InkWell is one of the world’s leading literary agencies, proudly representing major literary prize winners as well as many of the world’s bestselling and best-loved authors. We enjoy a considerable international reputation as a significant and innovative player in the industry.
In addition to its full-time agents and their assistants, the InkWell team includes a tireless foreign rights department, a dedicated social media, marketing and publicity expert, and a meticulous contracts manager. We also join forces with leading literary agencies in every foreign market and have agents based in Australia, Boston, and Dallas. We continue to be excited by—and on the lookout for—original ideas, riveting stories and great writing….
Michael V. Carlisle began his career as a secretary in the literary department at William Morris Agency. Eighteen years later he left as a vice-president to start Carlisle & Company. Born in Paris, of Russian heritage, he graduated with honors from Yale College and holds a J.D. from Columbia Law School. The son of two writers, he brings a background of international law to his career. His best-selling authors have won the Nobel Prize for Literature, Pulitzer Prizes, The Man Booker Prize, the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award (fiction and non-fiction), the British Book Award, LA Times Book Awards, the PEN Award for first non-fiction, and the PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award; one even has an asteroid named for her. A former director of the AAR, a not-for-profit organization of independent literary and dramatic agents, and a member of PEN, Michael heads the non-fiction program at the Squaw Valley Community of Writers and serves on its Board of Directors. He also serves on the US Advisory Board of The London Book Fair.
Photo Credit: Miriam Berkley
I have spent my entire career representing authors who inspire me, helping them build wide, loyal readerships that are as inspired by their work as I am. My clients include a diverse group of novelists, journalists, and subject-specific experts whose ideas and narratives challenge, thrill and enrich readers’ lives and minds, including Andrew Weil, Susan Orlean, Erin Morgenstern, Arianna Huffington, Andre Agassi, Katherine Dunn, Susan Isaacs, Martin Seligman, Christopher Reich, Susan Cain and Donald Ray Pollock. I grew up on Long Island, graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, and now live with my family in Westchester County, where I spend ample time walking our dogs in the woods, thinking about books and the people who write them.
Kimberly Witherspoon, at age 26, founded her own literary agency, which quickly became one of the most prestigious and successful agencies in Manhattan, with clients who are frequently published around the world. Over the past 15 years, she has represented critically acclaimed and bestselling authors of both fiction and nonfiction, including: Kate Atkinson, Anthony Bourdain, Carol Cassella, David Chang, Susan Cheever, Cindy Crawford, Lena Dunham, Gabrielle Hamilton, Eloisa James, Lloyd Jones, Neil Jordan, Lesley Kagen, Sophie Kinsella, Richard Marcinko, Peter Meehan, Julie Orringer, Carly Phillips, Arundhati Roy, Lionel Shriver, Lalita Tademy, David Vann and Rebecca Wells. She graduated from Brown University in 1984 with a BA in International Relations. She is a founding board member of The Bronx Academy of Letters, a member of the Authors Guild and the editor of two anthologies, including: DON’T TRY THIS AT HOME: Culinary Catastrophes From the World’s Greatest Chefs.
Lizz Blaise got her start in publishing as an intern at Folio Literary Management. Her interests include literary fiction, women’s and young adult fiction, suspense, and psychological thriller. A Brooklyn native, Lizz graduated from Hofstra University on Long Island with a degree in Creative Writing & Literature and Classics.
Lyndsey Blessing started her career in publishing in 1995 as an intern in the subsidiary rights department of Grove/Atlantic. She has since worked at the literary scouting agency Maria B. Campbell Associates, rising to Senior Scout and Deputy Director, a position she held for four years. There she worked closely with publishers from around the world, recommending American books for translation. She also lived in Europe for a number of years, working freelance in publishing in Paris and Berlin and teaching English for three years at Berlitz in Berlin. Lyndsey is a graduate of the University of Virginia where she received a BA in English and American Studies. She joined InkWell Management in 2009 as Co-Director of Foreign Rights.
William Callahan rejoined InkWell Management in 2013 after working as an agent at the Waxman Leavell Agency. He’s interested in non-fiction of all stripes, especially American history and memoir, pop culture and illustrated books, as well as voice-driven fiction that stands out from the crowd. He’s a graduate of Fordham University and the University of Iowa. He’s also worked as a piano mover, courier, playwright, waiter, the guy who makes sure you don’t steal books from the library, and, for one month many years ago, a Michael Cera impersonator to promote the release of Juno, a movie which he has never seen.
Catherine Drayton , a graduate of the University of Sydney Law School, began her working life as a litigation lawyer specializing in copyright and libel law at a major international law firm based in Australia. But her first love was always literature and in 1998, after a brief stint as a literary scout, she joined Richard Pine at Arthur Pine Associates which subsequently became InkWell. Over the past fourteen years, she has represented critically acclaimed and bestselling authors of books for children, young adults and women readers. Her clients include Markus Zusak, Beth Hoffman, Becca Fitzpatrick, John Flanagan, Cath Crowley, Joshua Cohen, Andrew Fukuda, Katy Longshore, Craig Silvey, Tara Hudson, Nathan Bransford and Karen Foxlee.
David Forrer began his career in publishing in 1997 after receiving a Masters in Creative Writing (fiction) from Boston University. He has been an agent with InkWell Management since it was created in 2004. His areas of interest and representation range from literary, commercial, historical and crime fiction to suspense/thriller, humorous non-fiction and popular history.
Allison Hunter, a native of the San Francisco Bay Area, began her publishing career in 2005 working for the Los Angeles-based literary publicity firm, Kim-from-L.A. She joined the InkWell team in New York City in 2010, and is actively acquiring literary and commercial fiction (including romance), memoir, narrative nonfiction, cultural studies, pop culture and prescriptive titles, including cookbooks. She is always looking for funny female authors, great love stories and family epics, and for non-fiction projects that speak to the current cultural climate. She has a B.A. in American Studies and Creative Writing from Stanford University and a J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School.
Alexis Hurley started her career in 1998 and has been at InkWell since its inception in 2004. Alexis works in the dual capacity of Co-Director of Foreign Rights and agent of domestic works in the areas of literary and commercial fiction, memoir, narrative non-fiction and more. She is a native of the Berkshires and a graduate of Dickinson College where she received her BA in English and Art History and a minor in Italian.
Nathaniel Jacks graduated from Columbia University with a BA in literature. He represents a variety of writers and is also InkWell’s contracts manager. He welcomes submissions in many categories including memoir, narrative nonfiction, social sciences, health, current affairs, business,religion, and popular history, as well as fiction (literary and commercial,women’s, young adult, historical, short story, among others).
George Lucas co-represents authors in North America on behalf of a number of London literary agencies and publishers, including Profile Books. He turned to agenting in 2003 having spent over a decade as an editor, part of a seventeen-year transatlantic publishing career that had taken him from packing books in a rural English warehouse to nurturing thriller writers for towering New York conglomerates. Among many others, he represents New York Times bestselling authors Lynne Truss, Kate Mosse and Simon Garfield, Man Booker Prize winner Howard Jacobson, as well as the Literary Estate of P G Wodehouse.
Alyssa Mozdzen originally moved to New York from the Midwest to study acting at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. Though the performing arts will always remain an interest for her, words (read or written) have been the one constant in her life. She studied creative writing and psychology at the New School, where she graduated in 2012. Prior to joining the InkWell team, Alyssa interned at the Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency.
Jacqueline Murphy has been engaged in acquiring and shaping important ideas defining the global business culture for nearly two decades. Most recently as Editorial Director at Harvard Business Press, Jacque collaborated with leading experts and heads of industry including Chuck Knight, Charlene Li, Howard Gardner, Cathleen Benko and Tom Davenport. Prior to Harvard Business Press, she held senior-level editorial positions at Perseus Books, Bloomberg Press and John Wiley & Sons. Her interest and expertise is in developing breakthrough concepts for wide impact and broad appeal. She’s acquired and edited bestsellers such as The Cluetrain Manifesto by Christopher Locke, et al., Groundswell by Josh Bernoff and Charlene Li, and Iconoclast by Gregory Berns.
Charlie Olsen started his publishing career at InkWell in 2007 and has been building his client list since. He is interested in fiction, children’s books, graphic novels and illustrated works, and compelling narrative non-fiction. Prior to Inkwell, Charlie studied print journalism at Rider University, covered a beat at a newswire in the District of Columbia, and wrote for two newspapers in New Jersey. He works with award-winning graphic novelists, including New York Times bestseller Matt Kindt, New York Times bestseller Jeff Lemire, and Cartoonist’s Studio Prize-winner Noelle Stevenson; distinguished children’s book authors including New York Times bestseller Andrea Cremer, Amy Ewing, Zoë Ferraris, and Gus Gordon; and also represents non-fiction—both illustrated and traditional prose—like Whisk(e)y Distilled by Heather Greene (Viking, 2014); a book about the seven would-be assassins of Queen Victoria called Shooting Victoria by Paul Thomas Murphy (Pegasus, 2012); and The Warren Commission Report: A Graphic Investigation into the Kennedy Assassination by Dan Mishkin, Ernie Cólon, and Jerzy Drozd (Abrams, 2014).
Prior to joining InkWell, Eliza Rothstein worked for The Susan Golomb Literary Agency. Her interests include literary and commercial fiction, narrative non-fiction, memoir, popular science, and food writing. Eliza studied Comparative Literature and Art History at the University of Pennsylvania, and is a graduate of the Columbia Publishing Course. She is also a founding member of City Readers, a nonprofit organization committed to providing books for public and charter schools in New York City.
Hannah Schwartz started reading at age 5 and hasn’t stopped. She graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with a degree in English Literature, Writing and Psychology. She also studied Literature at University College London and interned at Paper Lantern Lit and Writers House Literary Agency.
David Hale Smith is looking for the next Lee Child or Gillian Flynn. Prior to joining InkWell in 2011, he operated his eponymous literary agency in Texas, starting a few years after graduating with a BA in English from Kenyon College. His fiction list includes New York Times Bestselling novelists Michael Koryta and Greg Rucka; Edgar-winners Theresa Schwegel and Stefanie Pintoff; and multiple Bram Stoker Award and ITW Thriller Award winner, Tom Piccirilli. Smith is very active in selling film and television rights for his clients. In nonfiction he represents such authors as Dr. Jennifer Ashton, the Senior Medical Correspondent for ABC News, frequent Today Show guest nutritionist Elizabeth Somer, and Texas journalist Bill Minutaglio. Smith lives in Dallas with his wife and two daughters. An Eagle Scout, he serves on the board of directors of arts and education-focused nonprofits Educational First Steps and The Dallas International Film Festival.
Prior to joining InkWell in 2010, Lauren Smythe worked in the Literary Department of William Morris Endeavor. Her interests are wide-ranging but tend toward smart narrative nonfiction (narrative journalism, modern history, biography, cultural criticism, personal essay, humor), personality-driven practical nonfiction (cookbooks, fashion and style), and contemporary literary fiction. She grew up in Indiana, attended New York University, and lives, predictably, in Brooklyn.
Lisa Vanterpool began her publishing career in London where she studied for her M.A. in Publishing at Kingston University. While completing her studies she interned at Blake Friedmann Literary Agency which quickly led to a full-time work contract. After obtaining her degree, and gallivanting around the UK and Europe, she relocated to New York where she joined the Inkwell Team in 2013 as the Public Relations and Social Media Strategist. Prior to her career in publishing, she earned her B.A. in Communications from Old Dominion University and worked in event coordination
and management in her hometown of Virginia Beach, Virginia.
Jenny Witherell, Business Manager, is a graduate of Simmons College in Boston where she received a B.A. in English and Economics. She received her M.B.A. from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. Before joining InkWell, she worked in investment research. She has also coached collegiate rowing.
Monika Woods began her publishing career working for Ellen Levine at Trident Media Group after graduating from the Columbia Publishing Course. Her interests include literary and commercial fiction, young adult, memoir, and compelling non-fiction in popular culture, science, and current affairs. Monika lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two cats and can be found writing about the book she just finished at www.booksijustread.com.