Every so often a book is published that immediately becomes a must read for all publishing professionals—for those aspiring or for those firmly entrenched.  LORD of PUBLISHING, “the frank and aspiring memoir of a life spent in publishing” by one of literature’s most legendary agents, Sterling Lord, is one of those books.  As an agent to Jack Kerouac, Ken Kesey, and countless other literary icons, Mr. Lord has been a huge force and influence in the industry; engineering some of the most important book deals in literary history.  On the last page of this fascinating memoir, where he brilliantly brings to life what was arguably the greatest era of book publishing, he states “I’m now, as I write this, ninety-two years old and still in business, five-plus days a week.  I long ago came to the conclusion that is you stop learning, you might as well give up.  I am still learning…..”

Below you will find a link to a recent PW interview with Mr. Lord and information on how to apply for an internship at SSL (where many Pace MS in Publishing students have gone before!).

Professor Jane Kinney-Denning



The Agent: PW Talks with Sterling Lord

In one of the great publishing memoirs of the modern era, literary agent Sterling Lord reflects on a career spanning seven decades… so far.

By Andrew Albanese | Feb 16, 2013


Is he the most interesting man in the publishing world? I must confess, a few chapters into Sterling Lord’s recently published memoir, Lord of Publishing, my first impression was that the guy in those Dos Equis beer ads has nothing on Sterling Lord. As a young man from the Midwest, Lord was a nationally ranked tennis player, playing legends like Don Budge and hitting around with eight-time Wimbledon champ Helen Wills Moody. After returning from Paris in the ‘50s, with his French wife, he began working as a literary agent in New York City, through the publishing industry’s golden age and into its lucrative corporate era, a career that has now spanned more than 60 years.

“Think of the people Sterling has known, think of the people that have confided in Sterling, asked him for advice,” says sportswriter Frank Deford in Open Road’s promotional video for the book. “He’s a giant.” In fact, when Lyndon Johnson was looking for representation, Lord said no thanks. That’s President Lyndon Johnson—the Great Society, Vietnam… yeah, that guy. Cue the line, “Stay thirsty, my friends.”    Read the rest of the article!





Sterling Lord Literistic, Inc. invites Pace University Graduate Students to apply for a part-time internship in our New York office.  Agency interns gain an intensive introduction to all aspects of book publishing and author representation.


Internships run year round and include brown-bag lunches with some of the most powerful figures in the industry.  In addition to a professional interest in literary publishing, candidates should have:

  • Attention to detail 
  • Be willing to work hard on both the glamorous and not-so glamorous pieces that make up any successful business. 

You’ll become an integral part of a casual but serious office environment.  Our offices are located in the landmark Louis Sullivan Building on Bleecker Street in New York City.

Please email a one-page cover letter and résumé to our attention to Jenny Stephens at jenny@sll.com. We look forward to hearing from you!


SLL is one of the world’s leading literary agencies, combining a long tradition of literary excellence with a diverse and successful client list.   The Agency represents a wide range of authors, including National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize winners, New York Times bestsellers, New Yorker writers, literary and commercial novelists, politicians, journalists, scientists, and favorites in children’s literature.   The winning combination of established authors and newly emerging voices attests to the past achievement and future promise of the Agency.


Sterling Lord founded the Agency in 1952, with literary icons such as Jack Kerouac and Ken Kesey becoming early clients. Peter Matson established his firm in 1979 and rose to prominence representing such writers as Dee Brown and John Irving.   In 1987, the two joined forces, creating the prestigious agency that continues to flourish today.  Our current client list includes: David Mitchell, Carolyn Parkhurst, Sam Lipsyte, Billy Collins, James McBride, Rachel Maddow, Richard Paul Evans, John & Meghan McCain, and many others.  Further information can be found on our website