Maggie Riggs

Maggie Riggs - Editor

NY, NY

Former Viking PRH editor + agent with over a decade of experience supporting authors, from debut novelists to seasoned NYT bestsellers

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Overview

"Working with Maggie on my novel was a joy. Her notes and edits were thoughtful, precise, and full of insight, and I appreciated that she showed a deep understanding of the story and where it needed to go. She has the rare ability to see where editorial changes are needed while also knowing when to let the story breathe, and her warm and supportive approach ensures the writer-editor relationship is a productive and enjoyable one."
--Emma Sloley; Macdowell Fellow, Pushcart Nominee, and author of DISASTER'S CHILDREN

One of the most important things I have learned in my decade-plus of working with authors is how isolating the writing process can be. My goal for every project I have the privilege of working on is to give writers the tools they need to find their voice and to tell the best possible version of their story--and to be that support they need.

At Viking (Penguin Random House,) I worked closely with debut novelists and seasoned historians, comedians and ballerinas, journalists and scientists, and helped authors at all stages of their careers transform their work from solid drafts to publication-ready projects. As a literary agent, I honed and identified ideas and stories that were working and guided writers toward producing polished, submission-ready work from the very earliest stages of a manuscript's development.

As an independent editor, it is very exciting to put all of these skills and experiences to work with authors at all stages of their careers, and especially those who are just beginning their journeys. From a manuscript assessment to a full developmental edit or support with the (always wildly stressful) query letter process, I am happy to work with you on developing a plan together that best meets your specific needs and goals.

In short, I am passionate about getting great stories out into the world, and I would love to help you tell yours!
Languages
English (CAN)
English (UK)
English (US)
Non-Fiction
Biographies & Memoirs
History
Fiction
Coming of Age
Contemporary Fiction
Cultural & Ethnic
Magical Realism
Short Story
Women's Fiction

Work experience

Independent Book Editor

Self-employed
January, 2013 – Present (almost 8 years)

Literary Agent + Founder

The Riggs Agency
November, 2015 – December, 2018 (about 3 years)

Associate Agent + In-house Editor

The Friedrich Agency
February, 2014 – September, 2014 (7 months)

Editor

Viking, Penguin Random House
February, 2009 – January, 2014 (almost 5 years)

Portfolio (18 selected works)

A Man Came Out of a Door in the Mountain

Adrianne Harun

“Harun is heir apparent to Louise Erdrich and Harry Crews.... Readers will be swept away by this breathless, absorbing novel.” —Claire Vaye Watkins, The New York Times Book ReviewIn this mysterious and chilling novel, girls, mostly Native, are vanishing from the sides of a notorious highway in the isolated Pacific Northwest. Leo Kreutzer and his friends are barely touched by these disappearanc... read more

“Harun is heir apparent to Louise Erdrich and Harry Crews.... Readers will be swept away by this breathless, absorbing novel.” —Claire Vaye Watkins, The New York Times Book ReviewIn this mysterious and chilling novel, girls, mostly Native, are vanishing from the sides of a notorious highway in the isolated Pacific Northwest. Leo Kreutzer and his friends are barely touched by these disappearanc... read more

Disaster's Children: A Novel

Emma Sloley

As the world dies, a woman must choose between her own survival and that of humankind.Raised in a privileged community of wealthy survivalists on an idyllic, self-sustaining Oregon ranch, Marlo has always been insulated. The outside world, which the ranchers call “The Disaster,” is a casualty of ravaging climate change, a troubled landscape on the brink of catastrophe. For as long as Marlo can... read more

As the world dies, a woman must choose between her own survival and that of humankind.Raised in a privileged community of wealthy survivalists on an idyllic, self-sustaining Oregon ranch, Marlo has always been insulated. The outside world, which the ranchers call “The Disaster,” is a casualty of ravaging climate change, a troubled landscape on the brink of catastrophe. For as long as Marlo can... read more

Hey Harry, Hey Matilda: A Novel

Rachel Hulin

Hey Harry, Hey Matilda is the story—told entirely in hilarious emails—of fraternal twins Harry and Matilda Goodman as they fumble into adulthood, telling lies and keeping secrets, and finally confronting their complicated twinship. Matilda Goodman is an underemployed wedding photographer grappling with her failure to live as an artist and the very bad lie she has told her boyfriend (that she h... read more

Hey Harry, Hey Matilda is the story—told entirely in hilarious emails—of fraternal twins Harry and Matilda Goodman as they fumble into adulthood, telling lies and keeping secrets, and finally confronting their complicated twinship. Matilda Goodman is an underemployed wedding photographer grappling with her failure to live as an artist and the very bad lie she has told her boyfriend (that she h... read more

The Unchangeable Spots of Leopards: A Novel (ALA Notable Books for Adults)

Kristopher Jansma

"F. Scott Fitzgerald meets Wes Anderson" (The Village Voice) in this inventive and witty debut about a young man’s quest to become a writer and the misadventures in life and love that take him around the globeFrom as early as he can remember, the hopelessly unreliable—yet hopelessly earnest—narrator of this ambitious debut novel has wanted to become a writer.From the jazz clubs of Manhattan to... read more

"F. Scott Fitzgerald meets Wes Anderson" (The Village Voice) in this inventive and witty debut about a young man’s quest to become a writer and the misadventures in life and love that take him around the globeFrom as early as he can remember, the hopelessly unreliable—yet hopelessly earnest—narrator of this ambitious debut novel has wanted to become a writer.From the jazz clubs of Manhattan to... read more

Return to Oakpine: A Novel

Ron Carlson

From a widely admired author, a poignant novel about homecoming, friendship, growing up, and growing old for fans of Richard Ford and Richard RussoIn this finely wrought portrait of western American life, Ron Carlson takes us to the small town of Oakpine, Wyoming, and into the lives of four men trying to make peace with who they are in the world.In high school, these men were in a band. One of... read more

From a widely admired author, a poignant novel about homecoming, friendship, growing up, and growing old for fans of Richard Ford and Richard RussoIn this finely wrought portrait of western American life, Ron Carlson takes us to the small town of Oakpine, Wyoming, and into the lives of four men trying to make peace with who they are in the world.In high school, these men were in a band. One of... read more

Emily, Alone: A Novel

Stewart O'Nan

From the author of Last Night at the Lobster, a moving vision of love and family. A sequel to the bestselling, much-beloved Wish You Were Here, Stewart O'Nan's intimate new novel follows Emily Maxwell, a widow whose grown children have long moved away. She dreams of vists by her grandchildren while mourning the turnover of her quiet Pittsburgh neighborhood, but when her sole companion and sist... read more

From the author of Last Night at the Lobster, a moving vision of love and family. A sequel to the bestselling, much-beloved Wish You Were Here, Stewart O'Nan's intimate new novel follows Emily Maxwell, a widow whose grown children have long moved away. She dreams of vists by her grandchildren while mourning the turnover of her quiet Pittsburgh neighborhood, but when her sole companion and sist... read more

Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day

Ben Loory

"This guy can write!" --Ray BradburyLoory's collection of wry and witty, dark and perilous contemporary fables is populated by people- and monsters and trees and jocular octopi- who are united by twin motivations: fear and desire. In his singular universe, televisions talk (and sometimes sing), animals live in small apartments where their nephews visit from the sea, and men and women and boys ... read more

"This guy can write!" --Ray BradburyLoory's collection of wry and witty, dark and perilous contemporary fables is populated by people- and monsters and trees and jocular octopi- who are united by twin motivations: fear and desire. In his singular universe, televisions talk (and sometimes sing), animals live in small apartments where their nephews visit from the sea, and men and women and boys ... read more

Rules for Becoming a Legend: A Novel

Timothy S. Lane

A spirited debut of a rising basketball star wrestling with his town’s outsized expectations and his family’s complicated legacyJimmy “Kamikaze” Kirkus is a basketball star, destined for a legendary future in the NBA. At the age of five, he can make nine shots in a row. By high school, he’s got his own Sports Illustrated profile. To the citizens of Columbia City, it seems like he was born for ... read more

A spirited debut of a rising basketball star wrestling with his town’s outsized expectations and his family’s complicated legacyJimmy “Kamikaze” Kirkus is a basketball star, destined for a legendary future in the NBA. At the age of five, he can make nine shots in a row. By high school, he’s got his own Sports Illustrated profile. To the citizens of Columbia City, it seems like he was born for ... read more

This Is How I'd Love You: A Novel

Hazel Woods

As the Great War rages, an independent young woman struggles to sustain love—and life—through the power of words. It’s 1917 and America is on the brink of World War I. After Hensley Dench’s father is forced to resign from the New York Times for his anti-war writings, she finds herself expelled from the life she loves and the future she thought she would have. Instead, Hensley is transplanted t... read more

As the Great War rages, an independent young woman struggles to sustain love—and life—through the power of words. It’s 1917 and America is on the brink of World War I. After Hensley Dench’s father is forced to resign from the New York Times for his anti-war writings, she finds herself expelled from the life she loves and the future she thought she would have. Instead, Hensley is transplanted t... read more

Some of My Best Friends Are Black: The Strange Story of Integration in America

Tanner Colby

An incisive and candid look at how America got lost on the way to Dr. King’s Promised LandAlmost fifty years after Martin Luther King, Jr.’s "I Have a Dream" speech, equality is the law of the land, but actual integration is still hard to find. Mammoth battles over forced busing, unfair housing practices, and affirmative action have hardly helped. The bleak fact is that black people and white ... read more

An incisive and candid look at how America got lost on the way to Dr. King’s Promised LandAlmost fifty years after Martin Luther King, Jr.’s "I Have a Dream" speech, equality is the law of the land, but actual integration is still hard to find. Mammoth battles over forced busing, unfair housing practices, and affirmative action have hardly helped. The bleak fact is that black people and white ... read more

Freedom Summer: The Savage Season of 1964 That Made Mississippi Burn and Made America a Democracy

Bruce Watson

A majestic history of the summer of '64, which forever changed race relations in America In the summer of 1964, with the civil rights movement stalled, seven hundred college students descended on Mississippi to register black voters, teach in Freedom Schools, and live in sharecroppers' shacks. But by the time their first night in the state had ended, three volunteers were dead, black churches ... read more

A majestic history of the summer of '64, which forever changed race relations in America In the summer of 1964, with the civil rights movement stalled, seven hundred college students descended on Mississippi to register black voters, teach in Freedom Schools, and live in sharecroppers' shacks. But by the time their first night in the state had ended, three volunteers were dead, black churches ... read more

Dancing Through It: My Journey in the Ballet

Jenifer Ringer

A behind-the-curtains look at the rarefied world of classical ballet from a principal dancer at the New York City BalletIn her charming and self-effacing voice, Jenifer Ringer covers the highs and lows of what it?s like to make it to the top in the exclusive, competitive ballet world. From the heart-pounding moments waiting in the wings before a performance to appearing on Oprah to discuss wei... read more

A behind-the-curtains look at the rarefied world of classical ballet from a principal dancer at the New York City BalletIn her charming and self-effacing voice, Jenifer Ringer covers the highs and lows of what it?s like to make it to the top in the exclusive, competitive ballet world. From the heart-pounding moments waiting in the wings before a performance to appearing on Oprah to discuss wei... read more

Suck On This Year: LYFAO @ 140 Characters or Less

Denis Leary

One of America's most original and biting comic satirists, Denis Leary turns his irreverent eye and scathing humor on everything you love and cherish-and now he does it with a hilarious, illustrated collection of Tweets! Like a quiver full of arrows, Suck On This Year's barbs will hit you where it hurts-and you'll love it.

One of America's most original and biting comic satirists, Denis Leary turns his irreverent eye and scathing humor on everything you love and cherish-and now he does it with a hilarious, illustrated collection of Tweets! Like a quiver full of arrows, Suck On This Year's barbs will hit you where it hurts-and you'll love it.

Juliette Gordon Low: The Remarkable Founder of the Girl Scouts

Stacy A. Cordery

In celebration of the Girl Scouts' centennial, a lively salute to its maverick founder. Born at the start of the Civil War, Juliette Gordon Low grew up in Georgia, where she struggled to reconcile being a good Southern belle with her desire to run barefoot through the fields. Deafened by an accident, "Daisy" married a dashing British aristocrat and moved to England. But she was ultimately betr... read more

In celebration of the Girl Scouts' centennial, a lively salute to its maverick founder. Born at the start of the Civil War, Juliette Gordon Low grew up in Georgia, where she struggled to reconcile being a good Southern belle with her desire to run barefoot through the fields. Deafened by an accident, "Daisy" married a dashing British aristocrat and moved to England. But she was ultimately betr... read more

Chaucer's Tale: 1386 and the Road to Canterbury

Paul Strohm

A lively microbiography of Chaucer that tells the story of the tumultuous year that led to the creation of The Canterbury TalesIn 1386, Geoffrey Chaucer endured his worst year, but began his best poem. The father of English literature did not enjoy in his lifetime the literary celebrity that hehas today—far from it. The middle-aged Chaucer was living in London, working as a midlevel bureaucrat... read more

A lively microbiography of Chaucer that tells the story of the tumultuous year that led to the creation of The Canterbury TalesIn 1386, Geoffrey Chaucer endured his worst year, but began his best poem. The father of English literature did not enjoy in his lifetime the literary celebrity that hehas today—far from it. The middle-aged Chaucer was living in London, working as a midlevel bureaucrat... read more

A Rope and a Prayer: A Kidnapping from Two Sides

David Rohde, Kristen Mulvihill

The compelling and insightful account of a New York Times reporter's abduction by the Taliban, and his wife's struggle to free him.

The compelling and insightful account of a New York Times reporter's abduction by the Taliban, and his wife's struggle to free him.

The Big Fight: My Life In and Out of the Ring

Sugar Ray Leonard

In this unflinching and inspiring autobiography, the boxing legend faces his single greatest competitor: himself. Sugar Ray Leonard's brutally honest and uplifting memoir reveals in intimate detail for the first time the complex man behind the boxer. The Olympic hero, multichampionship winner, and beloved athlete waged his own personal battle with depression, rage, addiction, and greed. Coming... read more

In this unflinching and inspiring autobiography, the boxing legend faces his single greatest competitor: himself. Sugar Ray Leonard's brutally honest and uplifting memoir reveals in intimate detail for the first time the complex man behind the boxer. The Olympic hero, multichampionship winner, and beloved athlete waged his own personal battle with depression, rage, addiction, and greed. Coming... read more

A Kind of Solitude: Stories

Dariel Suarez

Set in Cuba, largely after the fall of the Soviet Union, these eleven stories explore themes of isolation and preservation in the face of widespread poverty and sociopolitical oppression. From a chronically ill santero refusing medical care to a female-fronted heavy-metal band risking it all to emerge from Havana's underground, Dariel Suarez, in his daring debut, portrays the harsh reality, in... read more

Set in Cuba, largely after the fall of the Soviet Union, these eleven stories explore themes of isolation and preservation in the face of widespread poverty and sociopolitical oppression. From a chronically ill santero refusing medical care to a female-fronted heavy-metal band risking it all to emerge from Havana's underground, Dariel Suarez, in his daring debut, portrays the harsh reality, in... read more

Maggie has 15 reviews

Professionalism
Professionalism
Quality
Quality
Value
Value
Communication & Punctuality
Communication & Punctuality

Ryan Hansan
Maggie was absolutely fantastic to work with!

Ryan Hansan, April 2020


Amber Kusmenko
I contacted Maggie to help me figure out why I was getting full manuscript requests but no offers of representation. She helped pinpoint some structural changes I needed to make to build more tension, and she also gave me a targeted list of agents she thought would be interested in my work. She's awesome!

Amber Kusmenko, April 2020


Darius Goore
I almost never leave reviews. But as I go back through my WIP and begin to work through the everything that are going to turn this story into a publishable novel, I am so grateful for the insights Maggie shared that are helping me fill out my first book. I hired Maggie to do an Editorial Assessment of this first attempt at a novel. Throughout, she was polite, caring, detailed, thoughtful and ...
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Darius Goore, April 2020


Nathan Wollman
I lamented for a time on this to try and be more objective but after a few months looking back, I actually I felt Maggie probably skimmed the manuscript and sent me feedback I could have received from a pier at no cost. She negotiated the price, that was fair but then also in trade provided a couple of pages less for the review process, kind of negating the point of negotiating in the first p...
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Nathan Wollman, March 2020


J.D. Laskar
Working with Maggie is like working with sunshine on crappy days. She's that last bit of hope during a dark storm - you know the kind I'm talking about. Buried in your room creating a passionate story that no one has read, you haven't seen family or friends in weeks, people start to wonder if you're alive, but you can't stop because you want to get your project done. You take your work of art ...
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J.D. Laskar, February 2020

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