Posted by: Kathy Temean | September 6, 2020

Opportunity: Jessica Regal – Helm Literary

Jessica Regal has recently opened her own literary agency. This is a great opportunity to submit your work to Jess. Please read the information below to see if what you write is a good fit for her before submitting. Thanks!

Hi. I’m Jess Regel. I started Helm Literary with the goal of helping writers take control of their careers. I believe my job as a literary agent is to help writers steer that ship (couldn’t resist at least one sea-faring pun!) First and foremost, I work to make sure my writers are compensated for their incredible work, but I’m also their guide to navigating the industry as a whole. No nonsense, no smoke and mirrors. Just the pure magic of publishing books.

What’s my story? As a flashlight under the covers, tripping over curbs while read-walking, never leave home without a book, lifetime reader, I thought I’d found my dream job when I started working at my local library in Iowa. Then one day, I stumbled upon the inciting incident of my professional life: I shelved The Writer’s Digest’s Guide to Literary Agents.

The summer of 2002, I moved to New York City to intern at the Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency. Over the next decade, I worked my way through each department: royalties, contracts, audio, foreign, film, and domestic. I also began taking on my own clients (most of whom I still represent to this day.)

In 2013, I moved to Foundry Literary + Media where I continued to grow my list of award winning, bestselling writers. (And truly just wonderful people.)

Today, Helm is a full-service literary agency, representing fiction, nonfiction, and children’s book authors. I’ve hired a team of industry veterans to support me in my back office and in my subsidiary rights department, that way I can focus on selling books. Because the truth is, nearly two decades into my career, I still get giddy every time I call an author with an offer from a publisher. Dream job!

If you are a writer seeking representation you can send your query letter and first five pages to

Your query and pages should be pasted in the body of the email.

Please note: I don’t open attachments and I only accept queries by email.

I represent fiction and nonfiction in both the children’s and adult markets. To be more specific:

In adult, young adult and children’s fiction, I’m looking for books that are compulsive, contagious, and creative. I’m particularly interested in “conversation starters,” books that bridge the literary-commercial divide, combining a high-concept with beautiful writing, and voice-driven contemporary stories. I’m always looking for diverse stories, characters who tell a story from a unique perspective, and through which we see the world differently. I’m drawn to ambitious projects, coming-of-age stories, charming and stylized love stories, atmospheric magical realism, dark and twisty suspense, and genre-bending literary fiction.

In adult, young adult, and children’s nonfiction, I specialize in memoir, with an emphasis on female voices, humor, and journalism. I love nonfiction that combines memoir and cultural criticism, journalism and storytelling, any type of hidden history, and memoirs about kids doing incredible things.

As someone who had no personal connection to the publishing world before I began, I am passionate about discovering underrepresented voices.

I don’t typically represent picture books, genre fiction (romance, cozy mysteries, westerns, etc.) or practical nonfiction. I also do not represent screenplays.

I wish I could respond to everyone, but I am only one very tall woman. And due to the volume of queries I receive, I can’t respond to every query. No response is a pass. If I am interested in reading more, I will get in touch as soon as I can.

Talk tomorrow,



  1. Thanks for sharing!


  2. Thanks for this, Kathy.


  3. Good luck to you, Jessica! 😀


  4. Thank you Kathy. I’m really tall too and not represented.


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