Founded by Kate Woodrow in 2015, Present Perfect is a literary agency based in San Francisco and Oakland, California. Laura Lee Mattingly joined as partner in 2016. Kate and Laura Lee have a combined 20 years of editorial experience at major trade publishing houses, and now as agents represent the best in relevant, thoughtful, beautiful books.

Present Perfect is a place where good ideas get great—and get published.

 photo by liz daly.

 photo by liz daly.

Kate Woodrow

I specialize in illustrated nonfiction and my clients are primarily artists and creative entrepreneurs. I started this agency with the goal of advocating for artists in publishing. I'm looking for books about art, design, lifestyle, travel, science, feminism, popular culture, and unique visual perspectives on other aspects of the world. I also have expertise developing paper products and selling ancillary rights.

Before launching Present Perfect in 2015, I spent a decade as an editor at Chronicle Books, where I developed more than 300 books and paper products (view a selection under Books). Taking so many of these projects from brainstorm to bookshelf gave me a keen sense of what makes a book successful, and how to convey that to an acquiring editor. I also copyedited the lifestyle magazine Anthology for its 21-issue run and am passionate about art and design.

Listen to Kate talk about the pitch process on The Jealous Curator podcast here


photo by peter ellenby

photo by peter ellenby

Laura Lee Mattingly

I’m looking for books that get to the heart of living well, whether the topic is unlocking creativity, forging a new career path, redefining work, exploring new places, cultivating mindfulness, or practicing self-care. I’m passionate about titles that help readers discover more purpose, joy, and fulfillment in life.

Through my work at Hyperion Books, Random House, HarperCollins, and most recently as a senior editor at Chronicle Books, I’ve had the privilege of editing hundreds of books—including numerous national and New York Times bestsellers—that reflect these passions (check out my portfolio for a selection of these titles). I’ve collaborated with bloggers, life coaches, podcasters, photographers, business owners, and lifestyle personalities to turn their book visions into printed reality.

Listen to Laura Lee talk about working with an agent on the Being Boss podcast here