Books aren’t just what we do, they’re who we are. We become the sum total of our reading experiences – the romance, the adventures, the coming-of-age, the fantasy, the dare-to-believe. At kt literary, we want to be more.
Madeleine L’Engle once said, “You have to write whichever book it is that wants to be written. And then, if it’s going to be too difficult for grown-ups, you write it for children.” Write for children. Write for adults. Write for yourself. And then, when you’re ready to find a literary agent to take your work to the next level, think of us.
kt literary is a full-service literary agency operating out of Highlands Ranch, in the suburbs of Denver, Colorado, where every major publishing house is merely an email or phone call away. We believe in the power of new technology to connect writers to readers, and authors to editors. We bring over a decade of experience in the New York publishing scene, an extensive list of contacts, and a lifetime love of reading to the foothills of the Rocky Mountains.
And did we mention our boundless optimism?
Kate Testerman, Founder and Senior Agent: (Pronouns: She/Her, Salutation: Ms.) After a dozen years working in publishing in New York City, Kate moved to Colorado and formed kt literary in early 2008, where she concentrates on middle grade and young adult fiction. Bringing to bear the experience of being part of a large agency, she enjoys all aspects of working with her authors, offering hands-on experience, personal service, and an abundance of optimism. Her clients include Maureen Johnson, Stephanie Perkins, Amy Spalding, Trish Doller, Diana Peterfreund, Emily Ecton and Matthew Cody, among other exciting and acclaimed authors. Kate is a graduate of the University of Delaware’s Honors Program, a former cast member of the New York Renaissance Faire, a hobbyist lifestyle photographer, and an avid collector of shoes, bags, children, and dogs. Her interests cover a broad range including contemporary drama, urban fantasy and magical realism, adventure stories, and romantic comedies. She is an active member of the SCBWI and AAR. For additional information, please read this Agent Spotlight.
Sara Megibow, Senior Agent (Pronouns: She/Her, Salutation: Ms.) is a literary agent with kt literary out of Highlands Ranch, CO. She has worked in publishing since 2006 and represents New York Times bestsellers authors including Margaret Rogerson, Roni Loren, Jason M. Hough and Jaleigh Johnson. She specializes in launching debut authors and working on long-term career development and profit strategy with them. She is a graduate of Northwestern University with degrees in Women’s Studies, Gender Studies and American History. Always LGBTQ+ Friendly!
Renee Nyen, Agent: (Pronouns: She/Her, Salutation: Ms.) Several years in the editorial department at Random House’s Colorado division provided Renee with the opportunity to work with bestselling and debut authors alike. After leaving Random House, she came to kt literary in early 2013. She currently runs the kt literary podcast and our Instagram feed, and also loves digging into manuscripts and helping the author shape the best story possible. Though this is great for her profession, it tends to frustrate people watching movies with her. With a penchant for depressing hipster music and an abiding love for a good adventure story, Renee is always looking for book recommendations. Even if that means creeping on people reading in public. Which she does frequently. She makes her home in Arizona with her husband, and their three children.
Hilary Harwell, Agent (Pronouns: She/Her, Salutation: Ms.) As a proud member of the KT Literary family, Hilary represents children’s and young adult authors. She joined the team in 2016 as an assistant to both Kate and Sara and began taking on her own clients in 2017. Hilary is a graduate of the University of Colorado, Boulder, where she earned a degree in Anthropology. She went on to work in the back office of a major Swiss Investment Bank for eight years before deciding to trade numbers for letters. When not reading or editing or writing stories of her own, Hilary likes to hike the Rockies with her family and dreams of one day owning her own horses. As an agent, Hilary partners with her growing list of clients to develop their projects in preparation for submission and strategizes to help them build long-term writing careers as published authors. She’s highly communicative, empathetic, and supportive as an agent–tailoring her approach to each client’s unique needs, acting as a strong advocate, and helping them navigate the business side of publishing their work. She’s actively acquiring middle grade and young adult projects across all genres; picture books, chapter books and graphic novels by author-illustrators. More about her interests can be found at Manuscript Wishlist. Recent sales can be found on Publisher’s Marketplace.
Kelly Van Sant, Contracts Manager and Agent (Pronouns: She/Her, Salutation: Ms.) has over a decade of experience in the publishing industry. She cut her teeth in New York working at esteemed literary agencies before relocating to Minnesota, where she spent years as a contracts manager for various publishers. She uses her platform as a teaching artist at the Loft Literary Center and as the co-host of the Pub Crawl podcast to empower writers to become informed and take creative control over their work and the trajectory of their careers. Kelly’s own career came full circle when she realized that her true passion was advocating on behalf of authors. She is now an agent and actively building a client list, as well as kt literary’s contracts manager.
Jas Perry, Agent (Pronouns: She/They, Salutation: Ms.) is a Manhattan-based literary agent representing Middle Grade and Young Adult fiction and Graphic Novels. She’s a We Need Diverse Books grantee and was previously a freelance children’s editor and an editorial intern with Levine Querido and Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine Books. She attended New York University in Florence and London before graduating with a BA in English from the City University of New York’s Hunter College. Jas is Black/Japanese and represents a diverse range of strong voices with a focus on BIPOC, QTPOC, and/or disabled creators. She particularly enjoys dark contemporary realism, offbeat humor and horror, (Alondra Nelson-defined) Afrofuturism, and bold, grounded SFF that makes her think.
Kari Sutherland, Agent (Pronouns: She/Her, Salutation: Ms.) is a literary agent based out of Southern California. She began on the editorial side of publishing, first at Disney Press, then HarperCollins Children’s Books–where she had the honor of editing many talented authors, including Victoria Aveyard and Sara Shepard. Middle grade and YA are at the heart of her list, but she also represents picture books, chapter books, graphic novels, and upmarket fiction. She graduated from Williams College with a B.A. in English and Psychology and received a Masters in Forensic Psychology from John Jay College of Criminal Justice before pivoting back to her first love–books. With her editorial insight and experience with the entire publishing process, Kari is passionate about helping to polish each manuscript and equip her clients for success.
Savannah Brooks, Agent (Pronouns: She/Her, Salutation: Ms.) started in agenting as an intern with the Jennifer De Chiara team in 2017, moving to associate agent in 2018. In 2022, she joined the incredible team at KT Literary as an agent, where she represents all of kid lit and adult contemporary fiction, romcoms, thrillers/mystery/suspense, and horror. She’s especially interested in stories that teach her something new, add to a larger sociopolitical conversation, and highlight underrepresented identities and cultures. She earned her MFA, focused in creative nonfiction, from Hamline University and her BS in marketing management from Virginia Tech and worked on the editorial side of publishing for two years prior to joining JDLA. As well as agenting, she works as a publishing and literature lecturer at the University of Minnesota and a teaching artist at the Loft Literary Center. She lives in Minneapolis and can regularly be found at one of Minnesota’s 11,842 lakes—yes, even in winter.
Chelsea Hensley, Associate Agent: (Pronouns: She/Her, Salutation: Ms.) Before joining kt literary, Chelsea was a freelance editor and perpetual publishing intern. In 2018 she mentored in Pitch Wars and most recently was an editorial intern at Page Street Publishing where she assisted on titles from Addie Thorley and Breanna Shields. She has a BA in English from the University of Missouri and lives and works as a bookseller in St. Louis, MO. She likes fresh and imaginative SFF, dark and twisty mysteries/thrillers, and whipsmart protagonists. She is interested in working with authors belonging to groups traditionally underrepresented in publishing, especially Black authors. When she isn’t working, she can be found playing Dungeons & Dragons, watching The Golden Girls, or playing with her dog.
Aida Z. Lilly, Associate Agent (Pronouns: She/Her, Salutation: Ms.) now calls the East Coast home after spending several years in Denver, Colorado, where she attended the University of Denver’s Publishing Institute and worked as a retail manager and bookseller for a large indie bookstore. She is the Program Coordinator for The Word | A Storytelling Sanctuary, a nonprofit that fights for equity and diversity in publishing, and alongside Viniyanka Prasad, spearheaded the creation of #MarginsBookstores Month and its programming. Aida is based in Virginia, loves to travel, and would prefer to be wrapped up in an electric blanket and good book at all times. She calls all dogs “puppies” regardless of their age and lives for the beach. She graduated summa cum laude from the University of Montevallo with a BA in English (minor in writing) and has an MA in Organizational Management with a specialization in Media Management.
Kate Linnea Welsh, Royalties Manager (Pronouns: She/Her, Salutation: Ms.) is a writer and taxonomist from Connecticut who now lives in New Hampshire, where she has a love-hate relationship with the bonkers political milieu. She has a BA in Literary Studies from Bard College at Simon’s Rock and an MS in Library and Information Science from Simmons University. After the 2016 election, she contributed to and helped Maureen Johnson edit How I Resist: Activism and Hope for a New Generation. In addition to helping kt literary manage contract and royalty data, she has a day job in tech and tries to fit in some writing of her own. Kate will read almost anything but her first love is mysteries. In addition to books and politics, she’s into spreadsheets, knitting, and British detectives. You may know her on Twitter as Felicity Disco.