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Agent Spotlight: Regina Brooks

This week's Agent Spotlight features Regina Brooks of Serendipity LLC Literary Agency.
Status: Ms. Brooks is closed to submissions. Please check the agency website to find out when she reopens to queries.
brooks_picture About: "Ms. Regina Brooks is the founder and president of Serendipity Literary Agency in New York, New York. Her agency is the largest African American owned agency in the country and has represented and established a diverse base of award-winning clients in adult and young adult fiction, nonfiction, and children’s literature. Her authors have appeared in USA Today, the New York Times, and the Washington Post as well as on Oprah, ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, FOX, MSBNC, TV One, BET, and a host of others. In 2015, Publishers Weekly nominated Regina Brooks as a PW Star Watch Finalist, and she was honored with a Stevie Award in Business. Writer’s Digest Magazine named Serendipity Literary Agency as one of the top 25 literary agencies. Formerly, she held senior editorial positions at John Wiley and Sons (where she was not only the youngest but also the first African American editor in their college division) and McGraw-Hill." (From the agency website)
What She's Looking For:
Genres / Specialties: General fiction, Literary Fiction, Commercial Fiction, Mystery, Romance, Picture Book, Middle grade, Young Adult, Multi-Cultural, Adventure, Gay & Lesbian, Graphic Novels, Biography, Business/investing/finance, History, Religious, Mind/body/spirit, Health, Travel, Lifestyle, Cookbooks,Sports, African-American, Science, Books by First-Time Authors. (Link, Link)
What She Isn't Looking For:
Military, history
About the Agency:
"Serendipity is a word with varied meaning: fortune, twists of fate, luck. It’s a name uniquely suited for our literary agency, because we’re dedicated to creating good fortune for aspiring writers and illustrators. Since 2000, we’ve established a diverse base of award-winning clients in adult and young adult fiction, non-fiction, and children’s literature. We work tirelessly to help our clients build successful and sustainable careers.
For months—perhaps years—you’ve invested your creative energy and passion in your manuscript. Now it’s complete, and it’s time to sell your work in the marketplace. That involves an entirely different set of skills and knowledge.
Our agents can help guide you on the path to publication. We have the contacts you need, the knowledge required to market your work effectively, and the skills to negotiate the most favorable contracts on your behalf. We’re committed to nurturing your long-term development through our lasting relationships in the publishing industry.
We embrace serendipity—but we never forget that hard work produces its own luck!" (From the agency webste)
Her Advice to Writers:
“There are a lot of good manuscripts out there. It doesn’t matter if you’re a lawyer or a National Book Award winner, the competition is fierce. Know the rules, expect some rejection, and put your best face forward.”
"To be a writer, you have to have a lot of courage. You have to push the envelope. The more you do that, the better you writing is. I go by that advice, too, because I’m going onto ground here that not a lot of people tread. I mean, there are not a lot of African American agents out there."
Editorial Agent?
“We see the writing and publishing process as a collaborative experience. You can expect guidance with content development, proposal development and certainly some editorial review. We are available to you throughout the entire writing process.”
"I like to develop writers. When I first started my agency, I was into that a lot: helping writers find their voice. I really got my hands dirty with manuscripts. But now, I’m finding I’m less able to do that. But I like to keep a balanced portfolio—of writers who are ready to go and seasoned writers, as well as people who need some development. I just love taking the seed of an idea and helping bring it to fruition."
Web Presence:
Serendipity Lit website.
Publisher's Marketplace.
QueryTracker, AgentQuery.
A list of Serendipity Lit clients is available on the agency website. 
Query Methods:Ms. Brooks and the agency is currently closed to submissions. Check the Serendipity Lit website to find out when they reopen to submissions.
E-mail: No.
Snail-Mail: No.
Online-Form: Yes. 
Submission Guidelines (always verify):
Fiction: Complete an online form (like query), synopsis, and the first 50 pages or three chapters.
Non-fiction: Complete an online form (like query) and  proposal
The agency has very specific guidelines on its website.
Illustrators / Photographers: See the website guidelines.
For complete, up-to-date submission guidelines, see the agency website.
Query Tips:
Read the FAQs and submission guidelines for your project on the website before querying.
Response Times:
The agency has a stated response time of 4-6 weeks on queries.  If you haven’t heard back in that time, resend the e-mail with your original query. Stats on the web suggest Ms. Brooks usually responds within a month or two, but there are much longer instances and instances of no-response as well. 
What's the Buzz?
Regina Brooks is a successful, well-respected agent with many years dedicated to the publishing industry.  She has an established list of clients and sales.  Follow her on Twitter and Facebook for news and happenings and an inside look at Serendipity Lit.
Worth Your Time:
Interviews and Guest Posts:
Engaging Readers of Young Adult Fiction at Lynn Miller-Lachmann (10/2014)
See Ms. Brooks’s Publisher’s Marketplace page for recent sales and forthcoming titles.
Please see the Serendipity LLC website for contact and query information.
Profile Details:
Last updated: 1/16/2023
Agent Contacted For Review? Yes – 12/27/2017
Reviewed By Agent?  No.

Have any experience with this agent? See something that needs updating? Please leave a comment or e-mail me at natalieiaguirre7(at)gmail(dot)com

Note: These agent profiles presently focus on agents who accept children's fiction. They are not interviews. Please take the time to verify anything you might use here before querying an agent. The information found herein is subject to change.


Crystal said...

Thanks for your research into this agent, Casey! It's greatly appreciated.

Casey Something said...

You're welcome, Crystal!

Ronald L. Smith said...

Thanks for all the agent profiles. This is a nice resource.

Casey Something said...

Thank you Prince Balthazar and thank you for stopping by!

Sheri Perl-Oshins said...

Very cool! Very informative. i still have all the other spotlit agents to read while I was away.

Shelli (srjohannes) said...

as usual - hey you seeing if you get any keyword hits from the agent names on your stats?

Unknown said...

I recieved a response a month after submitting on their online submission form. The assistant emailed me requesting first 4 chaps.

Katharina Gerlach said...

Mrs. Brooks requested the full manuscript about a year ago but hasn't reacted since.

I know that my reaction to her request was probably somewhat unprofessional. I had won a 10 page critic from her through Chuck Sambuccino's blog (which was really helpful by the way) and then she asked for the full. Since her website said that she isn't interested in fantasy, I had never considered her as a possible agent. Open (you could say naive) as I am, I told her so. Maybe, that's why I haven't heard from her since.

I still recommend her. She is very nice, and all I've heard about her is that she is a terrific agent.