Kevin O’Connor

A boutique Manhattan literary agency, the O’Connor Literary Agency moves your project from scattered thoughts, to pages-long manuscript, to publisher and finally to sale. Tell your story; share your unique take on the world.

Since his first job out of college at Sesame Workshop, Kevin has always worked at the intersection of business and creative. He has hands-on experience in a variety of media:  animation, live action TV, toys, live shows, music, educational apps, and “the sweetest plum” t-shirts*.  In addition to Sesame, he’s worked for Fisher-Price, VTech, Kidz Bop, Barnes & Noble, and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. He’s inked deals with Chrysler, Nestle, Intel, and all the major publishers.

As an agent, Kevin takes on serious adult nonfiction (Brian McCullough’s How the Internet Happened, Claude Andrew Clegg’s The Black President). On the adult fiction side, he represents Afghan and Iraq War Vet Adam Kovac (The Surge)  and the acclaimed Colin Winnette (Users).

For middlegrade readers, he’s the agent behind the Russell Ginns’s Samantha Spinner series; Cas Hyman’s Mango Delight; and Steven B. Frank’s Armstrong and Charlie He reps the picturebooks Papa, Daddy & Riley by Seamus Kirst; Honeysmoke by Monique Fields; and A Is for Audra by John Robert Allman, illustrated by Peter Emmerich.

He is a Columbia College grad and the founding director of The Center for Nonfiction, a Columbia University Community Scholars Project dedicated to helping journalists and scholars understand the formal needs of trade publishers.

Here are two podcasts he’s done about how he got into agenting and what he’s looking for / how he works:

*Krusty the Clown called the t-shirt concession “the sweetest plum.” (The Simpsons, “Krusty Gets Kancelled,” Season 4, Episode 22, 1993.)”

Bart: That's all right, Krusty. 

Lisa: We're getting 50% of the T-shirt sales. 

Krusty: What? That's the sweetest plum!



Ali Lake (ali​@​oconnor.nyc) is open to submissions of nonfiction, fiction, and YA. She loves books that show her a new corner of the world or unexpected facet of human experience through an original, surprising voice.

For nonfiction, Ali seeks serious and narrative nonfiction, pop science, memoir, evidence-based self-help, and cookbooks.

She is looking for upmarket fiction in the rom-com, thriller, and horror genres and literary fiction with a commercial hook. She loves books with a speculative element.

She is interested in voicey, fun YA novels that explore deeper issues and challenge readers’ world views.

Previous to joining O’Connor Literary Agency, Ali worked at Janklow & Nesbit Associates and ICM Partners (now acquired by CAA). She has BA in English and French Literature from Columbia University. She loves to dance, run, and hike.

Twitter: @Alexandra__Lake

Jonathan Agin (temporarily closed to queries) is looking for serious non-fiction—mainly history, politics, and popular culture. His clients include journalists, academics, and other writers working to make complex, intriguing, sophisticated concepts accessible. He likes to see vivid portraits and timely ideas that spark conversation woven into a gripping narrative.

In fiction, he’s drawn mainly to realist, emotionally-resonant stories, often with a dark sense of humor and profoundly-flawed characters. Work steeped in issues of class, race, and migration are of particular interest, as is anything with folkloric or mythical roots.

Jonathan holds degrees from SUNY Binghamton and Columbia University. He started in publishing at Writers House and Maria Carvainis Agency, and has worked as a bookseller and as an educator in Brooklyn.