Our Agents

Philippa Brophy

Philippa is President of the agency, where, after graduating from Boston University, she began her career over 40 years ago as the receptionist. Philippa represents journalists, nonfiction writers and novelists, and is most interested in current events, memoir, science, politics, biography, and women’s issues. Authors she represents include James McBride, author of The Color of Water and The Good Lord Bird, winner of the National Book Award; Amy Wilentz, author of Farewell, Fred Voodoo, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award; the late Richard Ben Cramer, author of What It Takes and Joe DiMaggio: The Hero’s Life; and Senator John McCain, author of Faith of My Fathers, Why Courage Matters and Character Is Destiny among others. She represents several Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists, distinguished politicians, and award-winning novelists.

Laurie Liss

Laurie Liss is Vice President and Partner at Sterling Lord Literistic. She represents authors of commercial and literary fiction and nonfiction whose perspectives are well developed and unique. She has made it a point of her career to nurture young and unpublished authors, as well as self-published and ‘under-published’ writers. Her list represents her broad-based tastes, but generally she looks for books with heart, which will positively impact society. Among her nonfiction clients are doctors, journalists, athletes, chefs, comedians and clergy. Her novelists include full-time writers, journalists and lawyers. Her clients include: Richard Paul Evans, Rachel Maddow, Dave Pelzer, Clark Howard, Malachy McCourt, Shankar Vedantam, Darcie Chan, Matt Richtel, Obert Skye, Francesca Lia Block, Hillary Carlip, Dr. Steve Schlozman, Janet Reitman, Julie Shigekuni, and Michael Morris.
Peter Matson

Peter founded Literistic in 1979 and is Co-Chairman of the agency. He has always had a diverse client list, reflecting his abiding interest in storytelling, whether in the service of history, fiction or the sciences. He is particularly sensitive to the language of the storyteller, the many ways to draw the reader fully into the narrative, and the essential nature of all storytelling to this, or any, culture. The books he has represented included Dee Brown’s Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, Malcolm Lowry’s Under the Volcano, and John Irving’s The World According to Garp. He has represented 17 books by Mary Gordon, 46 by Ruth Rendell, and 19 by William Trevor. His interest in historical narrative is shown by such clients as Barry Lopez, Max Hastings and Alan Brinkley.
Sterling Lord

Co-Chairman of the agency, Sterling has been representing authors for more than sixty years and continues to accept new clients. His authors over the years have included Jack Kerouac, Ken Kesey, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Dick Francis, David Wise, Frank Deford, Tony Summers, Jimmy Breslin, Gloria Naylor, Bill Nack, and Howard Fast. He has represented four United States Cabinet members and Judge John Sirica, as well as one of the largest selling college textbooks on American government, Democracy Under Pressure. In the area of children’s books, Sterling represents the Berenstain family, whose Berenstain Bears books have sold over 300 million copies in the United States and Canada alone. According to Publishers Weekly, Sterling’s own memoir, Lord of Publishing, is “one of the great publishing memoirs of the modern era.”
Nadyne Pike, Managing Director

Nadyne joined Sterling Lord Literistic in 2009, and oversees the financial, human resource and operational affairs of the company. In her role as Managing Director, Nadyne is responsible for the strategic planning, budgeting and supervision of the daily functions of the agency, as well as the training and guidance of staff and management of all vendor relationships. Before joining SLL, she worked across the entertainment field in television, theater and advertising. She brings knowledge from those industries to her position at Sterling Lord Literistic, where she gets to indulge in her favorite pastime – reading interesting, award-winning books by the exceptional authors this agency represents.

Neeti Madan

Neeti has been an agent for 15 years and represents a wide range of authors, among them #1 New York Times best sellers Lisa Lillien (Hungry Girl) and Jenny Lawson (The Bloggess), Container Store Founder and CEO Kip Tindell, biographer Gretchen Holbrook Gerzina, and novelist Tommy Hays. Her books run the gamut from the commercial to the cerebral. She is drawn to memoir, journalism, popular culture, lifestyle, women’s issues, multicultural books and virtually any intelligent writing on intriguing topics. Neeti is on the lookout for the types of books she loves as a reader—page turners that keep her up until 3 AM, thoughtful writing on important issues that interest her, and irreverent books that make her laugh.

Douglas Stewart

Doug has been an agent at Sterling Lord Literistic since 2003. Previous to joining SLL, he was an agent at Curtis Brown, Ltd. for more than seven years. Doug’s list is made up primarily of fiction for all ages, from the innovatively literary to the unabashedly commercial. Recent bestselling and award-winning books from Doug’s list include The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick, The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin, The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell, Bobcat by Rebecca Lee, The Middlesteins by Jami Attenberg, and The Reason I Jump by Naoki Higashida. On the children’s side, Doug is proud to represent Jane O’Connor of Fancy Nancy fame, as well as the team behind the bestselling Ladybug Girl series, Jacky Davis and David Soman.

George Nicholson (1937 - 2015)

Before joining Sterling Lord Literistic in 1995, George founded Delacorte Press and Yearling Books, and was Publisher of Books for Children at The Viking Press, as well as of Bantam Doubleday Dell Books. Among his clients are: Tony Abbott, Joan Bauer, Betsy Byars, Cathleen Bell, Lois Duncan, Kevin Emerson, Alexandra Flinn, Patricia Reilly Giff, Jan Greenberg, Michael Harmon, Sandra Jordan, Peter Lerangis, Laura and Tom McNeal, Leonard Marcus, Harry Mazer, Rune Michaels, Philip Nel, Alice Provensen, Deborah Kogan Ray, Susan Goldman Rubin, Sergio Ruzzier, Clete Smith, and Zilpha Keatley Snyder as well as the literary estates of Don Freeman, Hardie Gramatky, Marguerite Henry and Lois Lenski. He taught and lectured widely, and was on the Board of The MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, New Hampshire.

Jim Rutman

Jim represents a spectrum of journalists, historians, and critics whose work engages questions of broad cultural and aesthetic consequence. He has worked on thematic histories (Drink; Color), personal meditations (Fire Season; The Book of Disquiet), and social and cultural commentaries (Detroit City Is the Place to Be; The Influencing Machine; Manufacturing Depression; Where You’re At, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award). Jim also represents an eclectic group of novelists, including Teddy Wayne, Sheila Heti, Eleanor Henderson, Alissa Nutting, Peter Rock, Maile Chapman, Charles Bock, and Jay Caspian Kang, with a preference for morally and formally challenging writers. Jim has been with SLL since 1998.

Celeste Fine

Celeste represents expert, celebrity, and corporate clients with strong national and international platforms, particularly in the health, science, self-help, food, business, and lifestyle fields. Over the last decade, she has developed a reputation for partnering with marquee clients to support their professional and personal publishing goals and collaborating with their teams to build overall brand strategies. Her clients include New York Times bestsellers and international award winners. Celeste has high expectations of herself and her clients and thoughtfully manages their careers, which includes: crafting the most marketable book concepts and proposals; negotiating six- and seven-figure book deals with the best editors and publishers; and generating additional revenue opportunities in the foreign, film, speaking, licensing, and digital spaces. To learn more about Celeste’s clients, visit celestefine.com.

Robert Guinsler

Robert’s primary interests include literary and commercial fiction (including YA), journalism, narrative nonfiction with an emphasis on pop culture, science and current events, memoirs and biographies. Robert’s clients include Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists, novelists and academics. With a journalism background, Robert is interested in all kinds of nonfiction and he has represented such writers as New York Times bestselling author and Harvard Humanist Chaplain Greg Epstein, Wendy Lawless, Adam Bradley, Anjan Sundaram, Jason Stearns, Chelsea Lately writer and New York Times bestselling author Sarah Colonna, and Charles London. His fiction writers include Samantha Peale, Vanina Marsot, Barnes and Noble Discover pick Doug Crandell, and Grant Jerkins, among others. Additionally, Robert represents the Estate of Jack Kerouac and the Estate of Anne Sexton.

Erica Rand Silverman

Erica’s primary interest is in books for and about children. She represents some of the most exciting new talent and treasured mainstays in the industry. Her clients’ work has been translated into multiple languages, adapted into films, stage plays, apps, and been recipients and honorees of the Caldecott, Newbery, National Book Award, Sibert, and Edgar.  In the children’s market she represents picture books through young adult novels, both fiction and nonfiction, and in the adult market she represents nonfiction predominantly in the areas of parenting  and humor. Some of her clients include Tony Abbott,  Adam Auerbach, Cathleen Bell, Michael Cart, Raquel D’Apice, Rachelle Doorely, Lois Duncan, Kevin Emerson, Alexandra Flinn, The Lydia Freeman Foundation (Corduroy), Eric Kahn Gale,  Chris Gall, Patricia Reilly Giff,  Jan Greenberg,  Joyce Hesselberth, Sandra Jordan,  Peter Lerangis, Leonard Marcus, Tom McNeal, Tim Miller, Alice and Martin Provensen, Mika Song, Annabeth Bondor-Stone and Connor White.  

Szilvia Molnar, Foreign Rights Manager

Szilvia Molnar joined Sterling Lord Literistic in 2011 as the Foreign Rights Manager. Previously she was a literary agent at Salomonsson Agency in Stockholm, working with a range of internationally prominent writers, including Sofi Oksanen. She interned for A.M. Heath & Co. and Weidenfeld & Nicolson in London, but it was during her time at ICM Books London that she discovered her abiding interest in foreign rights while assisting the Foreign Rights Director. Szilvia graduated from University College London with First Class Honors. She is fluent in Swedish and Hungarian but wishes her French was sharper.

Mary Krienke

Mary joined Sterling Lord Literistic in 2006 after receiving her MFA in Fiction from Columbia University. Mary works with Sterling Lord and represents literary fiction, creative nonfiction, and realistic YA that pays close attention to craft and voice. She is especially drawn to new and emerging writers who seek to push boundaries of form and content, and she responds most strongly to writing that reaches great emotional and psychological depths. She is equally interested in work that illuminates through humor or by playing with genre. Her other interests include psychology, art, and design. 

John Maas

John Maas represents serious nonfiction clients in the subject areas of business, personal development, science, self-help, health, fitness, and lifestyle. He specializes in helping high-profile clients transform the key concepts of their business into fresh and compelling proposals that will resonate with top editors and general readers alike. John is currently building a list of authors with strong national and international platforms, including popular keynote speakers, corporations with a unique voice and message, senior executives of major firms, and established experts and thought leaders. Previously, John was an editor at Wiley, where he edited and worked closely with CEO-level business book authors. Originally from small-town Wisconsin, John holds a BA in creative writing from Stanford University and lives in Brooklyn.

Sarah Passick

Sarah Passick represents commercial nonfiction in the celebrity, food, blogger, lifestyle, health, diet, fitness and fashion categories. With close ties to Hollywood, Sarah looks for authors with great media potential and also has a strong interest in finding exciting talent among successfully self-published authors. Sarah helps her clients craft strong and detailed book proposals that kick start an exceptional publishing experience. She prides herself on being an advocate for her authors and is thrilled to be part of Celeste’s exciting team. Sarah previously worked at Stonesong for three years after graduating cum laude from Tulane University with a BA in English. Sarah now lives in the best city in the world, New York.

Madeleine Clark

Madeleine joined Sterling Lord Literistic in 2011 after working in the editorial department at Algonquin Books. Her taste in fiction is the sweet spot between commercial and literary and she loves a novel that can dabble believably, and lightly, in fantasy or magic. She is particularly interested in realistic YA, literary thrillers, and books that draw heavily from their geographical or cultural environment. In the nonfiction realm, Madeleine is looking for pop science, blog to book, dark humor, or memoir that offers something truly unique about the human experience. Madeleine graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and currently works with both Doug Stewart and Neeti Madan while building her own list. 

Jenny Stephens

Jenny began her career in publishing as an intern at Markson Thoma Literary Agency. She joined Sterling Lord Literistic in 2012 and works closely with Laurie Liss and Nadyne Pike while building her own client list. She is primarily seeking food and travel-related narrative nonfiction, lifestyle, and cookbook projects that focus as much on design as they do on quality recipe development. In fiction, she is drawn to contemporary literary narratives that are strongly rooted in place and whose characters stay with her past the final page. Jenny grew up on an island in Maine and graduated with a degree in English Literature from Colby College. 

Photo Credit: Jeyhoun Allebaugh