Thursday, January 6, 2011

Meet Literary Agent Blair Hewes

By Kathryn Craft

In addition to listening to pitches and participating on our agent panel, Blair Hewes of Dunham Literary, Inc. and her good friend, literary agent Katie Grimm of Don Congdon Associates, will co-lead our Friday night session on how to pitch to agents and editors, which they've titled "Tuning Your Pitch: The Essential Notes."

There's business to their relationship as well: Dunham Literary, Don Congdon Associates, and the Denise Marcil Literary Agency have formed an alliance so they can share office space and combine back office activities. Their companies and their decisions about representation, however, remain separate. What you need to know: it's fine to submit query letters to all three agencies.

Here's some more about Blair and her agency.

About Dunham Literary
Jennie Dunham has been a literary agent in New York City since May 1992. She started her career at John Brockman Associates and then Mildred Marmur Associates. She was employed by Russell & Volkening for 6 years before she left to found Dunham Literary, Inc. in August 2000. She has been a member of AAR (Association of Authors Representatives) since 1993. She served on the Program Committee and was Program Committee Director for several years. She attended international meetings as the AAR representative to create the ISTC (International Standard Text Code) which is being created to ISO (International Standardization Organization) specifications. This business and tracking system will be based on titles not book formats (as is the case with ISBN) and will work in tandem with ISBN.

About Blair Hewes
Blair Hewes is a member of the Association of Authors’ Representatives and serves on their Program Committee. She is also a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators.

What she's looking for: Literary and commercial fiction, narrative non-fiction, and books for children of all ages. Whether for children or adults, she believes it is important to provide books for both the reader actively looking to expand his or her mind and the one who simply wants to be swept up in a good story, but a truly exceptional book accomplishes both aims together. She is also interested in representing authors of non-fiction books in the categories of pop-culture, historical biography, lifestyle, and women’s issues.

What she's not looking for: Westerns, hard boiled crime fiction, horror, or political or medical thrillers. Says Blair, "While I love a book with a romantic element, I don’t do genre romance."

Read a blog post by Blair's satisfied author Bettina Restrepo, who calls Blair "the person she didn't even know she was hoping for."


  1. I must whole heartedly agree that Blair is the world's best agent. She's smart, kind and nuturing. She also wrtites the longest (and most useful) editorial letters I have seen.

    Many of my writer buddies have looked at her letters and said.... wow, I wished my editor or agent did that.

    We believe in revision.

    Good luck on a great conference!

  2. Hey Bettina, thanks for stopping in! It's so helpful to our conferees to see these agents as people instead of the Oz-like controller behind the curtain. Congratulations on your success and best of luck with your career!