Okay. I'm looking for representation right now, and as part of my due diligence, I put together a rather extensive Excel spreadsheet of potential agents. My list has approximately 60 agents who represent authors in the suspense/thriller arena. As far as I have been able to determine, all of them are currently accepting unsolicited queries. I have included as much pertinent information as possible on each agent/agency. I just want to throw this out there and see if someone else can benefit from the fruits of my labor. Good luck to all!

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Wow. You are my lucky star because that's exactly what I'm doing although not in nearly so organized a way. Thanks much and good luck to us both. Patti
Nice list, and very generous of you to share.

One correction: Barry Eisler isn't represented by Nat Sobel anymore, he moved to Writers House when his editor, Dan Conaway, became an agent there.

Here's his July 15 deal announcement from Publishers Marketplace:

Author of Requiem for an Assassin and The Last Assassin Barry Eisler's new stand-alone (not featuring character John Rain), about two estranged brothers who come together when one becomes a target in a battle for control of a sought-after new technology, moving to Mark Tavani at Ballantine, in a pre-empt, for two books, by Dan Conaway at Writers House, who edited Eisler at Putnam (world).

Also, I can add that Scott Hoffman and Jeff Kleinman at FOLIO represent the occasional thriller, and Paige Wheeler does a lot of mysteries. (Folio is my agency.)

Thought of a couple more you can add to your list - two friends who write thrillers are represented by Kimberly Whalen, at Trident; another is repped by Jane Gelfman of Gelfman Schneider (Deborah Schneider represents Jeffery Deaver).

And if anyone is looking to meet agents in person, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the Backspace Agent-Author seminars my partner and I are putting on in NYC November 6 & 7 - 25 agents and 3 editors on the program.
What a great seminar, Karen. Backspace does some interesting stuff.
Thanks, Naomi! We try. :)

Seriously, I think one reason the Backspace events have worked out so well is because in planning them, we get input from a handful of trusted agents - they're the ones who go to dozens of conferences, so they know what works and what doesn't from the agents' point of view. My partner and I are aspiring writers, and we're in touch with several hundred others on a daily basis at the Backspace forums, so we like to think we have a fairly solid idea of what writers want from an event.

The seminars have gotten some pretty good press recently from Agent Query and a writer who attended and signed with an agent she met there last year, Kim Stagliano.

I'd like to add, though, that as wonderful and terrific and cool as I think the Backspace Agent-Author Seminars are, authors shouldn’t think that coming to this or similar events is in any way necessary to get an agent. The majority of authors find representation through standard snail or e-mail queries, and many agents and authors work together for years before they ever meet in person.

Authors have signed with an agent they met at a Backspace event, but the benefits of attending seminars and conferences like ours are usually less tangible: a better sense of how the publishing business works, a greater understanding of what’s needed to break in, and contacts, both with agents and with fellow authors–all of which gives authors an advantage that we hope will ultimately help them succeed.
That's very true that many authors have secured their agents through a standard snail query. I'm one of those, and didn't lay eyes on my agent until a year after we joined forces.

I certainly wasn't as systematic as E. Scott is in my search. Maybe that's why it took me so long! But it also could have been that my manuscript wasn't ready. Had to wait for the market to be open to my material as well.
You are in good hands. Scott and Paige are great people.
Thanks, Lee! Jeff Kleinman is my agent, but I've met both Scott and Paige, and couldn't agree more - they're terrific. I was a lucky girl when my agent decided to partner with them.
Yes, you are lucky. Folio is a really top agency. I'm in touch with Paige and Scott quite often.They're really hard-working people with a great reputation. In fact, they've sold a ton of books this year alone.
It might be easier to ask, "Is anyone not looking for an agent," and then tell them to disregard the rest of the comments! Thanks for your efforts
Deborah Schneider also represents me in the US and she's a tremendous agent but as with so many of the good agents, I know she has to be incredibly selective. My general advice would be to do your research and try to find someone who's in the process of building a list. And US authors shouldn't rule out UK agents because the larger agencies have started representing US authors directly.
Yeah, this is a good point when it comes to looking for an agent. It's definitely easier to sign with a newer agent than a long-established one (someone with a few solid sales who works for an established agency where the more experienced agents can advise and mentor them is ideal). This was the case for me, and what's cool about it is that over the years we've been together, as I've become a better writer, my agent's become a better agent. :) Definitely a good match.

However, I don't think authors need to limit themselves as to who they approach, because you just never know. I know a couple of debut authors who signed with agents most would consider unapproachable (Dorian Karchmar, at William Morris, for instance) because their projects were just that fabulous.
Awesome list, Scott. I already have an agent, but I'll pass this on to those still searching. Thanks!


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