Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Amy Nielsen of The Purcell Agency

Amy Nielsen is a literary agent with The Purcell Agency.

Amy’s Manuscript Wish List:

Picture Books:

I’ll be looking for hyperbolic, zany storylines that teach a life lesson (even subtle) or ones with laugh-out-loud moments written simply to entertain. Check out the legendary Robert Munsch and Michael Marchenko for what I’m hoping to see in my inbox.

Middle Grade:

I’ll be looking for fast-paced stories mostly set in a contemporary setting that feature characters that think, act, and talk like real middle graders.

Young Adult:

I’ll gravitate toward contemporary issue-driven plots where teens find themselves in situations they aren’t equipped to handle, but eventually figure it out.

Adult Fiction:

I’ll lean into contemporary women’s fiction where the main characters are shattering glass ceilings despite obstacles, and defying stereotypes.

General Wishes:

As the mother of an autistic child, I’d appreciate any story that features characters across the autism spectrum written authentically and free from stereotypes.

I’d swoon over a Gilmore Girls retelling with a paranormal or speculative element, anything that could comp my favorite song of all time, “Never Surrender” by Cory Hart or a story set in a coastal boating town.

I’m also always game for any fairy-tale retelling or re-imagining, especially if pulled into a contemporary setting.

I would love any age range where a dystopian plot mirrors a current social issue. Think Handmaid’s Tale versus the current political landscape of abortion. Or how the political landscape is impacting marginalized communities such as the LGBTQ+ and BIPOC.

In all age ranges and genres, I’m looking for:

  • Succinct and simplistic writing.
  • Diverse representation from authors to main characters, including but not limited to BIPOC, LGBTQ+, neurodiverse, and persons with disabilities.

I wouldn’t be the best fit for:

  • Epic fantasy (if your story features a dragon or fae—probably not for me),
  • High-concept sci-fi (if most of your story doesn’t take place on Earth—probably not for me)
  • Historical fiction (unless it’s the 80s or 90s then bring it on) I’m fine with dual timelines as long as the majority of the plot is in a contemporary setting.
  • Erotica. I’m fine with some on-page-steam, but not if the plot centers around it.
  • Literary. If your story isn’t genre fiction, it’s probably not for me.


Amy spent nearly twenty years sharing her love of books with young readers on the other side of the writing aisle as a youth librarian. Daily immersion in story took root, and she started penning her 2024 YA debut, Worth It, behind her checkout desk.

She left the library after her youngest son was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and began writing full-time. She also began working with other authors helping them to elevate their craft and go on to pursue publication deals. While she will always enjoy pursuing her own writing goals, helping other authors has become a passion. She is honored to now serve as an associate literary agent at The Purcell Agency.

Amy also has a background in television production and creates book trailers for authors to use as a marketing tool. She started Mayflower Media where she works collaboratively with writers to bring the heart of their stories from the page to the screen.

In addition to her debut, Amy is the author of It Takes a Village: How to Build A Support System for Your Exceptional Needs Family, the picture book, Goldilocks and the Three Bears: Understanding Autism Spectrum Disorder, and Teaching Television Production, Beyond the Morning Newscast. She is the co-author of the upcoming title Navigating the Wild World of Publishing: A Workbook for Indie and Self-Published Authors and the co-host of the Author(ish) podcast.

When not writing or reading she and her family can be found boating in Tampa Bay. You can find Amy at

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