Julie Gourinchas

Julie Gourinchas (she/they) works across the agents’ various lists and provides editorial and administrative support where needed. Prior to her time at BLM, she was managing editor for a transcontinental literary consultancy, and later transferred into freelance editorial work where she worked closely with a number of agents and their clients. Recently, she has begun slowly building a small, selective list focused on adult literary fiction.

Julie is drawn to uncommon voices and striking, intelligent writing—whether it be vibrant and floral or tense, quick, and sparse—as well as texture in both tone and setting, and she loves anything spiky, toothy, and dark. While the literary-speculative is her sweet spot, she considers herself genre agnostic within literary fiction, and remains open to compelling and well-executed genre overlap. These include:

  • historical fiction, particularly in the 19th and 20th centuries (also including and indeed encouraging alternate history);
  • gothic fiction (specifically regional gothic with a strong sense of place);
  • dynamic-led (e.g. friendships, family, etc) dramas with high emotional stakes;
  • searing contemporary fiction centred on themes of identity and belonging;
  • speculative science fiction addressing the relationship between humanity and technology;
  • dark westerns;
  • magical realism;
  • female-led horror, especially featuring mangled nature or cosmic, Lovecraftian vibes;
  • dark academia;
  • speculative “fantasy” with only drips of magic, preferably set in the real/human world.

Stylistically, she loves uncommon, thought-provoking experimentation with both prose and form. Happy endings, to her, should feel earned. In all things, compelling character development should come first. First person narration is a very hard sell for her, but not impossible. (Please do bear in mind that, despite a deep and abiding love for all things Tolkien and Star Wars, she is not the right fit for epic or high fantasy, nor space-faring science fiction. She would also prefer to avoid pulpy crime and romance/romcoms.)

She is keenly interested in hearing from authors traditionally underrepresented in the industry, including but not restricted to writers of colour; queer, trans, and nonbinary writers; working class writers; disabled writers; etc. Her enduring favourite books include All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien, The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton, and Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials series. More recent favourites include the masterful Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin, Babel by R.F. Kuang, Detransition Baby by Torrey Peters, Matrix by Lauren Groff, Tell Me I’m Worthless by Alison Rumfitt, Brother Alive by Zain Khalid, and Our Wives Under the Sea by Julia Armfield.

If you’ve made it this far and would like further specifics: folkloric, literary, and mythological retellings are a special favourite, particularly when approached from a fresh, imaginative perspective; she’d also love to see a sharp, literary story exploring humanity’s relationship to technology in the vein of Black Mirror. Likewise, a New Weird story exploring the effects of climate change on humanity and society, in the vein of Jeff VanderMeer or China Miéville, would not go remiss. On rare occasion, a moody psychological suspense story, where a heady sense of atmosphere reigns, is welcome. Also, more terrible women please.

In non-fiction, Julie is keen to read in the narrative and “big ideas” spaces, particularly in the realms of politics, history, and the social sciences.

Julie is not looking for young adult, middle grade, and children’s books.