Meet the Agents: Sheyla Knigge (High Line Literary Collective)

“The world of publishing is extremely secretive, and for new authors that can be really scary. The more open and honest I can be in my lines of communication, the better.”  Sheyla Knigge, High Line Literary Collective

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 Sheyla Knigge

Sheyla Knigge is a budding publishing professional who comes to the industry with a lifelong love of reading under her belt. Having worked under Victoria Marini since 2021, she has had the immense pleasure of perusing a variety of books that have gone on to do incredibly well and cannot wait to do the same for her own clients soon. With just over a year’s experience sleuthing through slush piles for the next best seller, she is itching to dive into more manuscripts with High Line Literary Collective. When she’s not working you can find Sheyla tucked away writing, getting more tattoos, or spending time with her family in the Appalachian Mountains

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

Sheyla Knigge: I would describe my personal approach to working with authors as very editorial when it comes to their works; however more than that, I would say that I aim to be very transparent from start to finish. The world of publishing is extremely secretive, and for new authors that can be really scary. The more open and honest I can be in my lines of communication, the better.

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

SN: I wouldn’t say that there’s a certain thing that I look for in a debut author, because each one is very different. I will say, I want the authors that I work with to have a passion for their projects. There is a lot of burnout that comes with writing especially because it is such a solitary thing for most, so having that enthusiasm, this sort of infectiousness that seems almost palpable on that offer call is HUGE.

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

SN: What excited me most about the publishing industry today is the growing number of diverse editors and authors alike – like myself – who have been able to become a part of this industry. I think that COVID and, subsequently, remote work have opened up the world of publishing to a large group of people who beforehand would have had to live in NY to even have a chance.

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

SN: I have quite a few projects that I am very excited to scream about – namely a few debuts of mine that have been announced, such as Modern Divination (TOR UK 2025), Soulgazer (Berkley 2025), and last but certainly not least, Ghost Scouts Honor (Scholastic 2025.)

Thanks, Sheyla!

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.