Meet the Agents: Emma Kapson (Verve Talent & Literary)

“Having a published book is one of the most valuable things someone can have in the media rights space, and is another reason why I’m always reading with an eye for adaptation.”  Emma Kapson, Verve Talent & Literary

Every other 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 30th A&E Conference, taking place June 21 – 23, 2024, we’re happy to share Q&As with some of our visiting agents and editors here.

An Interview with Emma Kapson

Emma Kapson is a native Los Angeleno and Junior Agent and IP Coordinator at Verve Talent & Literary. She started her career in publishing at Regan Arts and has since transitioned to representation. She’s passionate about literature and bringing stories she believes in to life in various mediums like film, television, and audio. She is a young agent looking to build her list and is open to queries of any kind. She has an eye for women’s voices, loves strong, female driven narratives, epic worlds, romance, horror, and works by foreign and diverse writers.

Scribe: How would you describe your personal approach to working with an author? 

Emma Kapson: My approach to working with an author is extremely hands-on. I like to tell my clients that I’m their editorial partner until we find the right editor. I sometimes go as far as working with them on their material on google docs—other times we only need one pass. It depends on the state of the material when it comes in, and differs with each client/agent relationship—but even in terms of the submission letter itself, the author and I work hand-in-hand.

Scribe: What do you look for in a debut author? 

EK: The most important thing for me is voice on the page. I’m genre-agnostic, as long as the voice speaks to me, I’m in. I like to work with debut authors who aren’t too precious with their material because we usually have to do a few passes together before something is ready for submission. Because of Verve’s position in the marketplace, I’m always reading with an eye for adaptation, and love to see an artist whose work could live across multiple verticals. This lends itself to my desire to represent multi-hyphenates and to build out careers that straddle multiple industries.

Scribe: What’s one piece of advice you find yourself giving to others time and time again? 

EK: That the publishing industry is subjective, and it’s all about finding the right person to champion your work.

Scribe: What excites you the most about the publishing industry today?

EK: What excites me most about the publishing industry today is that IP is king, especially in Hollywood. Having a published book is one of the most valuable things someone can have in the media rights space, and is another reason why I’m always reading with an eye for adaptation.

Scribe: Tell us about a recent book/project that you worked on that excited you and you want everyone to know about? 

EK: I’m extremely proud to be working with my client Kayla Hardy on her series The Quarter Queen – she’s a debut author and just closed a two-book deal!

Thanks, Emma!

Click here for more information on the 2024 Agents & Editors Conference, a weekend long event in Austin, TX (June 21-23) that focuses on the craft of writing, the business of publishing, and building a literary community.