LUCY CLELAND

Lucy smiles and leans against a brick wall, arms crossed.

Lucy Cleland is a literary agent at Kneerim & Williams, representing idea-driven and narrative nonfiction of all stripes (history, social science, psychology, philosophy, reportage, etc.) as well as upmarket fiction, historical fiction, and select children’s/YA projects. Originally from Atlanta, Lucy joined the agency in 2013 after graduating from Wellesley College. At Kneerim & Williams, she works with a range of writers, from scholars to debut novelists, and has sold books to trade and academic publishing houses including Farrar, Straus & Giroux, W.W. Norton, Random House, Chronicle, Grand Central Publishing, HarperCollins, Sourcebooks, and University of North Carolina Press. Her taste is eclectic—little “c” catholic. Whatever the category, she is looking for authors with sharp opinions who embrace bold concepts and write lucid, textured prose. She’s drawn to unconventional and untold stories, the lives of creatives and rebels, and questions about identity and inheritance.

WHAT I'M LOOKING FOR

I'm always on the lookout for great narrative nonfiction--be it personal narrative, cultural criticism, or memoir. I'm drawn in by stories and experiences that make me curious, and I love it when personal narrative opens up a world, subculture, or field of expertise that the reader wouldn't otherwise get to explore. I'm always on the lookout for authors with a bold perspective, who know how to use their voice to investigate bigger questions and make readers think.

In fiction, I'm looking for commercial/literary/upmarket fiction and historical fiction that feels urgent and alive in our present moment. In historical fiction, I love a nerdy-level of granular detail and unconventional heroes; I'd love to see more non-Western settings, diverse leads, and LGBTQ stories for this shelf in particular. In commercial/literary/upmarket fiction, I'm drawn to a strong hook, particularly edgy or speculative concepts or themes that tug at big moral or human questions. Across the board in fiction, I'm looking for a confident storyteller with an instinct for how to get their readers hooked and keep them turning the pages.

SAMPLE TITLES OR AUTHORS

Midnight's Borders: A People's History of India, Suchitra Vijayan

Neon Girls: A Stripper's Education in Protests and Power, Jennifer Worley

The Engineer's Wife, Tracey Enerson Wood

Specializes In

FICTION: Commercial Fiction, Historical Fiction, Upmarket Women's Fiction

NONFICTION: Cultural/Social Issues, Current Affairs, History, Memoir, Multi-Cultural, Narrative, Psychology, Science

Considers

FICTION: Family Saga, GLBT, Graphic Novels, Literary Fiction

NONFICTION: Adventure/True Story, Food & Lifestyle, GLBT, Juvenile, Nature/Ecology, Politics, Pop Culture, Religion, Spirituality, Travel, True Crime