Meet the Team
Rachelle Gardner - founder and literary agent
As a literary agent since 2007, Rachelle has negotiated 300+ contracts with more than 20 publishers, and worked with more than 200 authors to bring their books to publication and build their careers.
She's been in publishing since 1995, worked in-house at two publishing companies, and edited books published by Harper Collins, Simon & Schuster, Penguin Random House, and many more. Nowadays she feels lucky to work at the foot of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado.
When she's not working, you can usually find her out hiking the local trails, riding her bike, haunting bookstores, or having coffee at Starbucks.
Click HERE to see a sampling of books Rachelle has represented.
Sherri Wilson Johnson - Operations Manager
Since 2012, Sherri has assisted ministers, authors, speakers, bloggers, publishers and literary agents with a variety of tasks like newsletter design, graphic design, website management, inbox management, bookkeeping, editing, publishing, and social media management. She brings her expertise to Gardner Literary, where she handles bookkeeping, coordinates social media, and manages day-to-day operations.
Sherri is also an author herself, having published seven novels, so she understands the world of our clients. She lives in Georgia with her husband Dan and their two rambunctious dogs, and enjoys doing jigsaw puzzles and visiting the beach.
What People Are Saying
Rachelle’s ability to apply her expansive knowledge of the publishing industry to my specific writing career — both where I am and where I want to go in the future — is invaluable. She’s helped me navigate all the details of a writer’s life: deadlines, editors, preparing/pitching a proposal, as well as managing expectations, successes, and disappointments. Rachelle grounds me in much-needed reality, while encouraging me to pursue my writing dreams.
~Award-winning author Beth K. Vogt
I can’t overstate how awesome it was to work with Rachelle on my memoir. Her keen editorial insights and brilliant revision directions made the difference between a half-baked book and one that drew eight publishers to the table. Her instincts are simply dead on. She has a rare gift for seeing the book that is trying to happen and helping the writer bring it to fruition.
~Bestselling author Heather H. Kopp
“My coaching session with Rachelle was invaluable. She helped me to untie some knots in my head, which were hindering my ability to make progress with my literary novel, by adding clarity, focus and purpose to the project. She read a solid sample of my work, had structured feedback and worked very hard to ascertain not only the writing itself, but who was doing the writing and why. I would highly recommend her coaching services to any writer looking to improve their work.”
~Anthony Faggioli, first-time novelist
I continue to depend on Rachelle’s level-headed and practical advice about the publishing world in general and my situation in particular. She’s been an invaluable asset to me along my road to writing.
~Richard L Mabry, MD, award-winning author
Rachelle Gardner is an exceptional editing partner. Her understanding of the trends in the publishing industry, her attention to detail and her professionalism caught my attention right away. But it was her day-to-day commitment to the stories we were creating together that made the partnership between author and editor such a solid one. She’s encouraged me, inspired me to stretch my skills and has improved my understanding of the writing craft. She’ll invest in each author with whom she works to bring out their unique voice, and ensure that every story shines. I enjoyed working with her so much that she is now my literary agent!
~Award-winning author Kristy Cambron
I’ve worked with Rachelle on numerous writing projects, and she has been an integral part of each step in my publishing process. She has helped me expand and develop my ideas, strengthen my writing, consider my audience, craft proposals, and negotiate contracts. One thing I particularly appreciate about Rachelle is her honesty—she is straight-forward and direct. She has always been willing to tell me the truth, even if it hurts. This also means that when she loves my writing, I know her sentiment is genuine and my writing is strong. For an author, this is an invaluable quality of a writing/publishing coach.
~Zeke Pipher, author of Man on the Run and In Pursuit