As climate fiction novels are beginning to resonate more deeply as the current “climate crisis” climate makes the headlines in over a dozen languages worldwide every day, publishing industry players in Manhattan and London are beginning to look the looming crisis right in the eye of the storm. Thanks for activists like Greta Thunberg in Sweden and Bill McKibben in Vermont, cli-fi is catching on with literary agents, acquiring editors and publishing CEOs as well.
I recently asked a top literary agent in New York if she was handling cli-fi novels yet and she replied in internet time: “Hi Danny, Yes, I am. In fact, I am representing several novelists now who have cli-fi novels in the pipeline, so feel free to send any writer friends you know in your neck of the internet woods my way!”
I am paraphrasing her response but you can readily see the message she is sending.
I had sent her a short email asking: “Do you handle cli-fi novels yet?”
Elated to read her response, I wrote back: ”Great to hear! Will do. Will let people who contact me know about your and your literary agency.”
Her reply: “Fantastic, many thanks!”
Given that I didn’t know this agent personally and had never had any communications with her (her name and email address had just popped up by chance on my Twitter feed last week), I took our brief exchange to be an important and telling one. The publishing industry is onto — and into — cli-fi now and the next 10 years should prove very fruitful for both novelists and Hollywood film agents, and the book industry.
I am not printing this agent’s name here in this blog post in order to protect her privacy for now, as I had promised.
However, if any novel writers or screenplay scriptwriters want to contact her about their book or movie projects, please contact me here and I will pass on your name and address to the agent. I cannot guarantee she will be taking anyone else on, but one thing is for sure: if one savvy literary agent in New York is now publicly accepting cli-fi writers as clients, then that means the floodgates are open and the gatekeepers are loosening their grip and what gets published and what doesn’t.
Greta Thunberg will never write a cli-fi novel or even a YA cli-fi novel, but then again, one never knows. She might grow up to become a climate-themed novelist herself. She certainly has a good start, and if I were an agent in Sweden or Britain, I would sign her up right now, manuscript sight unseen, just based on her potential to make a difference globally. Her novels might begin to appear in her mid-20s. Greta?
Storytelling will be pivotal in the next 30 years as the climate emergency we are in makes itself felt in all corners of the globe. With literary agents now scouting for cli-fi novels and actively signing them up as clients, there’s a whole new world of literature to explore.
Contact me and I will pass some book publishing information on to you in strictest confidence.