Regina Brooks, and the staff of Serendipity Literary Agency, are not only
exceptional agents well respected in the publishing industry, they are also
editors, writers, and advocates for writers who aspire to succeed as authors. I’m
forever grateful to have Regina Brooks as my literary agent.
Regina Brooks, Lead Agent & President
Ms. Regina Brooks is the founder and President of Serendipity Literary Agency LLC. Equally at home in the technical world of engineering as in the literary world of writing and editing, Ms. Brooks has over a decade of experience in senior positions at major publishing houses including John Wiley & Sons Inc. and the McGraw-Hill Companies. She is a graduate of the Howard University Publishing Institute in Washington DC. Prior to her publishing career she worked as an aerospace engineer for NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD, and made history as the first African American woman to receive a Bachelors of Science Degree in Aerospace Engineering from the Ohio State University. She is also a graduate of The School of the Arts High School in Rochester, NY.
Brooks is the Co-Executive Director of the Y. B. Literary Foundation, a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to promote the reading of literature as a meaningful, lifelong activity and transformative experience for youth. In 2004, she was a finalist for the Stevie Award for Women Entrepreneurs and was honored as the NY Urban Leagues Rising Star. She is listed in International Who’s Who under the categories of Engineering, Technology, Entrepreneurs, and Professional Management. She has been highlighted in several national and international magazines and periodicals, including Forbes, Media Bistro, Writers and Poets, Essence Magazine, Writers Digest Magazine, The Writer, and Sister2Sister magazine and a host of others.
Ms. Brooks is a member of the Association of Author Representatives (AAR) and has edited over 100 published books, and is the author of Writing Great Books For Young Adults (Sourcebooks) the Essence Magazine 2004 Quick Pick children’s book Never Finished! Never Done!, published by Scholastic Inc. and soon to be published You Really Should Write A Book: How to write, Sell and Market Your Memoir (St. Martin's Press)She has been highlighted in several national and international magazines and periodicals, including Forbes, Media Bistro, Writers and Poets, Publishers Weekly, Essence Magazine, Writers Digest Magazine, The Writer, and Sister2Sister magazine.
Karen Thomas, Agent
Karen Thomas began her career as an Editorial Assistant at Berkley Publishing in 1992. She is the Founding Editor of Dafina Books, an African American, award-winning imprint of Kensington Publishing and a former Executive Editor at Grand Central Publishing. Karen has acquired and edited numerous fiction and nonfiction New York Times bestsellers including: Teri Woods, Pam Grier, Kimberla Lawson Roby, Sherri Shepherd, Faith Evans, Karrine Steffans, Mary HoneyB Morrison, Tyrese Gibson, Carl Weber, Queen Latifah and Wahida Clark. She has been profiled in prominent publications including spreads in Black Enterprise magazine, Publishers Weekly and Today's Black Woman.
What She's Looking For:
Thomas' main areas of interest are: narrative non-fiction, celebrity, pop culture, memoir, general fiction, women's fiction, romance, mystery, self-help, inspirational, Christian based fiction and non-fiction including Evangelical.
Dawn Michelle Hardy, Associate Agent
Dawn Michelle Hardy has been called a “literary lobbyist” by Ebony magazine for her ability to help authors reach their readership using strategic promotions, win awards and garner national and local media attention.
She began her career in publishing in 2002, first as a assistant to a self published turned New York Times Bestselling author, then as an award-winning publicist and author consultant and now as an associate agent with Serendipity Literary Agency led by Regina Brooks.
While actively building her client list, she likes memoirists who can capture a larger narrative through their personal story and strong hook, best-in-class professionals in a variety of fields, the relatively unknown that has unique and incomparable life experiences, and the music, sports and pop culture enthusiasts with a ‘hip’ idea from an untold vantage point.
Her client list is diverse ranging from a veteran entertainment writer, to a single mother, to a Washington Post award winning sports journalist. Her first acquisitions as agent included a biography on the Grammy winning pop-star Nicki Minaj (Hip-Pop Moments for Life by Isoul Harris), a previously self published memoir that garnered SyFy Channel docu-series fame (Forgotten Burial: A Restless Spirit’s Plea from Beyond the Grave by Jodi Foster) and a forthcoming narrative inspired by the #2 most shared news story in 2013 on NBA 16-time Allstar Allen Iverson.
What She's Looking For:
As an agent she is continuously seeking acquisitions for platform driven general interest narratives that can spark debate and heavy conversation. She welcomes the process of collaborating with editors and authors on topics in the area of sports, pop culture, blog and trend, music, lifestyle and social science.
Feel free to contact her in reference to any non fiction subject.
Foladé Bell, Associate Agent
Foladé Bell began her career in publishing shortly after graduating from Howard University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications. She brings a multifaceted background to Serendipity. Having worked within several fields, she brings a diverse background in various aspects of media, new media and publishing. A creative activist, Foladé cultivated her sales, negotiation and client management skills within positions at Reed Elsevier, Business Wire and Radio & Records. Since joining Serendipity Literary Agency, she is focused on unearthing the raw potential of new authors ready to enter the collaborative process as well as assisting existing authors advance their careers.
What She's Looking For:
Bell is actively seeking to represent a broad range of projects. She is particularly drawn to: literary and commercial women’s fiction with a strong sense of story, voice and character; funny and relatable fiction; Daring YA books that showcase a fresh, unique perspective; literary mysteries/thrillers that aren’t formulaic or market saturated, contemporary historical fiction, African-American issues, gay/lesbian, Christian fiction, humor and books that deeply explore other cultures. No subject is out-of-bounds. She loves non-fiction that reads like fiction. Feel free to approach her with ideas adapted from blogs or websites with new views on pop culture.
Nadeen Gayle, Associate Agent
After representing clients in law for over 7 years, Nadeen Gayle brings her zeal for representation and championing voices to book publishing. Prior to graduating from Hofstra law school, Nadeen majored in English with a Mass Communications minor at Clark Atlanta University and was a very active participant in the English department’s annual Writers Conference. After receiving her BA in English, Nadeen taught briefly in the Atlanta public school system. Her short stint with students and parents in Atlanta shaped her focus with connecting to both children and adults after which she worked as counsel for Administration for Children Services. As a parent herself, Nadeen’s work with children and parents shapes her dual interest in both YA and Adult titles.
Nadeen’s law career was not without its share of great stories. Her love for entertainment and media took her to Court TV where she worked as a production assistant during its heyday. She is a big fan of narratives that are seamlessly written yet with ideas that might be stripped from the headlines. In addition, her experience in the Congressional Black Caucus Boot-Camp training furthered her interest in politics and the deal behind the deal.
From studying literature, to teaching, then practicing law Nadeen’s experience has sharpened her ability to see the potential for your project from many angles be it fresh storytelling or it various marketing reach. Her advocacy skills translate well into agenting. Once she’s on your side, watch out!
When she’s not agenting she is developing and coordinating events for numerous organizations including Delta Sigma Theta, Girls Scouts, or her school’s alumni organization and a host of others. Nadeen is a native Wilmington DE and has been a New Yorker since 2001.
What She's Looking For:
Chelcee Johns, Associate Agent
Hailing from Detroit, Chelcee began her publishing career after moving to New York and receiving her M.S. in Print and Digital media with an emphasis in book and digital publishing at New York University. Chelcee has studied under senior editors and VPs from Penguin, Simon & Schuster, Rodale and many other top publishing houses and media companies.
Before coming to Serendipity, Chelcee worked for New York Times writer and best selling author Bill Rhoden where she was instrumental in managing his author and media engagements. With experience in book buying as the assistant manager for an Uptown bookstore, Chelcee is keen to understanding what readers desire to see on shelves (or Ipads, Nooks, Kindles and smartphones).
She has a passion for discovering emerging talent and championing your manuscript until it finds the perfect home. Chelcee possesses strong developmental editorial skills and looks forward to truly working one-to-one with authors to produce the best proposal and manuscript possible. With a background in journalism, Chelcee loves working on nonfiction projects but is also highly interested in literary fiction.
What She's Looking For:
Chelcee is actively seeking to represent a broad range of topics. She is looking to acquire narrative nonfiction, investigative journalism, memoir, inspirational self-help, religion/spirituality, international, popular culture, and current affairs as well as literary and commercial fiction.
John Weber, Associate Agent
John Weber has deep roots in the rolling hills of northwest Illinois. When not in the states, John spends time teaching young people in Copan Ruinas, Honduras. He has multiple college degrees in Forestry, education, medical technology and computer science. After 22 years in information technology in higher education, he began to write young adult (YA) and middle grade (MG) fiction.
When the National Parenting Publications Awards selected his debut novel Orphan!, as an NAPPA Honor Book, it was described as a “an impressive work of historical fiction set in the 1930s depression…Mature readers will appreciate this glimpse into another time in our history and the story of a young teen learning, the hard way, what family really means.”
John is a staunch believer in authors having a deep understanding of their genre. He says that before an author sends a MG or YA manuscript to an agency, he should read at least 100 novels in his genre and carefully compare the published work to his own. Analyze the things that make the published novel successful and build them in to his own novel.
What He's Looking For:
Weber is looking for unique MG and YA stories with strong, universal themes that show the developing and changing relationships between characters. Throughout the novel, the characters should grow and mature while demonstrating self-reliance while maintaining their ability to depend on each other for support and friendship.
Arielle Loren, Digital Strategist
Arielle Loren is a digital strategist with a portfolio of corporate, non-profit, start-up, and personal branding clients. Born digital, she’s fluent in the language of the Internet and social media, giving her clients an in-depth understanding of the ever evolving social web. She has executed projects for Sierra Mist, Tennis Channel, Broadway Housing Communities, and Yoxi, a creative competition to discover big ideas and bright stars in social innovation, in addition to working with various bloggers and online brands to develop strategic marketing plans. She also writes and produces video projects on travel, gender, and sexuality.
Arielle is a graduate of New York University, founder of L Media House, and lead social media consultant at Serendipity Literary Agency.