Along with Michael Carlisle, and Richard Pine, Kim Witherspoon is the founding partner of Inkwell Management. Ms. Witherspoon graduated from Brown University in 1984 with a BA in International Relations. Then at the tender age of 26, and with the collaboration of her partners, she launched what has become one of the most successful agencies in New York's Manhattan. Her clients are frequently published internationally, as well.
For the past 15 years, Ms. Witherspoon has represented best selling and critically acclaimed authors of both fiction and nonfiction genres. Her client list includes: Kate Atkinson, Anthony Bourdain, Susan Cheever, Jim Crace, Cindy Crawford, Eloisa James, Neil Jordan, Sophie Kinsella, Richard Marcinko, Edna O’Brien, Arundhati Roy, Lionel Shriver, Lalita Tademy, and Rebecca Wells.
She is also a founding board member of a new public charter high school, The Bronx Academy of Letters. She remains a member of the Authors Guild, and is the editor of two anthologies, including: DON’T TRY THIS AT HOME: Culinary Catastrophes From the World’s Greatest Chefs. (www.inkwellmanagement.com/
E.I. Ms. Witherspoon, thank you for stopping by. Would you please explain as the founding partner at Inkwell Management, how do you view the market for first novels in the literary mainstream genre and literary fiction? Does the culture at your agency differ from other agencies with respect to giving a serious look at first-time authors?
Kimberly Witherspoon: "At InkWell, first novelists with strong manuscripts enjoy an opportunity that previously published authors do not. An unpublished author has no sales track, so provided that his or her book is exceptionally strong, we are free to work with the publisher to project how many copies the book might potentially sell, unfettered by any past sales history. Similarly, if an author has an interesting personal story, we are able to present a fresh profile to the media. The field is wide open -- and that's a uniquely powerful moment in a writer's life, provided that we're presenting a compelling read.
We’re always excited about reading an especially talented first-time author -- whether their work is literary or commercial -- as helping launch a writer’s career and then building their audience is deeply satisfying.
Essentially, InkWell is committed to helping writers gain the recognition they deserve at any stage of their career -- whether we're presenting their first book or their 10th!"