Jennifer Johnson-Blalock

Jennifer Johnson-Blalock

Jennifer Johnson-Blalock joined Liza Dawson Associates as an associate agent in 2015, having previously interned at LDA in 2013 before working as an agent’s assistant at Trident Media Group. Jennifer graduated with honors from The University of Texas at Austin with a B.A. in English and earned a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Before interning at LDA, she practiced entertainment law and taught high school English and debate.

What she's looking for

Jennifer is seeking commercial and upmarket fiction, especially thrillers/mysteries/suspense, women’s fiction, contemporary romance, young adult, and middle grade.

Jennifer is also acquiring both narrative and prescriptive nonfiction. She is looking for seasoned writers with strong platforms and is excited by works that use a unique story to explore a larger issue. Particular areas of interest include current events, social sciences, women’s issues, law, business, history, the arts and pop culture, lifestyle, sports, and food, including cookbooks and health/wellness.

While she’d be happy to receive queries for works in any of those broad areas, Jennifer is especially interested in the following:

  • Smart, upmarket women’s fiction in the vein of J. Courtney Sullivan or commercial women’s fiction like Emily Giffin’s that subverts common tropes
  • Contemporary, realistic young adult with a strong voice and compelling characters (Nina LaCour; Stephanie Perkins; Leila Sales)
  • Literary realistic upper middle grade (COUNTING BY 7s)
  • Thrillers with a literary bent à la Tana French, Megan Abbott, and Robin Wasserman’s GIRLS ON FIRE, with a psychological focus and an unreliable protagonist (SISTER; GONE GIRL), or featuring an antihero/antiheroine (YOU)
  • Contemporary romance that feels fresh, young, and very current
  • Highly readable but deeply reported books rooted in psychology or sociology that use memorable research to explain why we act and think the way we do (ALL THE SINGLE LADIES; MODERN ROMANCE)
  • Politically minded issue books that put hot-button items like education into a realistic, holistic context or Washington insider narratives
  • History that’s quirky (THE SECRET HISTORY OF WONDER WOMAN) or has particular relevance to today’s issues (ON IMMUNITY)
  • Narratives of young, contemporary entrepreneurship (#GIRLBOSS)
  • Books that help you figure out how to do life better (THE HAPPINESS PROJECT; THE LIFE-CHANGING MAGIC OF TIDYING UP)
  • Chronicles of unique communities like competitive Scrabble players
  • Middle grade or young adult nonfiction that reads like a novel, particularly narrative history books about lesser known women or people of color
  • Cookbooks that tell a story about the person writing the book or the food itself, research-based health/diet books with programs that sane people would actually follow, or accessible books about wine or cocktails that strive to make reading about it as fun as drinking it
  • Food memoirs or novels that take the reader behind the scenes in a fresh way like SOUS CHEF–being VIPed at French Laundry is a recurring fantasy of Jennifer’s
  • All things football and basketball–Jennifer graduated from UT the year Vince Young brought home the National Championship, and her family in Oklahoma City never misses a Thunder game
  • Works situated in the classical dance world, indie/alternative music world, contemporary art world, or Hollywood at any point in history–working in the entertainment industry didn’t manage to squelch Jennifer’s enthusiasm for it
  • Anything related to her quirky list of loves: antiques, travel, speech & debate, adaptations, theater, Austin, bridge…
  • Absolutely any sort of book with a strong feminist slant
  • Diverse books and own voices across genres

When she’s not reading, Jennifer enjoys film, food, and travel.

Contact Jennifer at queryjennifer@lizadawsonassociates.com. Please send a query letter in the body of the email.