Jess Regel
Founder & Agent
Hi! I’m Jess. I started Helm Literary with the goal of helping writers take control of their careers.  I believe my job as a literary agent is to help writers steer that ship (couldn’t resist at least one sea-faring pun!) First and foremost, I work to make sure my writers are compensated for their incredible work, but I’m also their guide to navigating the industry as a whole. No nonsense, no smoke and mirrors. Just the pure magic of publishing books.
What’s my story? As a flashlight under the covers, tripping over curbs while read-walking, never leave home without a book, lifetime reader, I thought I’d found my dream job when I started working at my local library in Iowa. Then one day, I stumbled upon the inciting incident of my professional life: I shelved The Writer’s Digest’s Guide to Literary Agents.
The summer of 2002, I moved to New York City to intern at the Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency. Over the next decade, I worked my way through each department: royalties, contracts, audio, foreign, film, and domestic. I also began taking on my own clients (most of whom I still represent to this day.)  In 2013, I moved to Foundry Literary + Media where I continued to grow my list of award winning, bestselling writers. (And truly just wonderful people.) 
Today, Helm is a full-service literary agency, representing fiction, nonfiction, and children’s book authors. I've hired a team of industry veterans to support me in my back office and in my subsidiary rights department, that way I can focus on selling books.  Because the truth is, nearly two decades into my career, I still get giddy every time I call an author with an offer from a publisher. Dream job!

Celeste Montaño
Intern
Hi! I’m Celeste. Learning to speak English at age six was daunting until my mom took me to the local library. I found The Baby-Sitters Club and Nancy Drew and there was no going back. By the time I got to UCLA, majoring in English felt like a natural fit. However, studying the literary canon taught me that I don’t love reading unconditionally. What I love is seeing myself in characters and being challenged to examine my life through their stories. And I love a good adventure. Needless to say, those weren’t the kind of books we discussed in the classroom.

Since then, I’ve gone out of my way to surround myself with interesting stories and great writing. For three years, I developed programs at Independence National Historical Park to highlight underrepresented historical narratives, especially women’s history. Today, I work at a university writing center, and I hope to enter publishing next. My goal is to establish a career that supports stories like those that sustained me growing up, but also those I craved, namely stories with joyful BIPOC representation.