The Official Story
AKA The Short Version
Whitley Abell joined The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency in 2018, where she is actively building her list. Previously with Inklings Literary Agency, she also interned with the Carol Mann Agency and P.S. Literary Agency, and worked as a medical/S&T journal editor and a sales content project manager. She graduated from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville with degrees in English and Secondary Education, which means she can tell you everything there is to know about feminist literary theory and the Common Core Standards. Whitley is a proud geek—still expecting to find her misplaced Hogwarts letter, the spare key to the TARDIS, or the secret entrance to Narnia—and is beyond thrilled to have found the perfect profession for channeling her fangirl powers: Associate Literary Agent.
The Real Deal
AKA The Long Version
Whitley has always lived with one foot in the storybook realm. While most kids played soccer and red rover, she devised spells to guarantee an extra snow day, composed elaborate adventures for Peter and Wendy—Wendy was a swashbuckling double agent for the Lost Boys—and compiled dark and twisted ghost stories to tell her brothers around the bonfire.
After jaunts studying theater and political science at Millikin University and anthropology at Missouri State, and a year in Northern England at the University of Central Lancashire, Whitley graduated from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville with a BA in English Literature in 2011, and again in 2012 with a Master of Arts in Teaching – Secondary English Education. You’ll never find her teaching though—she quickly found she had two settings: subverting the establishment, and Trunchbull; there is no inbetween.
She has worked as a funeral home hostess, a singing ice cream server, a substitute teacher, a telemarketer, a cheerleading coach, a production editor, and a proposal writer (of the decidedly unromantic variety). She has completed successful internships with Carol Mann Agency, P.S. Literary Agency, and Inklings Literary Agency, the last of which she later joined as an assistant before being promoted to associate. She then moved to the Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency in 2018.
Whitley has a charming Chiweenie named Gidget; an unhealthy number of fictional love interests (Logan Echolls, Mr. Darcy, Nick Miller, Dottie Hinson, Steve Rogers… the list goes on); a steadfast determination that magic exists; and an abundant collection of well-loved books and nerdy trivia. What she does not have is a Time-Turner, but she’s willing to make a fair trade. When she’s not agenting or assisting in her local university’s office of diversity, she can typically be found raging against the patriarchy and slipping down rabbit holes of the literary and fandom varieties.