Kima Jones on Why She’s Ready For Her New Role as a Literary Agent

Robyn Mowatt Robyn Mowatt is a staff writer at Okayplayer where she…
Kima Jones
Photo Credit: Khalid Farquharson

On her new role as an agent at Triangle House Literary, Kima Jones shared in an exclusive interview that she’s on the hunt for works by Black women writers. She also said, “Agenting was the natural next step for me.”

Kima Jones is on a mission. Yesterday (May 11th), Jones announced that she was joining Triangle House Literary as an agent. Before taking this role, Jones was already known for championing Black women, as the founder of Jack Jones Literary Arts, a literary publicity agency. But now, as an agent, she is on a mission to double down on finding new books and works by marginalized writers. 

“I want to read Black American literature, Caribbean literature, African literature. I’m also interested in other narratives as well right now,” she shares over Zoom from her Los Angeles home. “I’m interested in reading broadly, but I want to first and foremost read the work of Black women writers.”

For five years, Jones worked as a lead strategist on all publicity campaigns at Jack Jones. Works that have been represented by the agency include The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, Whiskey and Ribbons by Leesa Cross-Smith, Tyehimba Jess’s Olio which won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize in poetry among many others. The agency also launched a writers retreat in 2017 strictly for Black and brown nonbinary and women writers.

As a writer herself and former marketer and publicist, Jones believes her book perspective “is a lot more big picture than most.” This is what sets her apart from other agents, it’s also what will lead her to make a wider impact on the publishing industry. “While running the Jack Jones retreat I was able to read some of the most compelling book submissions I’ve ever encountered. Agenting was the natural next step for me,” she shared.  

Later during our conversation, she expressed that this new role will allow her the space to be a part of the writing process from the very beginning. Jones adds, “I’m really interested in working with writers who are deeply interested in investing in editing and really digging into the manuscript with me.” She also shares, “I’m really interested in writers who want to take risks and who have projects that feel new and inspiring.”

If you’re a writer that specifically writes narrative non-fiction, memoirs, sci-fi, and speculative fiction, these are standouts for Jones at the moment. Aside from taking on two more clients, Jones is aiming to spend some time in New York for in-person meetings.

“I’m looking for sound. I want to be able to hear the work as I’m reading it. I’m looking for musicality. I’m looking for a lusciousness, I’m looking for intense beauty and poetry. No matter the genre,” Jones says passionately.

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