Jessica Felleman

Jessica Felleman – Editor

Literary Agent and Developmental Editor with an MFA in Writing with a focus on literary speculative fiction and prescriptive nonfiction.

Overview

I am a literary agent who represents fiction and nonfiction authors, with specialties in speculative literary fiction, YA science fiction and fantasy, and prescriptive or 'self-help' nonfiction, including a New York Times Bestseller. I'm also a writer, and received my MFA at CalArts in 2013, so I'm uniquely positioned to understand what it's like to be on both sides of preparing to sell a work to a publisher and love to help writers remain true to their craft while also considering the business aspects of being a writer. Like my client list at the Jennifer Lyons Literary Agency, I most enjoy working with fiction authors who are serious about their writing beyond a single project, but have extensive experience with book proposals for nonfiction works by thought leaders with a message that can help others. I love a fresh perspective and any contemporary set story that brings in a little magic or science fiction, so if your work blends genres, I want to read it!


As an editor, I'm a big fan of providing big picture advice to help authors learn how to take a first draft and turn it into a revised draft that will keep a reader's attention. This means offering everything from honest reactions to pointing out inconsistencies or questions that come up for me as a reader, and that don't feel resolved. Whether the writing needs technical work, characters need better motivation, or the pace of a plot is lagging, I'm always kind but honest with my feedback, which I always strive to explain in a way that will guide authors towards becoming better self-editors in the future. This feedback might look like:

Big Picture

- a letter with my major reactions (positive and negative) to the characters, setting, world, plot and pacing

- including, notes on what, if any of the above made the read confusing or not engaging enough

- and, suggested fixes for the above


Smaller Details

- tracked changes and line notes, pointing out awkward phrasing or clunky pacing

- including sample line edits to show how I'd correct the above

- and, notes on sections where the author is doing something great that I think they should do more


As an agent with 8 years of experience working at New York based literary agencies, I also have a keen eye for pitches and comparative titles and like to help authors hone their query letters to best grab an agent's attention and highlight what's unique about their work and how it will be welcomed in the market. Authors seeking query letting edits can expect:

- line edits and thoughts on their hook

- suggestions for comparative titles that best highlight the market they're writing to

- suggested edits for the main beats of the letter so the important information is conveyed clearly to the agent

Services
Non-Fiction
Biographies & Memoirs Cooking, Food, Wine, & Spirits Self-Help & Self-Improvement
Fiction
Dystopian Women's Fiction Young Adult Fantasy
Languages
English (US)

Work experience

The Jennifer Lyons Literary Agency

Jul, 2020 — Present

I represent fiction and nonfiction authors and am responsible for selling the publishing rights to their works, negotiating deals on their behalf, and supporting them through publication. I do everything from draft pitch letters to developmental editing, and I also help manage their writing careers. Sold but not yet published works include a YA fantasy duology, a literary science fiction mystery, and a third self-help book by a therapist.

Foundry Literary & Media

Mar, 2015 — Jun, 2020 (over 5 years)

After two years as the associate for one of the founding agents, where I managed their office, read all their queries, worked closely with them to sell their clients' books, and did the bulk of the editorial review for their fiction clients, I started representing my own clients and sold mainly prescriptive nonfiction (including a NYT Bestseller). The fiction projects I edited included everything from epic fantasy, science fiction, women's fiction, and horror to YA science fiction and fantasy. I was also the Contracts Manager, in charge of tracking contract negotiations, which included reviewing and negotiating publishing contracts on behalf of the agency's authors.

Betsy Amster Literary Enterprises

May, 2013 — Jun, 2014 (about 1 year)

I worked remotely reading the query emails for Betsy Amster and providing reports to her on the merit of the queries and made suggestions for projects that she might want to consider representing.

Jessica has 3 reviews

Professionalism

Quality

Value

Responsiveness

Grace O.

Grace O.

Dec, 2023

Fabulous! Jessica's knowledge, ideas, edits, and advice have helped me feel confident with my query letter. I am so thankful I had her help.
Matthijs T.

Matthijs T.

Nov, 2023

A really good collaboration. My goal was to remove all doubt surrounding my QL and Jessica certainly succeeded.
Sarah T.

Sarah T.

Oct, 2023

Jessica's guidance and thoughtful approach helped me elevate and edit my query letter. She really put time and energy into perfecting it. I loved working with her and found her to be direct and professional in her communication style. She's exceptional!

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