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Marilyn Allen is a literary agent and founding partner in the Allen O'Shea Literary Agency. She has culminated 25 years of experience by doing sales and marketing for various publishing houses. She served as Associate Publisher, Director of Marketing and Senior Vice President to Harper Collins, as well as Vice President to both Penguin and Simon & Schuster.  She has directed sales and marketing teams for Penguin Books, Simon & Schuster, and Avon Books.


Marilyn has had the pleasure of working with authors such as Stephen King, Ken Follett, Barbara Kingsolver, John Gray and Mary Higgins Clark, but currently represents many nonfiction authors including several New York Times bestselling writers. Her focuses are nonfiction, cooking, health, parenting, crafts, self-help, pop culture and business.  She herself has co-authored The Complete Idiot's Guide to Book Proposals and Query Letters (Penguin Books) with her partner Coleen O'Shea. 


She is also the literary consultant and co-founder for the Next Generation Indie Book Awards. She has taught publishing courses at NYU and for Gotham University.  She frequently conducts publishing seminars and gives speeches at writing conferences. Some upcoming dates are as follows: 

May 6

ASJA Conference (American Society of Journalists and Authors) Marriott Hotel

New York City, NY


May 21

Next Generation Indie Book Awards Ceremony

Washington, DC


May 21-23

American Library Association Annual Conference,

Washington, DC


Sept. 20-21

Ridgefield Writers Conference

Ridgefield, CT


Coleen O'Shea is a founding partner in the Allen O'Shea Literary Agency. Previously, she worked in executive editorial positions at major trade publishers, discovering many bestselling authors and helping to develop publishing programs.  Before becoming a literary agent, published author, book packager and publishing consultant, she was Executive Editor of a major publisher. In that position, Coleen worked with a wide array of award-winning and best-selling fiction authors and developed a successful list of self-improvement, health and nutrition titles, as well as illustrated lifestyle books and cookbooks. She has conceived and developed book series for Simon & Schuster, Random House, National Geographic Society Trade Books, and Reader’s Digest, among others.


With a strong editorial and publishing background, as a literary agent Coleen works actively with her clients to craft strong proposals and to develop, publish and promote their books and brand. Her best-selling authors publish books, offer related courses, seminars and workshops, appear on national media, develop products, write for major publications and blogs, and speak to a wide array of audiences around the world.  Her client list focuses on health, wellness, nutrition, diet, fitness, meditation, inspirational, lifestyle, cooking, narrative, memoir, and some select fiction authors. Among her clients are best-selling and award-winning authors, notable entrepreneurs, chefs and bakers, Olympic athletes, internationally celebrated yogis and fitness experts, Intuitives, Meditators, scientists, researchers, and doctors, educators and journalists. She also has an interest in the areas of pop culture, parenting, and design. 


She is the co-author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Book Proposals and Query Letters (Penguin Books) with her partner Marilyn Allen.


A voracious reader, active gardener, cook and runner, Coleen is eager to work with clients with national and international platforms to help share new ideas with big audiences.


Coleen is a member of the Association of Authors’ Representatives and Women’s Media Group.

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