AIR Dates Ekstrom

Rachel Ekstrom, of the Irene Goodman Literary Agency, NYC.

When Words Count Retreat

Agent-in-Residence: May 2-5, 2014!

Meet Rachel Ekstrom, NYC Literary Agent & Pitch Week Judge

For a Weekend Filled with Practical Advice on Finding an Agent and Top-Rate Feedback & Critiques

Tune Up Your Agent-Acquisition Skills by Spending a Weekend with Rachel

Want to know what type of openings will grab your readers — particularly if the reader you’re trying to hook is a Literary Agent in search of talent? Then, this weekend is for you. Rachel Ekstrom, of the Irene Goodman Literary Agency, will talk about what she and her fellow literary agents currently look for in the way of promising, fresh, new books and writers to represent.

  • Learn how to write a query letter that is as compelling as your most gripping scene.
  • Learn how to avoid the faux pas that can consign your pitch to the trash bin.
  • Discover what agents, like Rachel, hunger for in books — and what they hope to avoid.
  • Read your most problematic passages to Rachel for instant feedback on how to make them better.
  • Discuss challenges you’re having with characters or plot twists and hear Rachel’s suggestions for making them stronger.
  • Learn how to identify and eliminate any pat or predictable elements in your books.
  • Plus, get Rachel’s practical tips for how to launch your own effective agent acquisition campaign.

Down-to-Earth, Engaging and Approachable

Previous Agent-in-Residence attendees marvel at how approachable, engaging and genuine Rachel is. She shows real interest in getting to know you and helping you advance your book toward publication.

About Rachel

Rachel spent a decade working in the publicity departments at St. Martin’s Press, Minotaur Books and Penguin’s Dutton and Gotham imprints before becoming a literary agent. She has used her knowledge of book promotion to help build the careers of debut authors and #1 New York Times bestsellers. She is passionate about a variety of fiction genres including: young adult, women’s fiction, new adult, romance, crime (mysteries and thrillers) and all forms of well-written narrative non-fiction.

Some of the Authors Rachel Represents

Mystery, thriller, romantic suspense, & literary crime fiction:

  • Color Blind, by Colby Marshall, due out in November, 2014 from Penguin/Berkley
  • Little Black Lies, by Sandra Block, coming in 2015 from Hachette/Grand Central Publishing
  • Beautiful Addictions, by Season Vining, available now in e-book and coming in trade paper in June 2014 from St. Martin’s Press
  • Whispering Bodies, by Jesse Michaels, from Counterpoint Press/Soft Skull, available now.

Other Bestselling & Award-winning Authors, in These Genres, that the Irene Goodman Agency Represents

CJ Lyons, Sophie Littlefield, Graham Brown, Jamie Freveletti, Boyd Morrison, Keith Ablow, Kate Watterson, Sharyn McCrumb, Tom Schreck, Shirley Tallman, Robert Lewis, Justin Gustainis, and more.

Weekend Highlights

  • Dates: Friday, May 2nd to Monday, May 5thCheckin: 2-3 p.m. Friday. Checkout: Noon, Monday.

  • Minimum Number of Guests: Five

  • 18 Hours of Personal Interaction with Rachel: At Meals (Breakfast/Dinner); In Daily Workshops (from 5 to 6:30 p.m. and in evening Hash Sessions)

Package Includes:

  • Room Assignments (first-come, first-served)

  • Three Gourmet Meals/Day, Cocktail-hour hors d’oeuvres,Coffee/Tea Service

  • Agent-in-Residence Programming

Deposit: $325 (Total Cost: $975)


Rachel is Currently Looking for Authors to Represent in These Areas:

Fiction …

  • Crime (Murder Mysteries, Thrillers)
  • Romantic Suspense
  • Romance
  • Young Adult
  • New Adult
  • Women’s


  • Well-written nonfiction on virtually any topic

“I personally am looking for all kinds of crime fiction, from cozies to thrillers, in adult and YA. I don’t shy away from edgy or dark, as long as the violence is not gratuitous.”

The Irene Goodman Literary Agency

The Irene Goodman Agency has been in business for more than 30 years and represents bestselling and award-winning authors in commercial and literary fiction and non-fiction. The other agents’ literary interests include:
Fiction: upmarket women’s fiction, modern urban fantasy, middle grade and young adult fiction, edgy mysteries, romance, historical romance, historical fiction and thrillers (psychological, family-driven, medical and legal).
Non-Fiction: pop culture, science, Francophilia, lifestyle, narrative non-fiction, memoir, cultural history, serious psychology and psychiatry, science and the history of ideas.

Links to More Information about Rachel:

The Irene Goodman Literary Agency Website

Links to When Words Count Retreat:

Our Official Website
Our Agent-in-Residence Page