Elizabeth in a London Bookshop

About the Agency

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 mainstream and literary fiction and graphic novels.

Recently published and forthcoming titles represented by the  Agency include: Rooted by Lyanda Lynn Haupt (Little, Brown, 2021), author of the 2018 Washington State Book Award winner, Mozart’s Starling (Little, Brown, 2017) among several other titles; The ABCs of Savage Love by Dan Savage with illustrations by Joe Newton; Half Broke by Ginger Gaffney (W.W. Norton, 2020); Be Brave, Be Kind, Be Thankful: A Year in Small Town Government (Algonquin, 2020) by Heather Lende, author of New York Times Bestseller, If You Lived Here, You’d Know My Name and Find the Good (Algonquin, 2016); 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: Dan Savage, David Mas Masumoto, Julia A. Boyd, Peter Donahue, Gordon Edgar, Kenny Fries, Jean Hegland, Martin Laird, and Cinthia Ritchie.

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.

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.

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