SANDRA DIJKSTRA is the founder, owner, and president of the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency. She is agent to authors in the arenas of fiction and nonfiction, including literary and commercial fiction, and on the nonfiction side: history, politics, current affairs, business, science, and religion. Truly bicoastal, Sandra was born in Manhattan, schooled in the east, then went west to grad school at UC Berkeley. Over twenty-five years ago, she brought to agenting literary taste honed by a Ph.D. in French Literature, a keen editorial eye trained during a decade of university teaching, and, on the business front, her homegrown-New Yorker selling smarts. Over these years, Newsweek dubbed her "the best agent in the West," Esquire chose her as one of the nation's "top five literary agents," and the Los Angeles Times proclaimed her an "über-agent" and "the most powerful literary agent on the West Coast."
Sandra looks for writers with something significant to say, who know how to say it in a unique way. Her hallmark is an eye for quality fiction that sells well, and on the literary fiction side, her roster of authors includes authors such as Amy Tan (Joy Luck Club and, more recently, Saving Fish From Drowning), Lisa See (Snow Flower and the Secret Fan and, most recently, Dreams of Joy), Chitra Divakaruni (Mistress of Spices), Maxine Hong Kingston (Woman Warrior), Anchee Min (Red Azalea), and Adrienne Sharp (The True Memoirs of Little K), among many others. On the mystery/thriller side, she champions bestseller Diane Mott Davidson (the Queen of the Culinary Mystery), Cosmopolitan's Kate White (whose most recent thriller is The Sixes), and Susan Kandel, whose brilliant Cece Caruso series has been acclaimed by the NYT's Marilyn Stasio and others, with her Dial H for Hitchcock, which has been nominated for an Edgar. And, on the children's front, she is Stellaluna author/illustrator Janell Cannon's proud agent.
Sandra's roots in academe, as well as her passionate concern that our books contribute to making this world a better place, have led her to be the advocate for a leading group of investigative journalists, including the Wall Street Journal's Jess Bravin, the Los Angeles Times' Michael Hiltzik and Tom Hamburger, The Washington Post's Peter Wallsten, and ProPublica's T. Christian Miller, among others. She is proud to champion the work of two important critics of our times, Mike Davis (Ecology of Fear) and the late Chalmers Johnson (Blowback and, most recently, Dismantling the American Empire), and Sandra is agent to major American historians, many of them award-winning, including Pulitzers Eric Foner, Stephen Hahn, and Leon Litwack, and historians of the slave trade Ira Berlin (The Making of African America) and Marcus Rediker (Slave Ship), Her history list proudly features civil libertarian Peter Irons (People's History of the Supreme Court), Ian Morris (Why the West Rules... For Now), Gary Nash (The Unknown American Revolution), Marilyn Yalom (The History of the Breast), Elaine May (America and the Pill), National Book Award-winner Adrienne Mayor (The Poison King), and many more.
In addition, Sandra has developed a strong list on the science front, featuring such gurus as Don Norman (Emotional Design, Design of Everyday Things), Irv Yalom (The Gift of Therapy), Dr. Gary Small (iBrain, Memory Bible, and The Naked Woman Who Stood on Her Head), Jordan Fisher Smith (Nature Noir), and Bernd Heinrich (Winter World, The Mind of the Raven), as well as, on the business side, starring bestseller Joel Greenblatt (The Little Book That Beats the Market), David Einhorn's Fooling Some of the People All of the Time, and the Herman Miller company's Max De Pree (Leadership Is an Art). Reaching for the sky, on the realm of religion, Sandra champions award-winning scholar Paula Fredriksen (Augustine and the Jews) and bestseller Stephen Prothero (Religious Literacy and God Is Not One).
Her goal is to help authors realize their dreams, supporting their work through each phase of the publishing process, so that their books reach the widest readership, here and abroad, and in as many formats as possible. To that end, she has assembled a team of powerful staffers, each of whom is a great reader and supporter of the Dijkstra List, and a few of whom are agenting their own lists as well.
ELISE CAPRON is an acquiring agent at the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency. She also manages the Dijkstra Agency office and works closely with Sandra Dijkstra. She is most interested in serious, character-driven literary fiction and well-written narrative nonfiction (particularly serious history with a good story).
A graduate of Emerson College, Elise holds a BFA in Writing, Literature and Publishing, and served on the editorial staff of the Emerson Review for several years. She interned at Harcourt and the Dijkstra Agency before joining the agency full-time in late 2003.
Elise is interested in fiction that has unforgettable writing, a terrific narrative voice/tone, and memorable characters. She loves novels with an unusual or eccentric edge, and is drawn to stories she has never heard before. On the nonfiction front, Elise is looking for many of these same qualities: fascinating true stories told in a compelling way. She aims to work with writers who are getting their work published regularly in magazines and who have a realistic sense of the market and their audience. Some of Elise's recent and soon-to-be-published books include Courtney Brkic's The First Rule of Swimming (Little, Brown), Jane Vandenburgh's The Wrong Dog Dream: A True Romance (Counterpoint), Tiphanie Yanique's The Land of Love and Drowning (Riverhead) and How to Escape from a Leper Colony (Graywolf), Jonathon Keats' Forged: Why Fakes Are the Great Art of Our Age (Oxford University Press) and The Book of the Unknown (Random House), Rikki Ducornet's Netsuke (Coffee House Press), Maureen McHugh's After the Apocalypse (Small Beer Press), Cynthia Barnett's Blue Is the New Green: An American Water Ethic (Beacon), Jack Shuler's The Noose: A History (Public Affairs) and Blood and Bone: Truth and Reconciliation in a Southern Town (University of South Carolina Press), Billy Smith's Ship of Death: The Voyage that Changed the Atlantic World (Yale), Ali Liebegott's The IHOP Papers (Carroll & Graf), Peter Plate's Soon the Rest Will Fall (Seven Stories Press), and more.
Please note that Elise is specifically not interested in: fantasy, young-adult/middle-grade, picture books, romance, sci-fi, business books, cookbooks, poetry, religious/spiritual books, screenplays, or self-help.
She graduated from San Diego State University with a B.A. in English with an emphasis in Creative Writing and a minor in History. She has a strong Internet and media background and nearly 15 years of publishing experience. She wrote features and ads for Pages, the literary magazine for people who love books, and continues to write book ads for publishing houses, magazine pieces and promotional features for television.
After writing ad copy and features for published books for years she knows how to find the "hook" and sell it.
Jill is interested in commercial fiction, with an emphasis on mysteries, thrillers and horror, women's commercial fiction and historical fiction. She is also looking for nonfiction by authors who are getting their work published regularly in magazines and who have a realistic sense of the market and their audience. Jill is looking for nonfiction projects in the areas of self-help, inspirational, cookbooks, memoir (she especially loves travel and foodie memoirs), health & nutrition, pop culture, humor and music.
Some of Jill's recent and soon-to-be-published nonfiction include the Travel Channel's Nick Groff's Chasing Spirits (Running Press); Nancy L. Cohen's Delirium: The Shadow Movement That Fuels Our Political Wars (Counterpoint); Martha Biondi's Black Revolution on Campus: 1968 and its Legacy (UC Press); Doulas A. Wissing's Funding Our Enemy (Prometheus Books); Market Mind Games by Denise Shull (McGraw-Hill); Jay Michaelson's God versus Gay?: The Religious Case for Equality (Beacon Press); Rick's Café: How I Brought a Screen Legend to Life in Casablanca (Lyon's Press) by Kathy Kriger; William Jones' More than the Dream: The Untold Story of the March on Washington (Norton); Rocking the Pink (Seal Press) by singer-songwriter Laura Roppé; Drunks: America's Search for Sobriety by Christopher Finan; and Argyle Armada: Life with America's Top Pro Cycling Team (VeloPress) by Mark Johnson.
Some of Jill's new fiction includes Bloodman (Thomas & Mercer) by Robert Pobi; The Silencer (St. Martin's Press) by columnist Solomon Jones; Flat Spin (The Permanent Press), a thriller from Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Freed; the second in Lexi George's series Demon Hunting in the Deep South (Kensington); Prayers of an Ibo Rabbi (Africana Heritage Legacy Publishers) by Richard Cummings; and the Jaden Terrell series that includes Racing the Devil and A Cup Full of Midnight (The Permanent Press).
Please note that Jill is specifically not interested in: YA, children's books, sci-fi, romance or anything involving unicorns.
ANDREA CAVALLARO is Rights Manager for SDLA. A graduate of Tufts University with a B.A. in English, she first worked at Random House in New York, then spent 15 years at Harcourt Trade Publishers in Subsidiary Rights and Special Markets. She has been with SDLA since 2009. On behalf of the authors represented by SDLA, she works with the large team of overseas agents and foreign scouts to obtain translation editions, which results in over 150 licenses each year. She is the liaison with film agents and also works directly with producers and studios for film rights, and also handles audio and e-book negotiations. She attends Book Expo and the Frankfurt Book Fair each year.
She is a graduate of the University of California, San Diego with a double major in Econ-Management Science and Chinese Studies. While interning at the agency during college, she realized where her true love lies -- books -- and joined the agency full-time in the spring of 2011.
Thao is selectively building her list and is currently looking for adult and YA soft science fiction, fantasy, and horror and all of their sub-genres. Her taste for speculative fiction is eclectic and she enjoys both gritty, dark narratives like Anne Bishop's Black Jewel series and fantastically quirky stories like Patricia Wrede's Enchanted Forest Chronicles. She is also looking for light-hearted, funny, and moving contemporary YAs with a raw, authentic teen voice. Thao is drawn to stories with multicultural elements and whose protagonists come from diverse cultural heritages. She’s looking for a story with characters to fall in love with, tight writing, smart-mouthed dialogue, and strong plots that can balance romance and action. Recent sales include Katherine Harbour's debut fantasy, Thorn Jack, to Harper Voyager, in a three-book deal.
Thao is specifically not interested in: biographies, business books, cookbooks, picture books, poetry, religious/spiritual books, screenplays, self-help, short stories, or travel books.
JENNIFER AZANTIAN assists Sandra Dijkstra and Elise Capron, and manages incoming submissions for SDLA. At the University of California, San Diego, she studied clinical and developmental child psychology, and graduated cum laude in 2010. After graduation, she spent a wonderful summer interning at the Dijkstra agency before joining full-time in fall of 2011.
Beyond university, Jennifer is a published author of several short stories and brings to the agency her passion for literature born of a writer's heart. Her personal tastes run toward all flavors of the fantastic. She believes that it is against the backdrop of fantasy and science fiction that basic human truths can be best examined, magnified, and delighted in. She is now acquiring projects and welcomes all submissions that match her interests.
Please note that Jennifer is only interested in: young-adult science-fiction and fantasy (including all of their sub-genres) as well as smart, psychological horror.
She has a B.A. in English Literature from UC San Diego, studied philosophy for a year at the University of Sheffield, U.K., and earned her M.A. in English, with an emphasis in composition & rhetoric and creative writing, from Portland State University. At PSU, she taught writing in exchange for tuition. She's been learning French since 2009.
Roz spent over five years as a qualitative researcher in high-tech consumer products marketing. In 2008, she co-founded a web design company for which she provided non-profit organizations with audience-focused market research, project planning, and digital design. She joined SDLA in 2013.
Roz is interested in literary and commercial fiction, women's fiction, literary sci-fi, and literary YA. She loves novels that make her feel like the author is tuned into a rising revolution -- cultural, political, literary, or whatnot -- that's about to burst on the scene. She looks for a resonant, lively voice; rich, irresistible language; complex characters with compelling development arcs; and a mastery of dramatic structure. Roz is also interested in non-fiction in the areas of current affairs, design, business, cultural anthropology/social science, politics, psychology and memoir. Here, she looks for driven, narrative storytelling and sharp concepts that have the potential to transcend their primary audience.
Please note that Roz is specifically not interested in: sports, cookbooks, screenplays, poetry, romance, and children's middle-grade/picture books.