“I strive for open communication and collaboration. I am editorially minded but my main focus is on strategy: connecting the writer with the best editor, shepherding the book through the publication process, aiding in any issues that arise and keeping in mind speaking and writing opportunities to further advance the writer’s career. I am here for the hard conversations and the author’s worries and concerns. And I’m here most excitedly when my authors get the attention and recognition they deserve!” –Danielle Bukowski, Sterling Lord Literistic, Inc.
Every year, the Writers’ League of Texas brings 20-25 literary agents and book editors to Austin for its Agents & Editors Conference. As we look ahead to the 29th Annual A&E Conference, taking place June 24 – 26, 2022, we’re happy to share Q&As with some of our visiting agents and editors here.
An Interview with Danielle Bukowski
Danielle Bukowski joined Sterling Lord Literistic in 2014 and spent several years in the foreign rights department before transitioning fully to agenting. Her authors have won and been finalists for major awards; published in The New Yorker; had their books translated into numerous languages; and optioned for film and TV. Representing fiction for adults from smart bookclub to literary, and select nonfiction, Danielle is particularly looking for narratives from writers traditionally excluded from the publishing industry. For fiction, she likes books that balance plot with voice, have a strong sense of place, a unique hook, and are stylistically bold; for nonfiction, she’s looking for work grounded in the author’s personal interest, rigorously reported and researched, and will expand the reader’s view of the world. She represents Bryan Washington, Nancy Johnson, Edgar Gomez, Joseph Han, Mark Haber, Elizabeth Hand, Gina Chung, and Katherine Seligman, among others. Danielle graduated from Vassar College with a concentration in English and lives in Brooklyn with her bike and KitchenAid mixer.
Scribe: How would you describe your personal approach to working with an author?
Danielle Bukowski: I strive for open communication and collaboration. I am editorially minded but my main focus is on strategy: connecting the writer with the best editor, shepherding the book through the publication process, aiding in any issues that arise and keeping in mind speaking and writing opportunities to further advance the writer’s career. I am here for the hard conversations and the author’s worries and concerns. And I’m here most excitedly when my authors get the attention and recognition they deserve!
Scribe: What do you look for in a debut author?
DB: Above all, of course, a really good book. But ideally, a debut writer who has read widely in the contemporary fiction or nonfiction space in which they wish to publish; a writer who is eager to share their work with the world and understands that publishing is a business and there is work to be done after the ink has dried.
Scribe: What’s one piece of advice you find yourself giving to others time and time again?
DB: You can’t go wrong with ‘read more.’ I also recommend that all writers have a personal website where potential agents (and then, people with potential opportunities) can contact them. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but include a way for people to contact you.
Scribe: What excites you the most about the publishing industry today?
DB: A focus on stories previously ignored. Collaborative marketing ideas.
Scribe: Tell us about a recent book/project that you worked on that excited you and you want everyone to know about?
DB: I am excited by all of my authors and want everyone to read their books! My 2022 publications include HIGH-RISK HOMOSEXUAL: A Memoir by Edgar Gomez, SAINT SEBASTIAN’S ABYSS by Houston-based Mark Haber, NUCLEAR FAMILY by Joseph Han, and HOKULOA ROAD by Elizabeth Hand.
Click here for more information on the 2022 Agents & Editors Conference, a weekend long event in Austin, TX (June 24-26) that focuses on the craft of writing, the business of publishing, and building a literary community.