Representing books with charisma for adults, teens and children

Representing books with charisma for adults, teens and children

Representing books with charisma for adults, teens and children

Areas of interest and query guidelines

Representing books with charisma for adults, teens and children. Areas of interests are:

  • Narrative nonfiction memoir/biography about extraordinary people and experiences, obsessions, travel, history, home & lifestyle, New York, Americana, pop culture, music and the arts. Not interested in essay collections (I don't know anyone who reads them), topics in medicine, health, psychology, science, technology, finance, business, politics, religion/spirituality, stories of abuse or victimhood, accidents, sports, pets, cooking, food or true crime.

Three Lives Bookstore
  • Multicultural and international fiction that's relatable to American readers

  • Mysteries, thrillers, suspense novels with likable heroes or anti-heroes that are satisfying but not predictable. No serial killers or gruesome description.

  • Mainstream fiction, excluding category romance, sci-fi, fantasy, horror, religious/spiritual fiction, gratuitous sex and violence or the sentimental. Accidents or medical diagnoses as inciting incidents show a lack of imagination.

  • Historical fiction rendered in contemporary styles (no Faulkner imitations)

  • Literary novels

  • Short story and poetry collections with popular appeal

NOTE: Not interested in any fiction with academics as protagonists. I'm looking for characters and situations that are relatable for readers.

  • Children's and teen multicultural fiction, mysteries & thrillers, historical fiction, animal stories, fantasy grounded in reality, narrative and informative nonfiction for the trade market. Note to picture book writers: Will only consider writers who have at least three complete manuscripts that have been critiqued in workshops.

See favorite books in all categories on Goodreads.

Query Guidelines

Please send one- to two-paragraph synopsis and description of your background. Email queries 24/7 to literary agent Debbie Carter,, with no attachments. In the subject line of your email write Q: followed by a description of your book. Unsolicited manuscripts will be discarded.  Multiple submissions ok.

NOTE:  If I don’t respond within two weeks, please try again.


Submits to publishers large and small. One-year contract offered when writer and agent agree that the manuscript is ready for submission. Commission is standard 15% domestic, 20% foreign and subrights. No reading or editorial fees.  All expenses (postage and photocopying, if any) are pre-approved by client. Although not a member of the AAR, the agency follows AAR recommended business practices.

Listed in the Literary Market Place and Writers' & Artists' Yearbook.

Please see Areas of Interest before sending queries to

Associations: AWP, The Authors Guild, BIO, Historical Novel Society, International Thriller Writers and Women in Music

Prior to starting her agency in 1998, Ms. Carter trained with an AAR agent and worked in the music business in A&R and artist management.  She holds a BA in English and music from College of Arts and Sciences, NYU.

Recent conferences

August 28, 2015, 2:30 pm to 5:00 pm. One-on-one appointments with writers at the American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA) conference, National Press Club, Washington, DC

May 27-29, 2015  BookExpoAmerica, NYC

April 30, 2015, 2:30 pm to 5:30 pm.  One-on-one appointments with writers at the American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA) annual writers conference, NYC's Roosevelt Hotel

April 25, 2015, 10:00 am to 12:00 pm. CLMP Bingle, a networking mingle with bagels at CLMP's offices. Kick-off to Lit Mag Marathon Weekend.

December 4, 2014  Winter Networking Session,  Lubin School of Business and Arts & Entertainment Industry Network, Pace University, NYC

Ms. Carter attends conferences to discover new writers and manuscripts. She has received honorariums for teaching workshops but was never paid for appointments, although writers may have been charged fees by the conferences.

Contact info

Debbie Carter, Literary Agent
Waverly Place Literary Agency
189 Waverly Place, #4
New York, NY  10014-3135

(212) 925-3721

Follow @WaverlyPlaceLit

Rachel Levy Lesser

Rachel Levy Lesser, a journalist and PR specialist in Newtown, PA, has written a series of memoirs about the women in her family and their passionate interests. Shopping for Love, about shopping trips in Philadelphia and NYC, begins with a trip with her grandmother Madee for a consecration dress when Rachel is five years old. Rachel inherited the shopping gene from Madee, Aunt Jo and her mother.

They shopped for many years and many reasons, just because, to be together, to find the perfect dress for some occasion or for fun. Then, when Rachel is in her early 20s, her mother is diagnosed with cancer. A spirited woman driven by a love of family, Rachel’s mother lives a full and happy life for another six years and the shopping continues, through Rachel's grad school years in Michigan, her life in NYC at a dream job with Time-Life magazines and, when she becomes engaged, for a wedding dress at Vera Wang. Later, when Rachel and her husband buy a home outside of Philadelphia to be near her parents, shopping for furniture and clothes for a new baby gives them hope for the future. 

     Follow-up books about Rachel’s other adventures with family and friends are in the works.

     See Rachel's appearance on NBC10! Philadelphia at this link.

Who's Going to Watch My Kids? (Turning Stone Press, 2015) is a lively account of Rachel's experience with nannies and the true stories of 15 other working moms in finding, keeping and saying goodbye to their nannies. Listen to Rachel's appearance on the Marilu Henner show June 15, 2105 here (cue to 13:20 to 23:10 and, after a commercial break, 28:10 to 37:06).

Anne Shelby

Anne Shelby's story collection for children, The Adventures of Molly Whuppie and Other Appalachian Folktales (ages 8-12) won an Aesop Accolade from the American Folktale Society and a Delaware Diamond, awarded by students in grades 3-5. The project began with a grant from the Kentucky Foundation for Women, which called for Anne to develop her own stories from traditional Appalachian tales with girls and women as heroes.  She performs her stories at festivals, schools and libraries. A newly illustrated edition was just published China.

Hear Anne read "Molly Fiddler" on Soundcloud
Her Scholastic/Orchard picture books appear on recommended reading lists for Sesame Street Workshop, PBS Kids, Trumpet Book Club, as well school and libraries. Homeplace was a School Library Journal Best Book, Literary Guild selection and New York Public Library pick.  We Keep a Store was an American Bookseller Pick of the Lists.  The Man Who Lived in a Hollow Tree was published by Atheneum/S&S in spring '09.  What to Do About Pollution was published in Korea in 2012.

Molly Whuppie
Chinese edition
As a member of Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, she is an active campaigner.  She contributed to Missing Mountains, a collection of essays, fiction and poetry by authors from the Authors Mountaintop Removal Tour.

Anne holds a B.A. from St. Andrews Presbyterian College and an M.A. from University of Kentucky.  She teaches English at Eastern Kentuckian University.

Anne and Debbie met at Appalachian Writers Workshop in Hindman, KY in 2003.

Follow Anne Shelby on Facebook on her writer page.

Alison Stegert

Alison Stegert, an American ex-pat living in Australia, is the author of a contemporary middle grade novel about an American exchange student in China.  Originally from Maryland, Alison's travels began in high school as an AFS student in Italy at seventeen.  While at University of Pittsburgh, she went to Beijing on scholarship and graduated with a degree in political science, with minors in East Asian Studies and Mandarin Chinese.  She returned to Taiwan as an EFL teacher, where she met her future husband, an Australian.  She's a high school guidance counselor and mother to three teenage daughters. Follow her on Goodreads and Pinterest.