Leavell graduated from the University of Virginia and the Radcliffe Publishing Program. Byrd Leavell manages the Publishing department at United Talent Agency (UTA), a top global talent and entertainment company. Based in UTA’s New York office, Leavell represents various high-profile clients around the world, including Don Lemon, Ali Velshi, Constance Wu, Tiffany Haddish, and many more.
Recently, Byrd Leavell began working with successful authors Chip and Joanna Gaines. Leavell also set up a deal between iHeartMedia and Flatiron Books, creating the first-ever imprint deal between a podcast network and a major book publisher for a line of podcast-based books. The first of this book series, Stuff You Should Know, was released last November and became a major bestseller. Seven more books will soon follow.
Additionally, Leavell recently closed a deal for How I Built This, a Guy Raz book based on the podcast of the same title. Other recent successes include upcoming books for Penn and Kim Holderness, Aubrey Marcus, The Jonas Brothers, Zac Levi, Brian Kilmeade, Bret Baier, Julia Haart, Pastor Cal Roberson, Amirah Kassem, Tyra Banks, Drew Magary, KevonStage, Sebastian Maniscalco, and more.
Byrd Leavell signed on with UTA following success with his own agency, Waxman Leavell Literary (now Waxman Literary) which he founded in 2012. As head of Waxman Leavell Literary, Leavell oversaw dozens of bestsellers including bestselling books Shit My Dad Says by Justin Halpern.
- Deahl |, Rachel. "UTA Publishing Builds Its Client List" (in en). https://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/publisher-news/article/87404-uta-publishing-builds-its-client-list.html.
- "UTA Head of Publishing Byrd Leavell On Publishing Industry Trends, How To Write A Good Query Letter, And The Sure Signs Of An Up-And-Coming Writer" (in en). 2020-08-06. https://www.writingroutines.com/byrd-leavell-interview/.
- "Byrd Leavell on Submitting to a Literary Agent: Separating the Generic Proposals from the Successful Submissions - uReadThis" (in en-US). 2021-10-10. https://ureadthis.com/byrd-leavell-on-submitting-to-a-literary-agent-separating-the-generic-proposals-from-the-successful-submissions/.
- "Byrd Leavell - Head of Publishing at UTA" (in en-US). https://ideamensch.com/byrd-leavell/.