Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Natalie Obando of Ladderbird Literary

Natalie Obando is a literary agent with Ladderbird Literary.

Natalie is a graduate from California State University, Long Beach with a BA in journalism emphasizing public relations and a minor in creative writing. Since then, she’s worked in the world of books as a book publicist. Natalie is the founder of Do Good Public Relations Group and the grassroots organization, Women of Color Writers Podcast and Programming. She is the current national president of the 105 years old non-profit, the Women’s National Book Association (WNBA), overseeing all eleven chapters across the nation. As the first Latina president of the WNBA, her goal has been promoting diversity in publishing via grassroots efforts.

Because of her dedication to promoting diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging in the book world, she is the founder and chair of Authentic Voices—a four-month long program that immerses people from marginalized communities in a master class of writing, editing, marketing, and publishing. Natalie has since been a panelist and speaker at some of the most well-regarded literary conferences in the industry including the San Francisco Writer’s Conference, The West Coast Writer’s Conference, the Central Coast Writer’s Conference, Publisher’s Group West Conference, as well as conferences that focus on diversity in publishing such as Centering on the Margins.

When she’s not championing for folx in the book world, she can be found in the gym powerlifting, in her bed cuddling her dogs, and (if she’s not procrastinating) writing novels and screenplays rooted in Latinx folklore and magic.


Natalie is primarily looking for BIPOC stories, and stories inclusive of intersectional identities told from an authentic lense and NOT tokenized. In fiction, she is looking for character driven stories with a voice that is relatable yet quirky and worlds that feel real. For nonfiction she’s in desperate search of topics and issues that open up discussions often considered taboo.

In Young Adult & New Adult:

Natalie enjoys a YA or New Adult story that deals with generational relationships and ancestral threads. Throw in some contemporary fantasy, or magical realism, and/or cultural folklore and she’s all over it. Some of her favorite authors who do this well are Zoraida Cordova, Rin Chupeco, Sylvia Moreno Garcia, and Elizabeth Acevedo, Natalie is especially interested in diverse non-European folklore.

In Romance:

This can be YA or new adult. Contemporary RomComs with a cultural twist are her favorite as well as friends to lovers, enemies to lovers, secret identities, forbidden love, finding love in a foreign land, feel free to pitch if there is anything fairly similar to that. Her favorite romance authors are Priscilla Oliveras, Alexis Daria, and Lily Chu.

In Nonfiction:

Natalie is looking for topics that dig deep into who we are as humans and what we have yet to tap into. She enjoys reading about new forms of wellness therapies, sexual empowerment, ethical non-monogamy, BDSM—in an educational and enlightening nuanced format, astrology, tarot, and modern day magic (brujería and curanderismo) tied to ancestral roots. If you have a book that ties all of these together it’s her dream. If you have a platform that supports and adds context to what you write or your expertise please don’t forget to say that in your pitch.

Some of her favorite authors in nonfiction in these areas are Esther Perel, Erika Buenaflor, Athena Perrakis, and Sandra Hinajosa Ludwig.

What she is NOT looking for:

  • Memoirs
  • Books that are trauma ridden
  • Sci Fi
  • Books that are overtly political
  • Books about war
  • Books that involve abuse of children or animals

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