Upcoming Agent Spotlight Interviews & Guest Posts

  • Caroline Trussell Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 5/20/2024
  • Jenna Satterthwaite Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 6/10/2024
  • Bethany Weaver Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 6/26/2024

Agent Spotlight & Agent Spotlight Updates

  • Agent Spotlights & Interviews have been updated through the letter "K" as of 3/28/2024 and many have been reviewed by the agents. Look for more information as I find the time to update more agent spotlights.


Today I’m thrilled to have agent Elizabeth Bewley here. She is a literary agent at Sterling Lord Literistic.

FYI, I’m taking over the agent spotlights from Casey. I will be providing all the same information we’ve shared in the past in an interview format. In addition, one lucky person commenting will win a query critique from the agent being interviewed.

Status: Open to submissions.

Hi Elizabeth! Thanks so much for joining us.

About Elizabeth:

1. Tell us how you became an agent, how long you’ve been one, and what you’ve been doing as an agent. 

I joined SLL in 2017 after 15 years of being an editor. My first six months as an agent were a thrill. I signed on new clients and help to shape projects that I hope to sell in 2018. I’m currently focused on middle-grade and YA fiction, but I hope to add more nonfiction to my list soon.

About the Agency:

2. Share a bit about your agency and what it offers to its authors. 

Our official company bio is below, but I’d also like to add that, as an editor, I always considered SLL to be one of the top-notch agencies in town. When editors get a submission from an SLL agent, it’s considered a priority project. As I decided to make the switch from being an editor to being an agent, I knew that I wanted to work somewhere with a trusted and established reputation.
And now, an official description!... Sterling Lord Literistic is defined by its rich heritage as well as the energy and commitment of agents who are passionate about the writers they represent. One of the most dynamic independent agencies in New York, Sterling Lord Literistic combines a long tradition of literary excellence with a diverse and successful client list unparalleled in the industry. We represent a wide range of authors, including National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize winners, New York Times bestsellers, literary and commercial novelists, politicians, journalists, scientists, and noted writers in children’s literature. The winning combination of established authors and newly emerging voices attests to the past achievement and future promise of the agency.

Sterling Lord Literistic has deep roots in the world of publishing. In 1952, Sterling Lord founded his distinguished agency and counted such literary icons as Jack Kerouac and Ken Kesey among his early clients. Peter Matson established his firm Literistic in 1979 and rose to prominence representing such writers as Dee Brown and John Irving. In 1987, the two joined forces creating the prestigious agency that continues to flourish today. With its sustained presence and impeccable reputation in the publishing industry, as well as its innovative approach to capitalizing on trends in today’s marketplace, Sterling Lord Literistic is equipped to represent every aspect of an author’s professional life. Our offices are located in the landmark U.S. Realty Building at 115 Broadway between Thames and Cedar Streets.

What She’s Looking For:

3. What age groups do you represent—picture books, MG, and/or YA? What genres do you represent and what are you looking for in submissions for these genres? 

I focus on YA and MG fiction and narrative nonfiction. I gravitate towards contemporary realistic fiction, relationship stories, novels about complicated family dynamics, and unusual narrative voices. I would also be excited to represent memoirs geared towards MG and YA readers.

Update 12/31/2022:

Elizabeth’s current submission wish list includes high-concept young adult novels, especially from underrepresented voices, accessible middle grade novels that will foster a love of reading (think: fun, funny, or both!), young adult romance, high-concept adult love stories similar to One Day by David Nicholls, and any upmarket commercial fiction with a witty voice and eye for detail. She also loves working with clients who are boldly creating positive change in our world. (From the agency website)   

4. Is there anything you would be especially excited to seeing in the genres you are interested in? 

Bold, uninhibited voices; stories that capture the feeling of being a teenager on the brink of adulthood; narratives that illuminate and humanize current events.

What She Isn’t Looking For:

5. What types of submissions are you not interested in? 

Horror, high-fantasy, picture book manuscripts, detective stories, graphic novels.

Agent Philosophy:

6. What is your philosophy as an agent both in terms of the authors you want to work with and the books you want to represent? 

As a reader and as an agent, I love finding authors who write well and write often! There is nothing better than discovering with an author who has a body of work to enjoy. So, as an agent, I’m looking for long-term relationships with writers who want to write many books. I focus on open communication with clients and with publishing partners. As a former editor, I know firsthand all of the hard work and decisions that go into a book’s publication, and I will happily walk clients through each and every stage of the process.

Editorial Agent:

7. Are you an editorial agent? If so, what is your process like when you’re working with your authors before submitting to editors? 

Yes, I’m definitely an editorial agent. My clients can expect early feedback from me on their manuscripts. Every project is different, but I typically send editorial letters and then follow-up with phone chats.

Query Methods and Submission Guidelines: (Always verify before submitting)

8. How should authors query you and what do you want to see with the query letter? 

Please email me with your query + the first 10 pages of your manuscript pasted into the body of the email. In your query letter, please tell me a little bit about yourself and your book. If you have a sense of your ideal reader/audience, that can be helpful to know, too.

9. Do you have any specific dislikes in query letters or the first pages submitted to you?

Not that I can think of!

Response Time:

10. What’s your response time to queries and requests for more pages of a manuscript? 

I try to respond within a month; faster when I can.

Self-Published and Small Press Authors:

11. Are you open to representing authors who have self-published or been published by smaller presses? What advice do you have for them if they want to try to find an agent to represent them? 

Yes, I’m open to hearing from any authors. Self-published folks often have great marketing and business ideas, which interests me very much.

12. With all the changes in publishing—self-publishing, hybrid authors, more small publishers—do you see the role of agents changing at all? Why? 

I think that authors are usually best served by engaging a reputable representative who has a knowledge of how publishers work. The changes are exciting and have opened doors for a lot of writers. In my mind, there’s more opportunities for smart agents to explore.


13. Who are some of the authors you represent? 

I am proud to represent Linda Williams Jackson, Roland Smith, Joan Bauer, Shana Youngdahl, Cherish Smith, Melissa Cabrera, Elizabeth Penney. As an editor, I had the pleasure of working with Jennifer E. Smith, Estelle Laure, Claire LaZebnik, Linda Williams Jackson, Ashley Herring Blake, Sophie Flack, Kass Morgan, Josh Sundquist, Alyson Noël, and Nic Sheff, amongst others.

Interviews and Guest Posts:

14. Please share the links to any interviews and guest posts you think would be helpful to writers interested in querying you.

Update 12/31/2022:

Manuscript Wishlist
Interview with Amy Trueblood Author (03/2019)

Links and Contact Info:

15. Please share how writers should contact you to submit a query and your links on the Web. 

Writers can email me at ebewley@sll.com. Our website is www.sll.com. You can find me on Twitter @elizbewley. I’ll look forward to hearing from your readers!

Thanks for sharing all your advice, Elizabeth.

Elizabeth is generously offering a query critique to one lucky winner. To enter, all you need to do is be a follower (just click the follower button if you're not a follower) and leave a comment through January 27th. If your e-mail is not on your Google Profile, you must leave it in the comments to enter either contest. If you do not want to enter the contest, that's okay. Just let me know in the comments.

If you mention this contest on Twitter, Facebook, or your blog, mention this in the comments and I'll give you an extra entry. This is an international giveaway.

Last Updated: 12/31/22.
Agent Contacted for Review? Yes
Last Reviewed By Agent? N/A.

Have any experience with this agent? See something that needs updating? Please leave a comment or e-mail me at natalieiaguirre7@gmail.com

Note: These agent profiles and interviews presently focus on agents who accept children's fiction. Please take the time to verify anything you might use here before querying an agent. The information found here is subject to change.


Unknown said...

Thanks for the informative interview! I would like to enter the contest: bryna.podwoiski@cyclebar.com. Thanks!

Michelle Mason said...

Great interview! It's always helpful to hear directly from agents, especially a newer agent like Elizabeth. Thanks for sharing!

Snuffalupagus said...

Great comments on voice and character development - very helpful!

Julie Abe said...

It's great to hear the perspective of an editor that was an agent. Thank you Elizabeth and Natalie!

Shelly Steig said...

Editorial agents are the best and Elizabeth brings a wealth of experience!Thanks for the interview!

BranwenOShea said...

Great interview. Thanks. Elizabeth, you open to science fiction or fantasy that's not high fantasy?

zellarelli said...

Thanks for another great interview. Count me in for the contest.

Anonymous said...

PB query ready. lellington @ ncrl.org
Thanks much.

Shelly Steig said...

My email address is: TheWritePhrase@gmail.com

nikkirae said...

Thank you so much for the info you shared. It's very helpful. The contest is awesome. Thanks for the chance!


Unknown said...

Thanks for a great interview! I'd love to be considered for a query critique.

Unknown said...

Love these interviews- Adding Elizabeth to my list. -this is really one of my favorite sites!

Unknown said...

I also retweeted you. Thanks!

Natalie Aguirre said...

I'm guessing that she is open to that since it's not on her list of what's she's not looking for.

Unknown said...


Angela said...

Lovely interview! Always excited about critique opportunities. :)

S.P. Bowers said...

Another great interview, thanks for helping us get to know this agent and agency.

K.L. Baxton said...

Nice interview. I'd love to get a critique. kbaxton@yahoo.com

Kitty said...

I would dearly love a critique for my middle-grade novel. It's about two adventurous cousins who are inspired by a magical encounter to save the world – one firefly at a time. SusanCountAuthor@yahoo.com
I will share on twitter.

Angie Quantrell said...

Great interview! Thanks for the insights! I write picture books, so I'm not sure if a query critique would be available for that genre. But if so, I'd love to enter. Otherwise, well done. :) angelecolline(a)yahoo(dot)com.

Unknown said...

Excellent interview. Ms. Bewley clearly has much to offer her clients in the way of editorial collaboration, as well as her desire to grow their long-term careers. I'd love the chance to have her critique my query: kparkerrichmond@gmail.com

Cynthia K said...

Thanks for another great interview. Always so enlightening! I would like to be considered for the query critique; thanks for the chance.

Sherry Ellis said...

Great, comprehensive interview! It's always interesting to learn about what agents are looking for. Ms. Bewley sounds like a terrific agent!

MeganC said...

Great interview, Natalie! Ms. Bewley sounds like a fantastic agent. I would love to be considered for the query critique. Thanks!

Elizabeth Seckman said...

Excellent interview. It's good to hear that small press and self-pub is acceptable. I must say, it has taught me to appreciate just how hard the business of writing is.

Unknown said...

Thanks for sharing your insight, Elizabeth! Dana Edwards Danaedwards15@gmail.com

Melissa said...

Very informative. I would love the opportunity to win a query critique. Thanks! melissamenten(at)gmail (dot) com

lsawicki@comcast.net said...

Great interview, Natalie! Thanks for sharing. lsawicki@comcast.net

lsawicki@comcast.net said...

Great interview, Natalie! Thanks for sharing. lsawicki@comcast.net

Unknown said...

I can't believe I haven't heard about this agency yet! Just checked out the website and it looks like the co-chairman represented Ken Kesey and Jack Kerouac! Even as a newer agent, I bet having that kind of experience to draw from is invaluable! Thanks for introducing her here. I've followed her on Twitter, where I've also mentioned this interview and query giveaway (@kaylen_wade.) Thank you!

Melanie Meehan said...

Would love to win a query critique. Thanks for sharing the information!

Unknown said...

Thank you so much for your generosity. I would like to enter the contest. Janice.Lipsky@gmail.com. Thank you.

Unknown said...

Another great interview! Very informative!

Shannon Balloon said...

I enjoyed this interview very much and would like to enter. thanks! Shannon.balloon@gmail.com

Cipher said...

Great interview, thanks!!

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

What a great and thorough interview. I would love the opportunity to be entered in the contest. Thank you!

Lyla said...

Always a fan of these interviews--thank you for hosting them, and to Elizabeth for participating! lylalawless [at] gmail [dot] com

Louisa Cameron said...

Loved this interview! Can't wait to read the book! Please enter me in the contest: louisacameron@telus.net