Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Jen Newens of Martin Literary Management

Jen Newens is a Senior Literary Agent at Martin Literary Management.

She specializes in kidlit (many kinds, including graphic novels), as well as food & drink books for adults.

At different phases of her publishing career, Jen has been an author, editor, and publisher, giving her experience in all sides of the business. She comes to us after a seven-year stint as publishing director at West Margin Press, an Ingram Content Group company. There, she acquired a wide range of different genres, but holds a special place in her heart for young people’s literature. She began to acquire graphic novels in 2019 and sees it as an exciting and burgeoning way to tell children’s stories.

A subject matter expert in food and drink titles, Jen spent two decades as a cookbook editor and writer (she even went to culinary school!). She’s experienced in working with celebrity chefs, business owners, cooking brands, and food bloggers, as well as accomplished home cooks.

In her role as Senior Literary Manager, Jen applies her 360-view of the publishing business to MLM, seeking out fresh, original voices and developing exciting new talent. On the children’s side, Jen is interested in picture books with sharp writing and compelling messages; MG/YA stories that resonate with the challenges faced by today’s youth; and graphic novels with quirky narration and original art. In the food and drink space, Jen is keen to find original takes on popular topics, books that reveal a riveting personal story, and books with a health and wellness slant.

The following are on Jen’s current wishlist, but she’s always open to hearing new ideas:

  • Childrens/MG/YA/Graphic Novels
  • Books that portray historically excluded voices, disability, neurodivergent characters, LGBTQ topics
  • Regional books with national crossover potential
  • Author/illustrators with strong storytelling skills and a clear vision
  • Children’s activity books
  • Quirky and humorous stories
  • Cat content (she’s crazy for cats)

In Adult Nonfiction, she seeks:

  • Cooking
  • New takes on current trends
  • Chef books (especially underrepresented groups)
  • Weeknight Cooking
  • Food Bloggers with Unique Stories
  • Drinks (mocktails and the NA lifestyle; fresh takes on wine and cocktails)
  • Health, Wellness, Diet, and Chronic Illness
  • Lifestyle topics
  • Self-help

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Shari Maurer of The Stringer Literary Agency

Shari Maurer is a literary agent with The Stringer Literary Agency.

Shari graduated from Duke University with a degree in English, and later studied Dramatic Writing at NYU. Following a stint at The Children’s Television Workshop on international productions of Sesame Street, she published both novels and nonfiction, and worked as a writer and editor. Shari has also written Parenting & Lifestyle columns for several websites. A mother of three, she lives in New York with her husband.

In fiction, she seeks:

  • Picture Books
  • Middle Grade: Contemporary, Historical, Literary and Mystery
  • YA: Contemporary, Historical, Literary, Mystery

In nonfiction, she seeks:

  • Juvenile (YA and Middle Grade)
  • Memoir
  • Narrative
  • Parenting
  • Popular Science