Elise Howard

Prior to joining DeFiore & Company, Elise Howard was the founding publisher of Algonquin Young Readers, an imprint of Workman Publishing, which she led from 2011 to 2022. Elise was previously SVP and associate publisher at HarperCollins Children's Books, where she oversaw the publication of many award-winning and bestselling books. Some of the authors she has worked with include Masuma Ahuja, Avi, Tracey Baptiste, Kelly Barnhill, Sara Farizan, Neil Gaiman, Kelly Jensen, and Nova Ren Suma. Books she has edited have won the Newbery Medal twice, the Edgar Allen Poe Award for best juvenile novel twice, and many other awards and honors. She began her career as a book packager, conceiving, selling to publishers, and developing juvenile and adult fiction and non-fiction projects.

As a literary agent, Elise is looking for new favorites— hers, an editor’s, and ultimately the reader’s: fiction and non-fiction to be savored and remembered for its immersive storytelling, rich world-building, and illumination of landscapes known and unknown.

Elise is generally not looking for genre fiction, but she may take on a book with a great love story at its heart or one with elements of fantasy. She is looking for a twisty, well-done mystery, especially if it features a great new sleuth with many stories to tell.

She’s also eager to represent eye-opening narrative non-fiction, particularly stories of the natural world, visible or invisible, including the human mind and body, or of people and events previously unknown or overlooked.

Submission guidelines: Please email queryelise@defliterary.com with the title of your work and its category (e.g., adult n.f., middle-grade fiction) in the subject line. Please include in the body of your email:

• A brief, compelling description introducing your book.

• A paragraph (not more!) about you, relevant to your submission.

• For non-fiction, a concise synopsis that compels me to read on and the opening chapter.

• For fiction, the opening chapter.

• For graphic novels, the first chapter or the first twenty-five pages.

• For picture books, the full manuscript.

• No attachments, please. Submissions that include them won’t be opened.

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