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Agent Spotlight: Kevan Lyon

This week's Agent Spotlight features Kevan Lyon of the Marsal Lyon Literary Agency, LLC.

Status: Open to submissions.

kevan_lyonAbout: “Kevan Lyon is a founding partner of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency. With over 20 years in the publishing business, including over 8 years as a literary agent and 17+ years on the wholesale, retail and distribution side of the business, Kevan brings an informed and unique perspective to her work with clients. Her background on the buying and retail side of publishing affords her helpful insight into what types of books will sell and how to market them. Kevan holds an MBA from the Anderson School of Management at UCLA.

“Kevan handles women’s fiction, with an emphasis on commercial women’s fiction, young adult fiction and all genres of romance. Kevan works with her authors to help them realize their dreams of being published and to build a long term career as a writer. The Marsal Lyon Literary Agency strives to partner with their clients on all phases of the publishing path. Authors on Kevan’s list span a broad range of genres in women’s fiction including historical fiction, mystery, literary, commercial fiction and all genres of romance. She loves to be surprised by a unique plot or characters and is always looking for a new, fresh voice or approach. A few of Kevan’s recent and soon to be published books include SCORCHED by USA Today Bestselling author Laura Griffin (Pocket Books); PUSHING THE LIMITS by Katie McGarry (Harlequin Teen); LIFE’S A WITCH by Brittany Geragotelis (Simon & Schuster); BEACH COLORS by Shelley Noble (Morrow); THE CHIEFTAIN by Margaret Mallory (Grand Central Publishing) and HEMINGWAY’S GIRL by Erika Robuck (NAL).

“She is also interested in non-fiction, representing authors in the areas of current events, narrative, memoir, environment, parenting and pets/animals. With non-fiction projects she looks for topics that she is passionate about or that speak to issues of particular concern to women and families.” (Link)

About the Agency:

“Our Agency’s mission is to help writers achieve their publishing dreams. We want to work with authors not just for a book but for a career – we are dedicated to building long-term relationships with our authors and publishing partners. Our goal is to help find homes for books that engage, entertain, and make a difference. From conception, through a collaborative and engaged editorial process, to finding a publisher and beyond, we partner with our authors to ensure success in finding the right publisher and long term success on the market.” (Link)

Web Presence:

Marsal Lyon website.

Publisher’s Marketplace page.

Agency Facebook.

Twitter @KevanLyon.

AgentQuery, QueryTracker.

What She's Looking For:


Fiction: Women’s, young adult, and all genres of romance.

Non-Fiction: Current events, narrative, memoir, environment, parenting, and pets/animals. (Link)

From an Interview (5/2011):

“I represent all types of women’s fiction, some non-fiction and young adult fiction. In the broad women’s fiction category I represent commercial women’s fiction both contemporary and historical, mystery and suspense, and all genres of romance. The only exception is I don’t do much in the Science Fiction or inspirational categories. I am always looking for fresh stories with a great voice that really draws the reader into the characters’ world and the story – both in women’s and young adult fiction. I am particularly looking to build my young adult author list as well as women’s commercial fiction.” (Link)

What She Isn't Looking For:

“I generally tend to stay away from Science fiction, or fantasy based fiction, although I do represent several terrific paranormal authors and love reading their work.” (Link)

Editorial Agent?

“I do provide editorial feedback which varies significantly by author.  In some cases the feedback is broad – i.e. need to make a particular character more empathetic, and in other cases it is paragraph by paragraph feedback on something that I believe needs to be tweaked.” (Link)


There is a list of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency clients on the website.

Ms. Lyon’s clients include:

Jennifer L. Armentrout, Tracy Bilen, Valerie Bowman, Evangeline Collins, Stuart Coleman, Brittany Geragotelis, Laura Griffin, David Helvarg, Cayla Kluver, Margaret Mallory, Katie McGarry, Shelley Noble, Erika Robuck, among others.  

Query Methods:

E-mail: Yes (preferred).

Snail-Mail: Yes.

Online-Form: No.

Submission Guidelines (always verify):

E-mail: Send a query with the word “Query” in the subject line.

Snail-mail: Send a query letter, 1 page synopsis, and the first ten pages.  For non-fiction, send a query or query and complete proposal.

See the Marsal Lyon Literary Agency website for complete, up-to-date submission guidelines.

Query Tips:

See Ms. Lyon’s Twitter feed and the interviews linked below for tips.

Response Times:

The agency’s stated response time is 1-4 weeks for queries and 4-8 weeks for sample pages and manuscripts. (Link)

Stats on the web show Ms. Lyon (or her assistant) responding to most queries within days to a couple weeks. Requested material has a response range of days to a couple months.

What's the Buzz?

Kevan Lyon co-founded the Marsal Lyon Literary Agency four years ago after several years with the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency and numerous in the wholesale, distribution and retail side of publishing. She is a respected literary agent with a successful client list.

I recommend following on her Twitter @KevanLyon where she often tweets submission tips and client news.

Worth Your Time:


Interview with Agent Kevan Lyon at Five Scribes (1/2012).

Interview with Super Literary Agent, Kevan Lyon at YA Fusion (5/2011).

Interview with Literary Agent, Kevan Lyon at Words of Inspiration (9/2010).

An Interview with Agent Kevan Lyon at Blame it on the Muse (9/2010).

Interview with Kevan Lyon of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency at Much Cheaper than Therapy (3/2009).

Chatting With... Agent Kevan Lyon of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency at Cindy Procter-King’s site (2/2009).

Interview w/ Agent Kevan Lyon at editors, agents and blogs, oh my! (12/2008).

Around the Web:

Kevan Lyon at P&E.

Marsal Lyon Literary Agency at P&E.

Marsal Lyon Literary Agency thread at AbsoluteWrite (2009 – Present). 

An Interview with Tracy Bilen - A QueryTracker Success Story (8/2012).

The Elusive Author-Agent Relationship, twitter chat transcript featuring Kevan Lyon and Laura Griffin at Book Country (1/2012).

What Agents Want, a Conversation with Kevan Lyon at Sexy Grammar (6/2010).

Agent Day: Insight from Kevan Lyon at Ingrid’s Notes (5/2010).

Advice From Literary Agent Kevan Lyon at Jean Oram’s site (1/2010).

Guest Blogger: Kevan Lyon of the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency at Magical Musings (2/2008).


Please see the Marsal Lyon Literary Agency website for contact and query information.

Profile Details:

Last updated: 3/7/13.

Last Reviewed By Agent? 3/9/13.


Have any experience with this agent? See something that needs updating? Please leave a comment or e-mail me at agentspotlight(at)gmail(dot)com

Note: These profiles feature agents who accept children's and/or young adult 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.


  1. Another great agent spotlight! What an awesome feature on your blog.

  2. Another wonderful agent spotlight. Thanks Casey.

  3. What a thorough share! I have an agent, so I'm not looking for one, but I enjoy reading your "spotlights" and I feel your site is doing such a great service for writers looking for an agent.

  4. Awesome post! Thank you for sharing. <3 I wish I could write. Also, Kevan seems like an awesome agent :)
    Thank you for commenting on my WoW. <3
    Love, Carina @ Carina's Books

  5. This is great for those trying to get an agent! I love that you offer these posts. :)

  6. I wish Kevan Lyon represented middle grade. I'll keep her in mind when my YA is polished. Thank you.