Frances Goldin, Founder and President

Frances Goldin has worked in publishing for over six decades, and founded the Frances Goldin Literary Agency in 1977.  Reflecting her radical politics, the Agency has long concentrated on serious, controversial, progressive non-fiction and literary fiction that addresses issues of social justice and the impact of culture and politics on human relationships.

Among the writers she has represented are Barbara Kingsolver, Mumia Abu-Jamal, Dorothy Allison, Frances Fox Piven, Martin Duberman, Adrienne Rich, Staceyann Chin, Martín Espada, Alix Dobkin, Juan Gonzales, Fred Jerome, Staughton Lynd, iconic feminists including Charlotte Bunch and Esther Newton, and Mike Wallace, co-author with Ted Burrows of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Gotham.  All of her books embody the philosophy that a better world is possible and it is her goal to get books published that will help speed that process.

Her lifelong commitment to social justice extends to her work with the Cooper Square Committee, and organization she co-founded in 1959 that advocates for tenant-rights, community-based planning, and affordable housing.

Ellen Geiger, Vice President and Principal

Ellen has over two decades in publishing, film and television, and represents a broad range of fiction and non-fiction. She is always looking for great stories and great writing – preferably in the same manuscript – and has a lifelong interest in multicultural and social issues embracing change. History, biography, progressive politics, photography, science and medicine, women, religion and serious investigative journalism are special interests.

In fiction, she loves a good literary thriller, and novels in general that provoke and challenge the status quo, as well as historical and multicultural works. She is drawn to big themes which make a larger point about the culture and times we live in. She is not the right agent for New Age, romance, how-to or right-wing politics.

Her authors span most categories and have won many awards and prizes including the National Book Award, National Jewish Book Award and National Book Critics Circle Award, the Anthony, Edgar, Grawemeyer, Lambda, and Malice Domestic. She also represents several important estates, including Margaret Wise Brown, author of Goodnight Moon, the poet Adrienne Rich and novelist Tillie Olsen.

Ellen served on the board of the Association of Author’s Representatives, is a member of the Author’s Guild and PEN, and is a past president of NY Women in Film and Television. In her previous incarnation in public television, she was nominated for an Emmy for “The Legacy of the Hollywood Blacklist,” was Executive Producer of Katherine Patterson’s “Jacob Have I Loved” and the miniseries “Roots of Rhythm with Harry Belafonte,” and an Associate Producer of “The Life and Times of Rosie the Riveter.”

Sam Stoloff, Vice President and Principal

Sam Stoloff joined the Agency in 1997, after completing an MFA in poetry and a doctoral dissertation in American cultural history, both at Cornell University.  He is interested in books that advance the public conversation on crucial issues and groundbreaking work of all kinds, including literary fiction, memoir, history, accessible sociology and philosophy, cultural studies, serious journalism on contemporary and international affairs, and narrative and topical nonfiction with a progressive orientation.  Among his particular interests are literary graphic fiction and nonfiction, works on environmental sustainability, books on legal affairs and the justice system, works that dissect the right wing and American imperialism, the history of race in America, the history of science and technology, and books on food culture and history.  His taste in fiction ranges from the psychologically realistic, to first-rate speculative literature.

His clients include Susan Bordo, Monica Byrne, Mandy Catron, Pratap Chatterjee, David Cole, Cliff Conner, Dessa Darling, Ray Douglas, Mark Edmundson, Shelley Fisher Fishkin, Bruce Grierson, Deborah Harkness, Kristin Henderson, Michael Hudson, Lynn Hunt, Margaret Jacob, Steven Jaffe, Barbara Kingsolver, Michelle Kuo, Anna Lappé, Eleanor Lerman, Evan Mandery, Stephanie Mencimer, Rutu Modan, Carla Peterson, Sam Polk, Janisse Ray, Gretchen Reynolds, Clancy Sigal, Siva Vaidhyanathan, Mike Wallace, and Helene Wecker.

Matt McGowan, Senior Agent and Rights Director

Matt is looking for emotionally, intellectually, and formally adventurous work of all kinds and is particularly interested in writers who believe nonfiction can be as artful as fiction. Queries for essays, heavily-researched narrative nonfiction, literary (especially meta & auto-) fiction, journalism, politics, history, memoir, biography, cultural studies, music, popular culture & science, sports (particularly soccer), travel, crime, food, literary genre work, are all welcome.

Among Matt’s clients are Eula Biss, Stephen Burt, Dan Crane, John D’Agata, Brian Evenson, Josh Garrett-Davis, Aram Goudsouzian, Justin Hocking, Paul Lisicky, Lia Purpura, David Shields, and Ryan Van Meter. Matt was featured in Poets & Writers‘ “Twenty-One Agents You Should Know” and his clients have won or been shortlisted for the PEN/Martha Albrand Award, Pen/Revson Award, PEN USA Award, the New York Public Library Young Lions Award, the O. Henry Award, the Graywolf Literary Nonfiction Award, the Pushcart Prize, the Rona Jaffe Award, the Edgar Award, the Orion Book award, the Triangle Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and have received NEA, Whiting, Guggenheim, and Lannan Foundation grants. They publish in major magazines like The New Yorker, Harpers, and the New York Times Magazine, direct MFA writing programs such as Brown University and the University of Iowa, and have appeared on The Colbert Report, Conan O’Brien, Bookworm, NPR, as well as covers of the New York Times Book Review and New York Times bestseller lists.

Ria Julien, Agent and Counsel

Ria Julien is an attorney who has worked in publishing since 1999. She joined the agency in 2013 after being called to the Bar in New York. Her interests include literature in translation, diaspora fiction, and nonfiction works of conscience on a wide range of topics including law, history, economics, women & gender, environmental and cultural studies. She represents authors whose works offer a critique of power and social injustice. Her clients include nonfiction authors Colin Asher, Richard Stratton and Greg Palast, and novelists Álvaro Enrigue, Valeria Luiselli, Sonja Sharp, and others. Having previously worked as an editor and foreign rights agent, she enjoys developing book projects, and finding an international readership for her authors.

Nina Cochran, Literary Assistant

A native New Yorker, Nina Cochran joined the Frances Goldin Literary Agency after working as John Irving’s literary assistant in rural Vermont for two years. She graduated from Williams College with a degree in Art History and prior to her work with books and publishing she held various art-related positions, most recently in the film department at the Museum of Modern Art. Nina’s interests in books are wide-ranging, from fiction of all shapes and sizes, narrative nonfiction, cultural criticism with social relevance, poetry, and anything else that grips her attention.