Upcoming Agent Spotlight Interviews & Guest Posts

  • Agent/Author Claire Friedman & M.K. Lobb Guest Post w/Seven Faceless Saints Giveaway on 2/1/2023
  • Lori Steel Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 2/6/2023
  • Bethany Funk Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 2/23/2023
  • Agent/Author Lizz Nagle & J.A. Nielsen Guest Post w/The Claiming and Query Critique Giveaway on 3/6/2023
  • Kristen Terrette Agent Spotlight Interiew and Query Critique Giveaway on 3/20/2023

Agent Spotlight & Agent Spotlight Updates

  • All Agent Spotlights & Interviews have been updated as of 7/15/2020, and many have been reviewed by the agents. Look for them to be fully updated in 2023.

Agent Spotlight: Katie Grimm

This week's Agent Spotlight features Katie Grimm of Don Congdon Associates, Inc.
Status: Accepting submissions.
About: "Katie joined Don Congdon Associates in 2007. She represents vivid literary fiction (be it voicey, historical, speculative, or mysterious), up-market women’s fiction, cohesive short story collections, and graphic novels. In young adult, she loves compelling and heartbreaking contemporary novels and speculative high-concepts rooted in science and history. In middle grade, she enjoys novels with a heartfelt, timeless quality, and stories that explore the magic of our world or those imagined. For non-fiction, she is looking for memoirs and narratives that explore greater social issues, dark and weird times in human history, the personal impact of science, and any off-beat topic explored through an academic lens. Across all genres, she’s looking for books with a heartbeat, and she’ll always be interested in previously under- or misrepresented experiences and stories that contribute to a larger cultural conversation. She is also a member of SCBWI." (Link)
About the Agency:
"Don Congdon Associates, Inc., founded in 1983 by Don Congdon and Michael Congdon, is a literary agency representing a distinguished and diverse list of authors and estates, ranging from current bestsellers and emerging talent to backlist classics. The agency’s seven agents provide individualized service to each client, and are committed to developing and representing all aspects of an author’s domestic and international literary career in a rapidly changing industry. In addition to its New York Times and international bestsellers, Don Congdon Associates’ clients have been the recipients of an array of prestigious awards including the Pulitzer Prize, the George Polk Award, the National Book Award, the James Thurber Prize, the Man Booker International Prize, the Pritzker Lifetime Achievement Award, the Edgar, Anthony, Shamus, Macavity, Grand Master of Science Fiction and Horror awards, the J. Anthony Lukas Prize Project Award, the O. Henry Prize, the Lambda Literary Award, and the National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. (Link)
There is more information on the history of the agency in this piece on Don Congdon.
Web Presence:
Don Congdon Associates website 
Publisher Marketplace.
AgentQuery, QueryTracker.
What She's Looking For:
From AgentQuery:
Literary fiction, women's fiction, historical fiction, young adult, middle grade, multi-cultural, short stories, quirky, juvenile nonfiction, and more
From her Manuscript Wish List:
"Favorite sub-genres: Contemporary Young Adult, Historical Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Literary Middle Grade, Magical Realism, Narrative Nonfiction, Social Issues, Speculative Fiction, Suspense, True Crime, Upmarket Women's Fiction
"Most generally, I focus on adult literary fiction, narrative non-fiction, middle grade, and young adult fiction. Across all genres and ages, I’ll always be interested in the darker and weirder side of the human condition as well as previously under- or misrepresented experiences and voices.
"In children's fiction, I love the idea of finding a new middle grade classic that I wished I had as a child to guide me through complicated feelings or take me to faraway lands. I'm also looking for contemporary and speculative young adult novels that use genre tropes and form to create an emotional space to work through issues in a new way. In MG and YA, I'm open to every genre – from magical realism to horror to high fantasy to sci-fi – as long as the focus is on the characters’ personal growth and relationships, with an emphasis on creating wonder and building empathy.
"Queries with the following topics will always get a closer look: cultural constructs, female friendship, mental health, cults, weird history, abductions, the Reformation, monsters, the sea, Space, Russia, twins, witches, lies we tell ourselves, and magic in our world or those imagined."
From her Bio:
"She is interested in vivid literary fiction, transportive historical fiction, up-market women's fiction, cohesive short story collections, high-concept young adult, and middle grade and children's with heart and humor.  Most importantly, she hooked by fiction with emotional resonance and longevity, and in her opinion, this requires an authentic and fresh voice, relatable characters, and a twisting plot that keeps her intrigued.  For non-fiction, she is looking for narrative non-fiction, pressing cultural issues, memoir with distinct voice, and narrative science and history." (via e-mail when Casey first spotlighted her)
What She Isn't Looking For:
Adult high fantasy, straight science fiction, paranormal, how-to, self help, poetry, western, business, investment, mind, body, spirit, professional, reference, spirituality, inspiration, dramatic works. (Link, Link)
"In children’s fiction, I love the idea of finding a new middle grade classic that I wished I had as a child to guide me through complicated feelings or take me to faraway lands. I’m also looking for contemporary and speculative young adult novels that use genre tropes and form to create an emotional space to work through issues in a new way. In MG and YA, I’m open to every genre—from magical realism to horror to high fantasy to sci-fi—as long as the focus is on the characters’ personal growth and relationships, with an emphasis on creating wonder and building empathy." (Link)
Her Advice to Writers:
"Read and write every single day, and be evangelical about what you’re reading and loving. No amount of marketing or publicity dollars will ever trump the power of word-of-mouth, and sharing the emotional experience is why we’re all here." (Link-defunct)
There are a lot of great pet peeves in Ms. Grimm's interview The Guide To Literary Agents Blog.
Editorial Agent?
“I am an editorial agent, so I’ve been known to go several rounds of edits with a project if it warrants it. In this marketplace, editorial board meetings are especially competitive, so you have to arm editors with a manuscript that is polished. The bar is high, and we should strive to pass it, not just submit something that is ‘good enough.’” (Link--defunct)
Recent representative children’s clients with 2019/2020 books are Rebecca Balcárcel, Sarah Baughman, Jenn Bishop, McKelle George, Stacy Hackney, Kaela Noel, Nicole Panteleakos, and Karah Sutton.
Query Methods:
E-mail: Yes (preferred).  
Snail-Mail: No.
Online-Form: No.
Submission Guidelines (always verify):
E-mail your query with the word "Query" and the agent's full name in the subject line. Include the first chapter in the body of the e-mail. No attachments. Query only one agent at a time at the agency. (Link)
Response Times: 
Ms. Grimm only response if interested.
What's the Buzz?
Don Congdon Associates is a highly respected agency and Ms. Grimm has the benefit of her colleagues' years of experience and guidance. She is a member of the AAR, as are all the agents at Don Congdon Associates, and is actively developing a children's list for the agency.  She's been extremely warm and helpful in my dealings with her.
Worth Your Time:
Query.Sign.Submit With Katie Grimm at I Write for Apples (04/2014)7 Questions For: Literary Agent Katie Grimm at Middle Grade Ninja (11/2010).
Agent Advice Interview with Katie Grimm of Don Congdon Associates at the Guide to Literary Agents blog (12/2009).
Around the Web:
March Agent of the Month: Katie Grimm Part 1 and Part 2 at Writing and Illustrating (03/2020)
Agents Like Us: Katie Grimm at Valerie Cole Reads (09/2013)
Please see the agency submission page for contact and query information.
Profile Details:
Last updated: 5/6/2020.
Agent Contacted For Review? Yes.
Last Reviewed By Agent? 5/7/2020.
Have any experience with this agent? See something that needs updating? Please leave a comment or e-mail me at natalieiaguirre7(at)gmail(dot)com

Note: These agent profiles presently focus on agents who accept children's fiction. They are not interviews. Please take the time to verify anything you might use here before querying an agent. The information found herein is subject to change.


Thermocline said...

Thanks for this Spotlight, Casey. Katie was on my list of agents to learn more about.

Beth said...

What a great spotlight, Casey. I love what she says about characters and stories that gnaw at her weeks later. I'll keep that in mind as I write this week.

Janet Johnson said...

Your spotlights are always so thorough. Thanks!

Cambria Dillon said...

Thanks again for all your hard work Casey! (And does anyone else think it's a little odd that the agency doesn't have a website? Or is it just me?)

Natalie Aguirre said...

Great post. Too bad she doesn't like fantasy that much.

Elena Patrick said...

What a coincidence--I researched Katie Grimm just yesterday. Of course, I haven't found even half of the things you mention. Thank you, Casey.

Lisa Nowak said...

It's amazing that you manage to scrape up so much information on people who are hard to find facts about.

Martina Boone said...

Another fantastic profile, Casey! Thanks so much for all this hard work!


Laura Pauling said...

Thanks Casey! You're the best.

Ammie said...

Another great profile. Thanks!!!!

Ryan said...

Ms. Grimm was the first agent to request a full manuscript from me. She ultimately chose to pass on it, but she was very timely (about five weeks) and gave me the most thorough and thoughtful -- not to mention professional -- rundown of my book that I've gotten to date. No "I'm passing because this doesn't fit with my list" from her.

Well worth your time, I imagine she would be a fantastic agent if you can land her.

B Jas said...

Fabulous blog --- LOVE the agent spotlight. Thanks Casey!

Julie Musil said...

Thanks so much for the information!

Casey McCormick said...

Thanks so much, everyone!

Ms. Grimm has reviewed her profile and made a few updates.

Gabrielle Carolina said...

She sounds so much like me! What she loves in a book, what she's looking for in a story, how she wants it to become a part of her, or change her. Wow. She sounds like a dream agent, for sure!

Melanie Stanford said...

I've just been on her twitter, and she has a link to Don Congdon's website: http://doncongdon.com/index.shtml

Also, their submission bit says to include the full name of the agent, because there are two Katie's who agent there! So putting "Query for Katie" isn't gonna cut it!