Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Sam Farkas of Jill Grinberg Literary Management

Sam Farkas is a literary agent with Jill Grinberg Literary Management.

Sam grew up in South Jersey and attended the College of William & Mary, where she received her B.A. in History and English. Post college, she moved to New York City to intern with Maria B. Campbell Associates, and it was there she discovered her love for collaborating with agents and publishers around the world. She worked in the rights division at Penguin where she was involved in major international publishing events for authors such as John Green, Anna Dewdney, and more before she joined the JGLM team in 2018. An avid traveler, Sam has been to 14 countries spanning 4 continents, and dreams of visiting them all.

In Adult, Sam is looking for upmarket fiction of all stripes, but especially historical; fast-paced, high-concept speculative thrillers that make her heart race; lyrical and immersive fantasy; and single-title romance that simmers.

Sam is also open to Young Adult and Middle Grade of all genres, but she has a special fondness for thoughtful contemporary, often with a speculative twist; historical with modern sensibilities; fantasy with morally gray protagonists and complicated character dynamics; the very strange, and the very funny.

In all categories and genres, she is looking for diverse and underrepresented voices. Above all, Sam is drawn to exemplary writing.

“I am open to most categories and genres as I actively build my list.

“In Adult, I am looking for historical fiction, and I am especially interested in biographical fiction that explores the lives of lesser-known figures. I have a soft spot for scientists and rebels. If I received a manuscript from the point-of-view of Marie-Anne Lavoisier or Augustina de Aragón, I would bump it to the top of my reading pile. In addition, I’m always eager to learn new things, and I love stories that introduce me to historical events I’ve never heard of.

“I am also open to fantasy—and while I am open to contemporary fantasy, I prefer historical or second world. I love stories that are grounded in history or folklore and I’m intrigued by magic systems that draw from science.

“In romance, I am looking for single title contemporary romance. I will happily read fake-dating, enemies-to-lovers, and my favorite, there-is-only-one-bed. While I will consider historical, I’m really only looking for high-concept romance that straddles the line between romance and women’s fiction (think Evie Dunmore’s BRINGING DOWN THE DUKE).

“Finally, I love thrillers and suspense, especially when they are female-centric (i.e. Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen) or have a light speculative element (i.e. Blake Crouch, Michael Crichton). Twisty, edge-of-your-seat stories that are impossible to put down.

“In Young Adult, my favorites are always bold, out-of-the-box books with strong hooks and irresistible writing. In this category, especially, I like to be surprised.

“In Middle Grade, my tastes tend to skew contemporary. I love books in which kids must come to terms with the fact that the adults in their lives are flawed. But while I’ll happily read Middle Grade set in school or summer camp, I also crave fast-paced adventure stories set in the past, present, or in another world. Bonus points for whimsy and humor!

“I will consider select Picture Books and Nonfiction, but my focus is primarily on novels at this time.

“I am not the right agent for: erotica, series romance, political or legal thrillers, police procedurals, cozy mysteries, Christian fiction, satire.”


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