Sterling Lord Literistic, Inc.

A Tradition of Literary Excellence for Over 60 Years

Phone 212-780-6050

A New York City-based literary agency, founded in 1952.


Philippa Brophy President


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; 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 Executive Vice President


Executive Vice President and Managing Partner, Laurie has made it a point in her career to nurture young and unpublished authors, as well as self-published and ‘under-published’ writers. Laurie represents commercial and literary fiction and nonfiction whose perspectives are well developed and unique. Her list represents her broad-based tastes, but generally she looks for books with heart, which will positively impact society. Among her clients are journalists, academics, doctors, lawyers and athletes. Her clients include: Richard Paul Evans; Rachel Maddow; Matt Richtel; Jessica Valenti; Shankar Vedantam; Clark Howard; Malachy McCourt; Valter Longo; Darcie Chan; Obert Skye; Julie Shigekuni; Steve Schlozman; Jenna Evans Welch; Janet Reitman; Kara Lee Corthron; and Benjamin Hardy.

Peter Matson Co-Chairman


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


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 by Milton C. Cummings and David Wise. In the area of children’s books, Sterling brought the Berenstain family into the agency, and has represented them for 55 years. The 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 Chief Operating Officer


Nadyne joined Sterling Lord Literistic, Inc. in 2009, and oversees the financial, human resource and operational affairs of the company. In her role as Chief Operating Officer, 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, Inc., where she gets to indulge in her favorite pastime – reading interesting, award-winning books by the exceptional authors this agency represents.


senior agents


Doug Stewart Vice President


Doug has been an agent at Sterling Lord Literistic, Inc. since 2003. His 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, Young Jane Young by Gabrielle Zevin, Slade House by David Mitchell, All Grown Up by Jami Attenberg, Harmony by Carolyn Parkhurst, Delicious Foods by James Hannaham, Bobcat by Rebecca Lee, The Impossible Fortress by Jason Rekulak, The Optimistic Decade by Heather Abel, and Tell the Machine Goodnight by Katie Williams, among others. On the children’s side, Doug is proud to represent Jane O’Connor of Fancy Nancy fame, the author of the Stick Dog and Stick Cat series Tom Watson, as well as the team behind the bestselling Ladybug Girl series, Jacky Davis and David Soman.


Celeste Fine Vice President

Celeste Fine - 2.jpg

Celeste has developed a reputation for negotiating six- and seven-figure book deals for high-profile authors with big ideas and strong platforms.  Her clients include New York Times bestsellers JJ Virgin, Dave Asprey, Sara Gottfried, MD, Rocco Dispirito, Izabella Wentz, Robb Wolf, Dale Bredesen, Geneen Roth, Kellyann Petrucci, Pedram Shojai, Dave Kerpen, Susan Albers, Psy.D,  Michelle Bridges, Michael Dow, PhD, Yuri Elkaim, JoJo Siwa, and Jackie Warner. Her authors have sold millions of copies around the world, and some of her most highly anticipated publications will be coming from Dr William Li, Dr. Zoe Chance, Hal Elrod, and Dr. David Sinclair. Celeste is always looking to champion big authors, big ideas, and big impact. Celeste graduated from Harvard University in 2002.  To learn more about Celeste and her clients, visit

Robert Guinsler


Robert has been with Sterling Lord Literistic, Inc. since 2000. His general curiosity in all things has allowed him the opportunity to represent a wide variety of prize-winning and New York Times bestselling nonfiction authors and projects. From the geopolitical mosaics of journalists Rania Abouzeid and Mikhail Zygar, to the impassioned memoirs of Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich and legendary gay rights activist Cleve Jones, to the comedic collections of Sarah Colonna, Phoebe Robinson and Egypt's own Bassem Youssef, most every avenue of the nonfiction spectrum can be found on his list. As well, he has been a champion of LGBTQ+ voices his entire career and some of his authors include Hugh Ryan, Guy Branum, Peter Staley, The Estate of Gilbert Baker, and Evan Fallenberg, among many others.  Additionally, he represents the Estate of Anne Sexton.


Neeti Madan


Neeti represents a wide range of authors, among them #1 New York Times best sellers Lisa Lillien (Hungry Girl) and Jenny Lawson (The Bloggess), biographer Gretchen Holbrook Gerzina, journalist Pamela Newkirk, artist Rajiv Surendra 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.


Jim Rutman


Jim represents formally adventurous and stylistically diverse authors of fiction including Sheila Heti (How Should a Person Be), Alissa Nutting (Tampa), Yelena Akhtiorskaya (Panic in a Suitcase), Affinity Konar (Mischling), Eleanor Henderson (Ten Thousand Saints), Charles Bock (Alice & Oliver), and Teddy Wayne (The Love Song of Jonny Valentine) as well as a variety of journalists and critics whose non-fiction work examines an array of cultural and historical subjects including Jay Caspian Kang, Kent Russell (I Am Sorry to Think I Have Raised a Timid Son), Mark Binelli (Detroit City is the Place to Be), Lauren Sandler, and Gary Greenberg (The Book of Woe). He has been with SLL since 1998.  




Elizabeth Bewley


Elizabeth represents young adult and middle grade fiction and nonfiction. After graduating from Northwestern University in 2002, Elizabeth got her first job as an editorial assistant at St. Martin’s Press. She then went on to hold editorial jobs at HarperCollins, Intervisual Books, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers, where she was an Executive Editor. Elizabeth has worked with bestselling and award-winning authors including Jennifer E. Smith, Estelle Laure, Claire LaZebnik, Linda Williams Jackson, Ashley Herring Blake, Sophie Flack, Kass Morgan, Josh Sundquist, Alyson Noël, and Nic Sheff, amongst others. She joined Sterling Lord Literistic, Inc. in 2017, and she has an affinity for upmarket commercial fiction and accessible nonfiction that illuminates real world issues for young readers. Elizabeth loves books that: transport readers to foreign lands; explore family dynamics; capture the feeling of first love. She would also like to represent memoirs geared towards young readers.  She enjoys working closely with authors on each and every stage of the publication process.  Elizabeth accepts email queries at


Sarah Landis


Before joining Sterling Lord Literistic, Inc. in 2017, Sarah worked as an editor for fifteen years, holding roles at G.P. Putnam Son’s, Hyperion Books, HarperCollins Children’s Books, and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers. Over the course of her career, Sarah has had the pleasure of editing many talented and award-winning authors including the likes of: Lauren Groff, Jodi Lynn Anderson, Kasie West, Claudia Gray, Michael Buckley, Eileen Cook, Erin Summerill, and Megan Shepherd. Sarah is looking for middle grade and young adult books across all genres. She is particularly drawn to middle grade fantasy and contemporary with heart, humor, and magic. In the young adult space, she has an affinity for southern voices, high-concept plots, grounded sci-fi/fantasy, historical, mysteries & thrillers, and emotionally compelling contemporary. Sarah graduated with a BA in English from the University of Virginia.


John Maas

John1 copy.jpg

John represents serious nonfiction clients. He has a particular interest in the subject areas of health, personal development, science, self-help, business, memoir, food, history, biography, and current events. He focuses on helping high-profile clients transform the key messages of their work into fresh and compelling proposals that will resonate with top editors and general readers alike. John specializes in working with authors who have strong national and international platforms, including popular keynote speakers, organizations with a unique voice and message, groundbreaking researchers and academics, and other 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.


Alison MacKeen


Alison joined Sterling Lord in 2015, after holding editorial positions at several publishers, including Basic Books, Princeton University Press, and Yale University Press. She is interested in idea-driven non-fiction books that use original research to re-think fundamental aspects of human experience, past and present; nonfiction that presents the history of ideas, science and innovation in narrative form; and memoirs, essays, and travel writing that introduce readers to under-covered issues, people and places. Her authors are thought leaders in the social sciences and humanities and established experts in the health, business, lifestyle, and design worlds. Areas of special interest include work; learning and education; status and inequality; psychology; the history of science and technology; relationships, including parenting; philosophy; and literature and the arts. Alison was raised in Nova Scotia, and studied literature at McGill University and the University of Oxford.


Sarah Passick


Sarah Passick represents commercial nonfiction in the celebrity, food, personal development, lifestyle, health, diet, and fitness categories. With close ties to Hollywood and New York media, Sarah looks for authors with great publicity potential and a unique message. She prides herself on being a passionate advocate for her authors and works on a team of agents with Celeste Fine and John Maas. Some of her clients include Laila Ali, Rocco DiSpirito, Nico Tortorella, and JoJo Siwa.  Sarah graduated cum laude from Tulane University with a BA in English and attended the New York University Summer Publishing Institute. Sarah lives in New York City.


foreign rights


Szilvia Molnar Foreign Rights Director


Szilvia joined Sterling Lord Literistic in 2011 as the Foreign Rights Director. Szilvia also represents the Kathy Acker estate at the agency. Previously she was a literary agent at Salomonsson Agency in Stockholm, working with a range of internationally prominent writers, including Sofi Oksanen, Karolina Ramqvist, and Antti Tuomainen. She graduated from University College London in 2007 with First Class Honors, studying Hungarian and Comparative Literature, and began her publishing career at ICM Books London as the assistant to the Foreign Rights Director. She enjoys stylistically daring fiction that explores unsettling circumstances or relationships, questions identity, and examines the perversity of the human heart. Originally from Budapest, Hungary but raised in Sweden, Szilvia now lives in Harlem.


Danielle Bukowski Foreign Rights Associate & Associate Agent


Danielle joined the foreign rights department of Sterling Lord Literistic, Inc. in 2014 and works closely with Szilvia Molnar to promote SLL’s titles abroad. For her domestic list, Danielle is looking for upmarket women’s fiction, smart commercial fiction, literary fiction, and select nonfiction. She is looking for narratives from underrepresented and marginalized voices in particular, and prefers fiction that balances a unique hook and well-paced plot with strong writing and a distinctive voice. Forthcoming titles include Bryan Washington’s Lot (Riverhead) and They Could Have Named Her Anything by Stephanie Jimenez (Little A). Danielle graduated from Vassar College with a concentration in English and spent a semester at University College London.


associate agents


Jaidree Braddix


Jaidree is interested in both serious non-fiction and buzz-worthy topics that can make a big media splash. Formerly a publicist at an independent press, Jaidree is always on the lookout for projects with a “newsy” hook. She works closely with Celeste Fine and is particularly interested in food, health, personal development, current events, and big ideas with the potential to influence the national conversation. She is committed to helping authors turn their assets—be they exciting ideas, popular blogs, academic studies, or Instagram followings—into compelling proposals and noteworthy books. Born and raised on Maui, Hawaii, Jaidree holds an MS in Publishing from Pace University and a BA in Journalism from the University of Northern Colorado. She now lives in Brooklyn.


Mary Krienke


Mary joined Sterling Lord Literistic, Inc. in 2006 and works with Laurie Liss and Peter Matson, representing and co-representing literary and upmarket fiction, voice-driven nonfiction, and memoir. Mary is particularly drawn to nonfiction that speaks to something essential and of-the moment (with an awareness that we are speaking from a specific cultural POV). In terms of fiction, she gravitates toward work that explores new forms of storytelling and employs a strong and/or unfamiliar voice. Whether investigating an author's own life experiences or their characters’ complications and motivations, honesty and rigor are always key. Work that is psychologically and emotionally nuanced is especially welcome, as is writing that illuminates through humor or by playing with genre. Mary received her MFA in Fiction from Columbia University and has a deep appreciation for dark chocolate; her other interests include film, television, art, and design.


Jenny Stephens


Jenny represents nonfiction in a variety of categories including cookbooks, practical lifestyle projects, history, memoir, food and environmental/nature writing. In both literary fiction and nonfiction, she is particularly drawn to smart yet accessible writing that is deeply rooted in place and disrupts cultural assumptions or social norms. In addition to her own client list, she works closely with Alison MacKeen and with Nadyne Pike on agency management. Jenny grew up on an island in Maine and is a graduate of Colby College. She completed internships with Islandport Press and Markson Thoma Literary Agency prior to joining Sterling Lord Literistic, Inc. in 2012.


literary assistants


Anna Petkovich


Anna joined SLL in 2016 and works with agents John Maas and Sarah Passick. She is interested in dynamic and surprising women’s voices, personal development, well-constructed memoir, narrative nonfiction, and journalists and podcasters with big ideas. Anna graduated from Scripps College with a dual degree in English and Gender Studies in 2014. She worked as a freelance journalist before moving to New York to pursue her first true love--books. Originally from Northern California, she now lives in Brooklyn. 


Nell Pierce


Nell joined Sterling Lord Literistic, Inc. in 2016 and works with Philippa Brophy and Jim Rutman. She is looking for literary fiction, psychological thrillers, character-driven young adult novels, poignant and funny middle grade books, narrative non-fiction, and books about language and linguistics. Originally from Australia, Nell holds a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Melbourne and an MFA in Fiction from The New School in New York.