Who We Are

Lucinda Blumenfeld

Lucinda Halpern
President

With over fifteen years of experience in corporate and agency publishing, Lucinda serves both sides of the literary and business worlds. An editorially invested partner with a specialty in book marketing strategy, she has an “all in” dedication and work ethic when it comes to representing authors, and a track record of procuring top media placements, lecture engagements, and tv/film deals for her clients.

Lucinda began her publishing career in the Publicity Division of HarperCollins, where she assisted on the campaigns of Stephen Dubner and Steven Levitt (Freakonomics) among other New York Times bestselling authors. She then went on to work in Scholastic’s Marketing Partnerships Division, where she helped to develop and sell custom publishing programs to a variety of Fortune 500 companies and global nonprofits. She began her literary representation career at Fletcher & Company, where she also acted as a marketing consultant to Gretchen Rubin, among others. Today, she represents authors writing in the categories of business, health, lifestyle, popular science, narrative nonfiction, memoir, and upmarket fiction, including New York Times bestselling author Susan Peirce Thompson (Bright Line Eating), Jake Wood (Once a Warrior), Cait Flanders (The Year of Less), Paul Jarvis (Company of One), and the new work of New York Times bestselling author of The Nanny Diaries, Nicola Kraus. Chris Bailey (The Productivity Project; Hyperfocus)has said, “Never mind my books, I’d trust Lucinda, and the entire team at Lucinda Literary, with my life. Lucinda is the most resourceful person I’ve ever worked with—and she’s given me open, honest, and valuable feedback through each stage of the publishing process.”

Today, Lucinda enjoys teaching writers of all stages to improve their query packages and find their big idea.

Lucinda studied at McGill University in Montreal and the Sorbonne in Paris. She is originally from New York City, where her company is based.

Connor Eck
Agent

Connor looks for fresh voices, unforgettable characters, tightly constructed plot, and thematic storytelling. Connor represents adult, young adult, and middle-grade fiction, picture books, memoir, business, sports, and narrative nonfiction. In nonfiction, he is drawn to original thinkers, authors with strong platforms, and powerful narratives that challenge the status quo or ask big questions.

Examples of books Connor has represented include: BE STRAIGHT WITH ME (Andrews McMeel), a book-in-verse exploring how the author and her male gay best friend unexpectedly fell in love in college; YOU BE MOMMY (Macmillan), a picture book in which a tuckered out mother asks her child to “be mommy” at bedtime; THREE WAYS TO BE BRAVE (Penguin Workshop), a three-story picture book collection that encourages bravery in young readers and their parents alike; THE HOMEWORK SQUAD (Magination Press), following a fictional club of 6th-graders as they band together to build a guidebook for kids like them who struggle to pay attention.

Connor has a passion for writing and nurturing literary talent. He received his Bachelor of Arts in English from Union College.

Jackie Ashton
Agent

Jackie is a seasoned media professional with over a decade of experience in journalism, copywriting, editing, and editorial direction. Her writing on health, lifestyle, and parenting in the digital age has appeared in publications like the New York Times, the Washington PostSalonReal SimpleParents, and Redbook, among others. She has provided editorial consulting for leading brands such as Airbnb, Athleta, and Omada Health.

Jackie looks to represent writers in the categories of popular science, business, narrative nonfiction, memoir, and upmarket fiction. She is also interested in memoir and essay collections from accomplished writers.

In nonfiction, Jackie looks for voice-driven narratives and novel, science-backed approaches that promise to radically alter the way we live, such as clients Dave Pell, author of PLEASE SCREAM INSIDE YOUR HEART (Hachette) and Edith Shiro, author of THE TRAMPOLINE EFFECT (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt). In fiction, she looks for characters that jump off the page, immersive storytelling that hooks from the opening line, and unexpected forays into little-known worlds.

Jackie is tirelessly passionate about helping authors find their voice and has a knack for helping clients unearth the unique essence of their projects. She received a B.A. in Commerce with a concentration in Marketing from the University of Virginia.

Julia Collucci
Literary Assistant

As a previous private English teacher, Julia brings forth a passion for organization and project management alongside reading and editorial work. She graduated from Rutgers University, where she received her Bachelor’s degree in English and double minored in Psychology and Creative Writing. In her senior year, she was honored as a Paul Robeson Scholar for her Undergraduate Honors Thesis, which examined issues of identity in three fin de siècle fiction novels.

Julia assists in developing editorial projects as well as Lucinda Literary’s courses and workshops, and acts as a primary point of contact for our programs.

In nonfiction, she is interested in works backed by psychology-based research along with stimulating stories that compel readers not only to think, but change the way in which they do so. In fiction, Julia enjoys gripping, immersive tales of adventure that contain multi-dimensional characters and witty language.

Anna Shapiro
Business Development and Public Relations

Anna is an alumna of DePaul University, where she double majored in English Literature and Psychology, and graduated summa cum laude with honors. Prior to joining the Lucinda Literary team, she was an assistant at Folio Literary Management and an intern at Browne & Miller Literary Associates.

A lifelong reader of fiction, Anna is also interested in narrative nonfiction with rare experiences and unique points of view, popular science, and above all, accessible and engaging writing that transcends subject matter.

In fiction, there’s no genre Anna won’t read, but she’s especially interested in mysteries and thrillers that are twisty and unexpected. She also has a particular soft spot for women’s fiction that is nuanced, thoughtful, and recounts journeys of women finding their most authentic selves. More generally, she loves anything that is filled with humor and effortless class.

As a business development assistant for Lucinda Literary, Anna is primarily engaged in scouting, media relations, social engagement, and helping to grow Lucinda Literary’s new live workshops programming for writers.

Kate Rizzo
Rights

Kate Rizzo handles the foreign rights for Lucinda Literary, and has been the Rights Director at Greene & Heaton since 2013. She began working in publishing at The Robbins Office, Inc. in New York before moving to London in 2009 and continuing to work in translation rights at AM Heath, Ltd. and Mulcahy Conway Associates.

Kate works closely with sub-agents in some territories and directly with publishers in Brazil, France, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Scandinavia, and Spain with the aim of selling an authors’ works into as many languages as possible, and help their writing careers extend beyond the UK and the English language.

To contact Kate directly, click here.

Deirdre Smerillo
Contracts

Deirdre oversees contracts for Lucinda Literary. She is the principal partner of Smerillo Associates, a consulting firm founded in 2006 which specializes in contract and royalty management for independent publishers, literary agencies, and other industry professionals. Her 35 years of experience in the book publishing industry includes in-house positions as Director of Contracts for the Hyperion Books division of the Walt Disney Company and Director of Contracts for Random House, Inc. Deirdre holds a BA from Rutgers College and an MBA from Monmouth University.

Ashley Bernardi
Affiliate

Lucinda Literary selectively partners with creator of Nardi Media, LLC, Ashley Bernardi, who brings over a decade of booking and producing experience in the television broadcast industry, including CBS News, Washington Post Live, and Bloomberg. She has helped countless clients achieve their broadcast outreach goals by securing interviews and placements on NBC’s Today Show, CBS This Morning, MSNBC, CNN, CNBC, Bloomberg TV, NPR, Business Insider, and hundreds of other national and local television and radio outlets across the world. Ashley manages the full production of satellite media tours, including television and radio bookings, media strategy, media training, producing and logistics. Throughout her career, she has booked and interviewed Heads of State, celebrities, lawmakers, Presidential candidates, guests for breaking news stories, and more. She is based in Washington, D.C.