“I work very closely with my clients, hoping for lifelong partnerships! Advocating for them and their careers is a privilege. I am usually pretty hands-on during the editorial stage.” –Julia Kardon, HG Literary
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 Julia Kardon
Julia Kardon was born and raised in New York City. Her first job in publishing, while in high school, was shelving fiction at the fabled Strand Bookstore. She received degrees in Comparative Literature, as well as in Slavic Languages and Literature at the University of Chicago. Julia joined HG Literary in 2018 after building a list at Mary Evans Inc and handling foreign rights. Prior to that she assisted at Sterling Lord Literistic, a job she attained after an unpaid internship both there and at the Wylie Agency. She is interested primarily in literary and upmarket fiction and memoir, and especially stories grappling with racial, religious, sexual or national identity, narrative nonfiction, journalism, and history. She does not represent thrillers, any children’s literature or books about spirituality or Christianity. Her clients include New York Times Best Sellers Brit Bennett and Etaf Rum, Barnes & Noble Discover picks John Freeman Gill, K-Ming Chang and Leah Franqui, Center For Fiction Emerging Writer Fellow Melissa Rivero, Moriel Rothman-Zecher, Marcelo Hernandez Castillo, and others.
Scribe: How would you describe your personal approach to working with an author?
Julia Kardon: I work very closely with my clients, hoping for lifelong partnerships! Advocating for them and their careers is a privilege. I am usually pretty hands-on during the editorial stage.
Scribe: What do you look for in a debut author?
JK: It’s hard to pin it down into just one thing–I mostly am hoping to be excited to keep reading, to not want to put it down. I tend to find that I feel that way most when I’m reading something that is making sense of something unfamiliar, or engaging with something in a unique way.
Scribe: What’s one piece of advice you find yourself giving to others time and time again?
JK: Read a lot of contemporary books in the genre you are writing in.
Scribe: What excites you the most about the publishing industry today?
JK: The opportunity to change it.
Scribe: Tell us about a recent book/project that you worked on that excited you and you want everyone to know about?
JK: So many! One that comes to mind is X by Davey Davis, it’s a queer noir set in near-future NYC.
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.