May 18, 2023
Update, May 18, 2023: The Authors Guild met with the leadership of New Leaf Literary on Thursday to discuss the agency’s plan to manage the transition for authors impacted by the shakeup. New Leaf’s leadership has assured us that they have been addressing affected authors’ concerns and will continue to do so. The conversation was amicable and fruitful, and New Leaf assured us that it is doing its best to ensure that the transition is as smooth as it can be under the circumstances and to provide authors with reasonable options.
Specifically, New Leaf has committed to do the following for authors (1) whose books are out on submission, (2) who are currently negotiating principal deal terms, and (3) who have finalized principal terms but not yet negotiated contracts:
New Leaf leadership also stated that in some cases they had not originally been aware that the authors had works on submission and thus did not offer to continue the submission process. New Leaf has since reached out to those authors with the option to do so.
After our conversation with New Leaf’s leadership, we are hopeful that the agency will engage with authors thoughtfully and ethically in addressing their concerns. The Authors Guild stands by to provide legal guidance and support as needed.
Please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions. While the Authors Guild is happy to offer general guidance to any author, we can only review legal requests on behalf of our members. If you need legal assistance, please considering joining at authorsguild.org/membership.
May 16, 2023: The Authors Guild is extremely concerned by reports that the New Leaf Literary agency dropped one of its agents’ authors by email over the weekend, including some who were in the middle of contract negotiations. While unforeseen events do occur, New Leaf should have assigned the writers to other agents instead of simply dropping them. The Authors Guild strongly believes that every agent needs to have a succession plan for their authors in case of disabling ill health or death, and we instruct authors to inquire about such a contingency plan. We have seen far too many authors left in the lurch over the years.
We urge New Leaf’s leadership to reach out to all of the authors who were dropped and offer to accommodate them through other agents on staff, and, especially, to assign agents to complete negotiations for any pending deals. New Leaf authors who were impacted by this sudden shakeup can reach out to us, though we can only represent Authors Guild members in legal matters. Authors who are members of the Authors Guild should send in their agency agreements to our legal staff so we can advise them on their rights.