Wales Literary Agency, established in 1990 and described as a “…discerning Seattle outfit in search of literary nonfiction and fiction from the Pacific Rim and beyond,” represents approximately 50 clients.
Subjects of interest for the agency are narrative-driven nonfiction and memoirs—with particular emphasis on science, nature, social justice, politics, health, food writing, and culture—and literary fiction and graphic novels.
Recently published and forthcoming titles represented by the Agency include: Rooted: Life at the Crossroads of Nature and Spirit, by Lyanda Lynn Haupt (Little, Brown Spark, 2020 and paperback edition Spring 2023); author of the 2018 Washington State Book Award winner; Mozart’s Starling (Little, Brown) and other titles; Victory Parade, by Leela Corman (Pantheon, Spring 2024); We Are Not Strangers, by Josh Tuininga (AbramsComicsArts, 2023); What Your Food Ate by David R. Montgomery and Anne Biklé (W.W. Norton, 2022 and paperback, Spring 2023); The ABCs of Savage Love, by Dan Savage with illustrations by Joe Newton (Sasquatch Books, 2021); Half Broke, by Ginger Gaffney (W.W. Norton, 2020); Of Bears and Ballots, by Heather Lende (Algonquin, 2020), author of New York Times bestseller, If You Lived Here, You’d Know My Name and Find the Good (Algonquin); Witness Tree, by Lynda Mapes (Bloomsbury, 2017; University of Washington Press, 2020); Our Native Bees by Paige Embry (Timber/Workman, 2018).
Also among our agency clients are: Jacinda Townsend, Jean Hegland, Michaela Vieser, Isaac Yuen, David Mas Masumoto, Julia A. Boyd, Kenny Fries, Martin Laird, and Brenda Peterson.
Agency titles have appeared on the New York Times, Publishers Weekly, and other national bestseller lists and earned strong reviews.
Client awards include: American Book Awards, an American Academy of Arts and Letters Literary Award, the Anisfeld-Wolf Book Award, the AWP Award, Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Award, Guggenheim Awards, the Harvard Goldsmith Award, a Julia Child Literary Food Writing Award, Lambda Literary Awards, Lannan Awards, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Library of Congress, MacArthur Fellowships, NEA Fellowships, PEN Awards, the Polk Award, Pulitzer Prize finalists, Pushcart Prizes, Rockefeller Grants, and Washington State Book Awards.
Elizabeth Wales, owner and principal agent, began her career at Oxford University Press in 1980. She also worked at the Strand Bookstore and in trade sales and marketing at Viking Penguin in New York. A graduate of Smith College, she did graduate work in Literature at Columbia University. Member of Association of American Literary Agents (AALA) and the Authors' Guild.
Karen Maeda Allman, assistant agent, has had a long career working at Independent Bookstores, including 23 years as Author Events Co-Coordinator at the Elliott Bay Book Company in Seattle. A 2017 Seattle Arts and Lectures Prowda Literary Champions Award winner, she now serves on the Seattle Arts and Lectures Board. She has served on jury and awards panels including the NEA Big Read Book Review Committee, Hedgebrook, the 2017 DSC Prize for South Asian Literature, the 2018 National Book Award for Translated Literature, the 2021 Kirkus Prize for Nonfiction and the 2023 CLMP Firecracker Award for Fiction.
Adrienne Reed, assistant agent, handled Foreign Rights to U.S. books for Wales Literary Agency for ten years in the ’90s and early 2000s. With a strong interest in literary fiction and non-fiction, Reed previously also worked at Seattle Arts & Lectures as Marketing and Event Coordinator and was on the board of The Seattle Review magazine. Reed speaks German and French and enjoys playing piano and accordion in a swing band and hiking in her spare time.
Neal Swain is agent-at-large, handling special projects. After working for the agency for fifteen years, Neal is Rights and Licensing Manager at the University of California Press.