so much extra time to do so.

Alexandra, Thank you so much for the wonderful interview answers. We all appreciate it.



In the subject line, please write “FEBRUARY 2020 FIRST PAGE CRITIQUE” Example: Paste the text in the email, plus attached it as a Word document to the email. Please make sure you include your name, the title of the piece, and whether it’s a picture book, middle grade, or young adult, etc. at the top on both the email and the Word document (Make sure you include your name with the title of your book, when you save the first page).

PLEASE name the Word document file by putting 2020 FEBRUARY – Your Name – Title of first page. Thank you.

REMEMBER: ATTACH THE WORD DOCUMENT AND NOT GET ELIMINATED! Your First Page Word document should be formatted using one inch margins and 12 point New Times Roman font – double space – no more than 23 lines – only one page.

Send to: kathy(dot)temean(at)gmail(dot)com.

PLEASE FOLLOW THE GUIDELINES: Your submission will be passed over if you do not follow the directions for both the pasted email and the attached Word doc. This is where most people mess up.

DEADLINE: February 21st. – noon EST

RESULTS: February 28th.

Talk tomorrow,


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