Betsy Amster Literary Enterprises is a full-service literary agency located in Los Angeles, California. We handle publishing rights and all ancillary rights (such as film, TV, audio, electronic, and foreign) for the authors we represent. We work with both first-time and established writers and are known for our expert attention to every aspect of the publishing process.

Before opening the agency, principal Betsy Amster spent ten years as an editor at Pantheon and Vintage and two years as editorial director of the Globe Pequot Press. She has been described in the Los Angeles Times as “a dogged prospector of…literary talent” and celebrated in a profile in the American Society of Journalists and Authors newsletter for her “no-nonsense style and whimsical sense of humor.” She frequently speaks in PEN USA’s Emerging Voices Program and Portland State’s Publishing Program, teaches classes on publishing at UCLA Extension’s Writers Program and The Loft, and moderates panels at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books.

The agency’s areas of interest for adult projects include:  Literary fiction, upscale commercial women’s fiction, voice-driven mysteries and thrillers, narrative nonfiction (especially by journalists), travelogues, memoirs (including graphic memoirs), social issues and trends, psychology, self-help, popular culture, women’s issues, history & biography, lifestyle, careers, health and medicine, parenting, cooking and nutrition, gardening, and quirky gift books. We do not represent romances, screenplays, poetry, westerns, fantasy, horror, science fiction, techno thrillers, spy capers, apocalyptic scenarios, self-published books, or political or religious arguments.

Our associate Mary Cummings represents fiction, literary nonfiction, and poetry for children and teens, from picture books to middle grade and young adult novels, including contemporary and historical, humor, mystery, fantasy, and multi-cultural. She is particularly seeking middle grade novels as well as picture books with strong story arcs, a spunky central character, and warmth, humor, or quirky charm. In literary nonfiction, her areas of interest include picture book biographies as well as lyrically written science, nature, mindfulness, and social awareness issues. (Read more about Mary here.)

Cummings served for fourteen years as education director at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis, where she organized an annual festival of children’s literature and selected judges for the prestigious McKnight Award in Children’s Literature. She represents both career writers and newcomers.

Please consult our submission requirements to learn where to direct your query.

If you would like to read more about Betsy Amster, please click on the links below:

ASJA Monthly Interview

Algonkian/Web del Sol Interview

Women on Writing Interview

Mediabistro: Pitching an Agent