Posted by: Kathy Temean | February 24, 2021

Agent Erin Clyburn at The Jennifer De Chiara

Erin Clyburn Associate Literary Agent

Erin joined The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency as Associate Literary Agent in 2019 after an internship and apprenticeship with a boutique literary agency. She has worked as a copy editor and recipe editor in the magazine industry and was general manager and director of collection development for Turtleback Books. She received her BA in English Literature from Mississippi State University and her MA in Children’s Literature from Hollins University. She also, moonlighted as a children’s librarian. She’s an annual judge for the Audio Publishers Association’s Audie Awards and works every year at the Fay B. Kaigler Children’s Book Festival at Southern Miss.

When not working, Erin loves hiking, cooking, traveling, painting, and trying to keep her three rabbits, Felix, Agnes, and Valentino, from chewing up every baseboard in the house.

What she is seeking:

In children’s:

  • Middle grade: All of it! Stories with big hearts and unforgettable voices, and especially mysteries (Did you write a novel like The Westing Game, Holes, or Greenglass House? Send it to her!)
  • YA: Dark contemporary, horror, thriller, mystery, unreliable narrators
  • All children’s: Graphic novels, high-interest nonfiction, magical realism, characters going on journeys

In adult:

  • Fiction: Character-driven literary fiction; plot-driven suspense, mysteries, and thrillers in the vein of Gillian Flynn or Tana French; laugh-out-loud novels about quirky, dysfunctional families; all horror from psychological to gothic to slasher; multigenerational family sagas like We Are Not Ourselves by Matthew Thomas
  • Nonfiction: Pop science (Oliver Sacks, Mary Roach); high-interest nonfiction, particularly stories about fascinating people and issues that haven’t been told before (Radium Girls, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks); true crime; cookbooks; memoirs (I’d love anything along the lines of My Brain on Fire, Educated, Wild, Full Body Burden)

Children’s Middle grade:

  • Creepy and scary stories

  • Contemporary with big hearts, humor, and unforgettable voices

  • Mystery, especially with scavenger hunt or puzzle-solving elements

  • Grounded stories with magical or speculative elements

Young Adult:

  • Horror

  • Dark contemporary

  • Queer and BIPOC rom-coms

  • Thriller

  • Mystery

  • Magical realism

  • Grounded stories with magical or speculative elements

  • Lush, literary stories

Adult Fiction:

  • Upmarket and book club fiction with great hooks and writing that leans literary

  • Sharp women’s fiction

  • Domestic and psychological thrillers, especially by BIPOC authors

  • Mystery

  • Humorous and satirical novels, with ensemble casts or stellar protagonists

  • Horror of all stripes, especially horror plus other genres, like mystery horror or romantic horror

  • Multigenerational family sagas (I would love one by a BIPOC author set in the South)

  • Grounded stories with magical or speculative elements

  • Southern Gothic


  • Narrative nonfiction or memoir about sports or adventure (Alone on the Wall, Wild)

  • Pop science (Oliver Sacks, Mary Roach)

  • High-interest nonfiction, particularly histories and stories about fascinating people and issues that haven’t been told before (The Radium Girls, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks)

  • Cookbooks and culinary histories

  • Science- or culture-focused memoirs and narrative nonfiction (My Brain on Fire, Educated, Full Body Burden)

Some specifics:

  • My favorite books—MG, YA, and adult—are those that are set in our world but with elements of weird: Karen Thompson Walker’s The Dreamers and The Age of Miracles, Marisha Pessl’s Neverworld Wake, The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton, Catherine House by Elisabeth Thomas, Kevin Wilson’s Nothing to See Here, The Riverman by Aaron Starmer. Please send me your weirds!

  • I love stories about food, stories with lots of food, good descriptions of food, etc.

  • An Alabamian, I would love to see diverse Southern voices writing stories set in the South.

  • Across the board, I am looking for projects from underrepresented writers.

What I’m NOT looking for:

  • Picture books

  • Chapter books

  • Children’s nonfiction

  • Romance

  • Westerns

  • Fantasy or science fiction (except in the cases above, basically our world with a magical/weird twist)

  • Political, crime, or military thrillers

  • Short stories

How to submit:

Queries should be submitted through QueryManager: http://QueryMe.Online/ErinClyburn. Please only query one JDLA agent at a time. Emailed queries will be deleted unread, as will queries sent through Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. For fiction, please include your query letter, synopsis, and first 20 pages of your manuscript. For nonfiction, please send your query, proposal, and the first 20 pages.

Talk tomorrow,



  1. Thanks, Kathy.

    Liked by 1 person

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