Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Rachelle Gardner of Gardner Literary

Rachelle Gardner is a literary agent and the founder of Gardner Literary.

As a literary agent since 2007, Rachelle has negotiated 300+ contracts with more than 20 publishers, and worked with more than 200 authors to bring their books to publication and build their careers.

She’s been in publishing since 1995, worked in-house at two publishing companies, and edited books published by Harper Collins, Simon & Schuster, Penguin Random House, and many more. Nowadays she feels lucky to work at the foot of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado.

When she’s not working, you can usually find her out hiking the local trails, riding her bike, haunting bookstores, or having coffee at Starbucks.

She is seeking:

“I represent NONFICTION books for the Christian market (CBA) as well as for the general market, and we are accepting queries for both.

“If you’re writing nonfiction, we can’t really sell it unless you have a sizable platform. If you don’t, you may want to pursue smaller publishers on your own — you don’t need an agent. Only pursue an agent if you have a platform and want to work the medium to large publishers.

“We’re interested in:

  • Next generation voices in the faith community
  • Books about the intersection of faith and culture
  • Deconstructing and reconstructing faith; asking hard questions about faith
  • Books by BIPOC authors; books that grapple with racial issues, LGBTQ+ issues, and all social issues
  • Deeper spirituality and prayer books
  • Books about animal conservation, animal sanctuaries, and animals that help people
  • Feminism and women’s issues
  • Memoirs about any of the above — must be well-written and the author should have a platform.
  • Family life — interested in really unique and/or extraordinary takes on parenting and family, whether it’s memoir or self-help
  • Devotionals with depth, originality, and a definable audience
  • Gift books: journals, guided journals, gifty devotionals; other gift-type books for occasions such as graduation

She is NOT seeking:

— Fiction
— Cookbooks
— Poetry
— Short stories
— Novellas
— Screenplays
— Graphic novels
— NO children’s, middle grade, or YA books

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