Writing that Sings


As I’ve started the work of being an agent and building a client list, I’ve had a number of folks in different venues ask me what I’m interested in representing. So thought I’d address that here.

First and foremost, you need to know that I’m looking for books that share God’s truth. I want to work with authors whose books will change lives. Who bring the depth and wealth of their own spiritual journeys to whatever they are writing. I long for books, whether fiction or nonfiction, that are filled with authenticity, vulnerability, and powerful truth.

Second, what I’m most interested in is writing, as the title of this post says, that sings. That calls to my heart and mind, that draws me in and, in the process, changes me.

As a writer, editor, and now agent, fiction makes me dance. I love the power of story, the wonder of words that create a world and characters that transport me and leave me better for the journey. So I’m definitely interested in writers crafting wonderful novels. And I’m open to all genres.

Yes, Virginia, I am interested in representing authors who write non-fiction. Especially what I call lyrical non-fiction. The kind of non-fiction with a lyrical, storyteller’s narrative voice. Books that share the message as, say, Anne Lamott does in Bird by Bird or Mike Yaconelli does in Messy Spirituality. Non-fiction that captures our imagination as well as our intellect, as happens with Donald Miller’s Blue Like Jazz (which I mention not, as you might think, because it’s a best-seller but because it’s one of the few nonfiction titles in the last several years that captured me as a reader). Non-fiction that sings. Here, too, I am open to all categories.

With both fiction and non-fiction, I’m happy to consider proposals from new, unpublished authors, so long as you’ve done your homework (meaning you’ve been to writers’ conferences, had your work critiqued, done the work of revising and refining so that the craft is as good as you can get it).

You can send proposals via email to my attention at pwhitson@www.stevelaube.com.

So…comments and questions?







23 Responses to Writing that Sings

  1. Avatar
    Susie Finkbeiner June 10, 2011 at 12:59 pm #

    I love that fiction makes you dance! So joyful!

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    Richard Mabry June 10, 2011 at 2:55 pm #

    Karen, Glad you’re settling in. When you encounter a proposal that makes you dance, I hope you plan to do a video and post it on YouTube. We’ll be watching.
    Blessings, friend.

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    Rev. Michael Duncan June 10, 2011 at 3:02 pm #

    Karen, I am with you 100% I love the power of story and the value of being able reach people through it. Jesus wove tales and allegories into His teachings that captivated the people and planted seeds of truth into their souls. Those are the stories I love to write, whether fiction or non-fiction, to bring people to that singular place that is breathtakingly transformative. Who knows… someday we may actually work together! 🙂

    Abundant blessings to you!

  4. Avatar
    Pam Hillman June 10, 2011 at 3:02 pm #

    Karen, your post is pulsing with excitement, much like the submissions you’re looking for. Can’t wait to see you singing and dancin’ a jig when you find that perfectly pitched piece!

  5. Avatar
    Aaron McCarver June 10, 2011 at 8:44 pm #

    Hey Karen,
    It is so great having you as an agent with the agency! Your vast knowledge and experience in Christian fiction will have all of us singing and dancing soon!

  6. Avatar
    Shelley Ring June 10, 2011 at 9:26 pm #

    Karen, thanks for addressing this question. I’ve been wondering. So glad to see you still part of the publishing world!

  7. Avatar
    Sharon A Lavy June 11, 2011 at 4:44 am #

    Best wishes in your new journey. Your excitement should rub off on your clients. God Bless!

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      Michelle Lim June 17, 2011 at 7:35 am #

      Karen, so excited to see you beginning your journey as an agent. With the strong impact your books have made on my heart, I look forward to seeing the books you represent do the same!

  8. Avatar
    Kate June 26, 2011 at 7:45 am #

    Dear Karen,
    I recently found my way to this website. Love your desire to find “writing that sings,” touching hearts and minds. Sending wishes for your success and joy as your journey continues.

  9. Avatar
    Louise B. Wyly June 28, 2011 at 11:11 am #

    Dear Karen,
    Your arrival makes me feel like hope for my love of story to sing. You are a breath of fresh air to this industry. Somehow my musical background, and your words have touched my heart in a new way. God bless you as you glorify Him there.

  10. Avatar
    Charlotte Rains July 9, 2011 at 5:52 pm #

    Dear Karen,
    I’m putting together an anthology of my poems and the question is, do you accept poetry? About half of my poems are faith based, the other are varied; some prose, a few Haiku. I would love to send a few for you to look over, as I feel you would be very pleased.

  11. Avatar
    Mary Young (mvy34) August 20, 2011 at 6:00 pm #

    Hi Karen, so THIS is where you ended up! I was just thinking about you yesterday. Of course, you probably don’t remember me, and that’s perfectly fine – it’s been over 10 years since we were on AOL together.

    Glad to see you have a home, and would love to reconnect, IF you remember me (if you don’t remember me, then just accept my joy at your new digs). 🙂

  12. Avatar
    Margaret Harrell Wills, EdD November 4, 2011 at 5:11 pm #

    Dear Karen,
    I need some directional advice and I would be glad to pay you a consultant fee. I self published a book in May with Brown Books of Dallas Texas and hired B&B Media for three months to help me market it. The title of the Book is Pressing into Thin Places: Encouraging the Heart toward God.I had some success during the marketing campaign and the work Brown did. For example, I am on Amazon and in a number but not all Barnes and Nobel stores. At the present time, my sales are flat and I am discouraged. I continue to seek and receive speaking engagements in small venues and find sales are good after. I have mostly five star reviews on Amazon. My question is, what is the most effective direction to take? I selected you from a list because of your website and the fact that the agency you are affiliated with is in Phoenix, my hometown. My website is pressingintothinplaces.com.

    Thank you for your time. Again, if a consultation would be helpful, I would appreciate it.

    With warm regards,

    Margaret Wills

  13. Avatar
    Mary Foster February 8, 2012 at 9:55 am #

    Karen, It is so good to see you branching out. Expanding and changing horizons are always exciting. On that note, I pray your work brings fulfillment and joy.

    God bless!
    Mary Bell-Foster

  14. Avatar
    Jeanette Morris February 28, 2012 at 3:50 pm #

    I get it–the writing that sings desire. The story that has music playing in the background–with the crescendos and decrescendos in all the right places. With the reoccuring main theme that keeps it all connected–employing musicians that have both heart and skill.

    Yes, that’s what I love too. And that’s what I want to write. Hope you are still looking for it when I’m ready.

  15. Avatar
    Lenore Buth February 28, 2012 at 10:02 pm #

    Thanks, Karen. I won’t forget your phrase, “writing that sings.”

    I suppose we all have our own definition. I write Christian nonfiction writer and I want to write in a way that leads the reader to relate to God’s truth in a more personal way. I want my readers to say, “Yes!”

    To me, that’s writing that sings.

  16. Avatar
    Cherie Dacy April 19, 2012 at 10:12 pm #

    Dear Karen,

    You are deep…very, very deep! My feet just did a two-step under my desk. We all love being drawn in. Thank you for verbalizing that wonder and for accomplishing it in me so instantly. How wonderful that someone like you loves the Lord!

    Which writer’conferences do you recommend?


  17. Avatar
    Jennifer Dyer April 26, 2012 at 7:08 am #

    It’s exciting to hear that you are joining the agency world. I’ve met you at a few conferences and always enjoyed listening to your wisdom and enthusiasm for Christian writing. May the Lord bless you in this new venture!

  18. Avatar
    angela November 2, 2012 at 12:48 pm #

    I can’t believe I sat next to you on the bus from the airport to the hotel, then stood next to you at the hotel counter when the scanners didn’t work. I could have picked your brain, watched you dance at the ACFW conference.

  19. Avatar
    Karen Ball November 2, 2012 at 5:01 pm #

    Thanks, Angela! And from what people who attended my workshops have told me, apparently I did dance a little. What can I say? I get excited when I talk about the power of the written word.

    Hope your conference was great.

  20. Avatar
    Katherine Bolger Hyde April 24, 2013 at 1:24 pm #

    Karen, do you consider books that have Christian content but are not intended for the CBA market?

  21. Avatar
    Marcia Gunnett Woodard April 25, 2013 at 7:16 pm #


    I know what you mean about “writing that sings.” The other day, I found the blog of a budding. “natural” author, whose writing was like that. The way I described it to another writer friend was, “You could surf on her words.”

  22. Avatar
    J Messer August 3, 2013 at 8:28 pm #

    Dear Karen,

    You said “Non-fiction that captures our imagination as well as our intellect,”

    Can you suggest a book/s that includes a Bible study that “sings”.

    Thanks for the book suggestions above.

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