Featured Agent: Quressa Robinson of Nelson Literary
I’ve been an avid reader as long as I can remember. My oldest grudge stems from third grade, when the librarian’s daughter beat me out of a first-place gold medal in the summer reading challenge by two books. I was robbed! Needless to say, my competitiveness and love for books are a great match for my chosen profession. Despite originally wanting to become a pediatrician, and then a biochemist, I quickly discovered that math was my greatest nemesis and that there was an industry I could join completely devoted to books. Thus began my journey into publishing, first by getting an MFA in Creative Writing from Columbia, and then by spending five years as an editor, mostly at a Big Five publisher. I joined NLA in September 2017 after spending close to a year at another agency.
I’m originally from San Francisco, but have been living in New York City for over a decade. I’m a West Coast New Yorker! I still say hella! As a New York based agent, I’m eager to build my YA and Adult lists. When I find a great book I get very invested. I fall in love. The characters begin to feel real and familiar. The story becomes a treasured member of my family (and library). It owns my heart. I have very eclectic tastes and represent a wide range of genres. I am most drawn to literary voices in commercial packages, wonderfully realized characters, untold stories from underrepresented communities, immersive world building, and complex narrative approaches/plots. Also, I am most drawn to character-driven stories and love strong voice as well. I am a huge romantic and don’t mind romance subplots outside of the romance genre.
When not curled on my couch reading, I play video games, enjoy too much TV—mostly Sailor Moon and Harry Potter (Slytherin!)—eat delicious things, drink champagne, hang out with my very clever husband, and add another “dramatic” color to my lipstick collection. So, give me stories that will make me geek out. If you can make me have an epic fangirl squee—have stories featuring fairies and warrior princesses with afros and rainbow dreads or envision winter elves inspired by an Asian or Latinx culture—then we are definitely a match. I’m also looking for stories with best friends like Molly and Issa on Insecure, enemies to lovers, coming-of-age stories, The Breakfast Club with a twist, family drama, witches (!), and alpha heroes paired with witty heroines. If you have bold, fresh, or quirky stories, they will be right up my alley. I’m also looking for stories that feel timeless and timely, despite the current climate or when they were originally written. I’m a huge re-reader. Or give me something I didn’t know I desperately needed. Above all, give me stories I can become deeply passionate about.
For more information on what I’m looking for, check out the submission guidelines http://nelsonagency.com/submission-guidelines/