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
After eleven years in the West Village, Waverly Place Literary Agency has moved to Brooklyn to be closer to writing talent. Literary agent Debbie Carter will be attending book events for emerging writers (and readers) at indie bookstores and libraries in the area. If you're traveling to NYC for a writers' conference, it's worth adding a day to your itinerary for a visit to Brooklyn for a walk, lunch, and a trip to a bookstore. People here love to talk books.

Upcoming conferences

May 18, 2018,  American Society of Journalists & Authors (ASJA) Client Connections, one-on-one appointments with ASJA members, Sheraton NY Times Square

May 19, 2018, Biographers International Conference  (BIO) One-on-one appointments with agents at Leon Levy Center for Biography, Graduate Center, CUNY, 365 Fifth Avenue, NY

August 11, 2018, 10:15am-4:00pm, Writer's Digest Pitch SlamOne-on-one appointments with agents at New York Hilton Midtown

Contact info

Debbie Carter, Literary Agent
Waverly Place Literary Agency

(212) 925-3721
Queries accepted by email only, no attachments

Follow @WaverlyPlaceLit

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; topics in medicine, health, psychology, science, technology, finance, business, politics, religion/spirituality, stories of abuse or victimhood, accidents, feminist screed, 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 that's relevant to our lives today, rendered in a contemporary style

  • Literary novels with an emphasis on story, dramatic action and dialogue, set in the indefinite present

  • Short story and poetry collections with popular appeal

NOTE: Not interested in any fiction with academics as protagonists. Looking for characters and situations that are more 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.

Jefferson Market Library, Sixth Avenue


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

All submissions read by Debbie Carter, not by assistants or interns.

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.

A Book With Dinner

It’s not unusual for a woman to go out to dinner alone in New York, although there was a time when others thought it was.  A while ago at Billy’s, a checkered-tablecloth pub on First Avenue that closed soon after Mayor Bloomberg’s ban on smoking, a couple my parents’ age invited me to sit with them. “You must be lonely,” the wife said. “Would you like to join us?”

I thought this was sweet, but I wasn’t lonely and didn’t think I looked it. As I usually do, I was reading a book and sipping a glass of wine while waiting for my dinner. Years earlier I would meet my parents at Billy’s for dinner when they lived on nearby Beekman Place. That evening I’d taken the subway from my small apartment downtown for a night out. Billy’s was fun. Upscale yet welcoming. Upon arrival, the owner Joan, who was Billy’s great granddaughter, jumped up from her seat at the bar, leaving a cigarette, and took me to a table in the back of the paneled barroom. I always sat in the barroom, even though it was smoky. It was lively. Once an older man came in wearing a baseball cap and made a scene when Joan asked him to remove it; everyone in the room stared when he put up a fuss but he relented and hung it on a hook. We all understood the dress code for the neighborhood; he should have known better. I was also fond of the small talk and antics of the older East European waiters and waitresses who’d been there since they’d arrived in New York. Stacked plates of expensive steaks flew from their arms . . .

David A. Jasen

David A. Jasen, author of the first biography of P.G. Wodehouse and numerous books on American popular music, is seeking translation and subrights opportunities for his list. While serving in the Communication Arts Department at C.W. Post, which he founded, Jasen was entrusted with the collections of the Songwriter's Hall of Fame and the National Academy of Popular Music and established one of the largest collections of sheet music, recordings, piano rolls, books and periodicals in the world; he is looking for a buyer for his private collection. He also produced ragtime and early popular piano music for Smithsonian Folkways, (excerpts on iTunes here). For his part in the rebirth and recording of ragtime music he received one of Long Island University's highest honors, the Trustees Award for Scholarly Achievement.

P.G. Wodehouse: Portrait of a Master by David A. JasenP.G. Wodehouse: Portrait of a Master The first definitive biography of the creator of Bertie Wooster and his valet Jeeves. In the Introduction, Jasen writes of his first meeting with Wodehouse on Long Island when he drove to the author's home as a college student. A paraphrased source for other biographies that followed, Jasen's biography contains original Wodehouse quotes that don't appear elsewhere.

Spreadin’ Rhythm Around: Black Popular Songwriters, 1880-1930 (winner of ASCAP’s Deems Taylor Award, co-authored with Gene Jones).  In sheer depth of research, new information and full coverage Spreadin’ Rhythm Around offers a comprehensive picture of the contributions of black musicians to American popular song. For anyone interested in the history of jazz, popular song or Broadway, this book will be a revelation.

Tin Pan Alley: An Encyclopedia of the Golden Age of American Song by David A. Jasen
Tin Pan Alley: An Encyclopedia of the Golden Age of American Song The full history of Tin Pan Alley, from its humble beginnings in the 1860s to its demise following World War II, this is the first resource tool to identify its major publishers, composers, lyricists, singers, dancers and bands. 

An earlier version of the encyclopedia, Tin Pan Alley, written as a story, is available for foreign language rights. The same is true for That American Rag, an earlier version of the encyclopedia, Black Bottom Stomp: Eight Masters of Ragtime and Early Jazz.