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Agent Spotlight: Jennifer Rofe

This week's Agent Spotlight features Jennifer Rofe of Andrea Brown Literary Agency, Inc
Status: Open to submissions.
About: “Jennifer represents projects ranging from picture books to YA. Middle grade is her soft spot and she's open to all genres in this category – literary, commercial, magical, fantastical, historical, contemporary, and everything in between. As for YA, Jennifer is drawn to stories that shed a unique light on the adolescent experience; funny, wistful, or cringe-worthy romance; and fantasy and urban fantasy with exceptionally developed worlds. In picture books, she likes funny, character-driven projects; beautifully imagined and written stories; and milestone moments with a twist. Overall, she seeks rich characters, masterful writing, distinct voices and perspectives, and stories that transport the reader.
"Jennifer especially enjoys representing illustrators and author-illustrators, and is always seeking new illustrators with strong, artistic voices.
"Some of Jennifer's clients include New York Times bestseller Meg Medina, author of the Newbery Medal winner MERCI SUÁREZ CHANGES GEARS, the National Book Award Long List novel BURN BABY BURN, the Pura Belpré Award winning novel YAQUI DELGADO WANTS TO KICK YOUR ASS, and the Pura Belpré Honor picture book MANGO, ABUELA, AND ME (all Candlewick); Amber Ren, illustrator of the New York Times bestselling picture book BECAUSE by Mo Willems (Disney*Hyperion); New York Times bestseller Eliza Wheeler, author-illustrator of the HOME IN THE WOODS (Nancy Paulsen Books/PRH) and illustrator of WHEREVER YOU GO and WHEN YOU ARE BRAVE, both by Pat Zietlow Miller (both Little, Brown/Hachette); Sid Fleischman Humor Award winner Crystal Allen, author of the middle grade series The Magnificent Mya Tibbs and the middle grade novel HOW LAMAR'S BAD PRANK WON A BUBBA-SIZED TROPHY (all Balzer & Bray/HarperCollins); Denise Doyen, author of the E.B. White Read Aloud Honor picture book ONCE UPON A TWICE (Random House) and THE POMEGRANATE WITCH (Chronicle), illustrated by Eliza Wheeler; Christina Diaz Gonzalez, author of the action-packed middle grade Moving Target duology and the forthcoming graphic novel THE INVISIBLES (all Scholastic); Kim Tomsic, author of the magical middle grade novel THE 11:11 WISH and the follow-up THE 12TH CANDLE (both HarperCollins); and Dev Petty and Mike Boldt, the author and illustrator team behind the I DON’T WANT TO BE A FROG franchise (Doubleday/PRH).
"Jennifer is co-author of the picture book PIGGIES IN THE PUMPKIN PATCH (Charlesbridge). She has been on the faculty of many conferences including the Big Sur Writer's Workshop and numerous SCBWI conferences, and she is especially known for her The "So What?" Factor presentation. Jennifer earned a BA in English and a minor in Social and Ethnic Relations with a focus on multicultural literature from UC Davis and has a background in secondary education. ” (Link)
About the Agency:
“The Andrea Brown Literary Agency was founded in August 1981 and has offices in the San Francisco Bay area, San Diego, Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago.
“Our agency works to bring to light the voices and perspectives of new writers as well as to nurture and develop the careers of experienced authors. Our goal, whether seeking to secure a publishing contract for a first book or a fiftieth book, is to make sure that clients are not only published, but published well.
“Our philosophy is to remain a ‘small’ agency at heart. We invest a great deal of personal care and attention in each project, and we are hands-on in all aspects of our interactions with clients. We work closely with clients in an editorial capacity and we devise a strategy at every stage of the writing process that will enable us to find the best publisher for each book. In doing so, we think about both short term and long term goals for our clients, always keeping the trajectory of a successful career in mind.
“Our agents have backgrounds in New York publishing, editing, academia, business, teaching, writing and film, and one of our strengths as an agency is that we work collaboratively. Our clients have the benefit not only of their individual agent's expertise but of the combined experience and vision of the group.
“As a West Coast based agency, we follow a tradition of West Coast innovation in our passion for discovering new voices, in our efforts to make New York publishing more inclusive of voices from other parts of the country, and in our attempt to see publishing trends that result from this broader perspective. We combine this approach with access, standing, and visibility in the publishing community at large. Our agents make regular trips to New York, attend industry conventions, and participate as faculty at writers' conferences all over the country. We ensure a high profile for our clients and actively keep our fingers on the pulse of publishing.” (Link)
What She's Looking For:
Children’s books, picture book through young adult fiction
What She Isn't Looking For:
Poetry, screenplays, adult projects.
"I'm in regular contact with my clients, but it really depends on what phase a certain project is in and how the client prefers to work. For instance, I have clients who prefer receiving editorial comments via email and others who like to discuss them. For the most part, I typically communicate via email, but I call with good news and to discuss contract terms. I'm looking to build long-term, collaborative relationships with my clients."  (Link)
“I need to know if a prospective client is willing and able to revise – if not, then I won’t be able to work with the writer and I certainly won’t be able to connect her with an editor, who will expect revisions. I also consider how many projects/works in progress the writer has and if she is knowledgeable of the industry, belongs to a critique group of some sort, and is willing to spend time marketing her book once it’s published.” (Link)
Editorial Agent?
"I've never sent a manuscript to an editor without having worked on revisions with my clients. These revisions typically involve big picture issues, such as plot and subplot, character motivations, etc.  There are so many strong, compelling manuscripts on editors' desks that you don't want to give them any reason to reject yours." (Link
Web Presence:
Andrea Brown Agency website.
Publishers Marketplace.
#mswl on Twitter.
AgentQuery, QueryTracker, AuthorAdvance.
A number of Ms. Rofe's clients are listed in her bio above. There is also a select list of Andrea Brown Lit titles on the website.
Query Methods:
E-mail: No.
Snail-Mail: No.
Online-Form: Yes.
Submission Guidelines (always verify):
“We accept email queries only. Please direct your e-query to ONE agent at our agency, and include the following:
“Fiction: query letter and first 10 pages.”
Please see the Andrea Brown Literary website for complete, up-to-date submission guidelines as well as the agency's Submission Advice, Dos and Dont’s, and Tips.
Response Times:
The agency tries to respond within 4-8 weeks but does not guarantee a response due to the large number of submissions they receive. If you have not heard back in 8 weeks, assume rejection. (Link)
What's the Buzz? 
Ms. Rofe is a highly respected agent at a top-notch agency.  Her clients aren't shy in praising her and many writers claim they'd love to have her as their agent.  Her particular interest in MG is refreshing.  She attends conferences regularly and is a popular speaker. 
Worth Your Time:
Ask an Agent with Jennifer Rofe at Literaticast (07/2019)
Interview with Jennifer Rofe at Lee Wind (10/2015)
Query Questions with Jennifer Rofe at Michelle Hauck (04/2015)
7 Questions for Agent Jennifer Rofe at Middle Grade Ninja (04/2011)
SCBWI Exclusive with Jennifer Rofe at SCBWI Insight (Date Unknown)
Please see the Andrea Brown Literary Agency website for contact and query information.
Profile Details:
Last updated: 5/25/2020
Agent Contacted For Review? Yes.
Reviewed By Agent? Yes – 5/25/2020.
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.


Kelly Polark said...

Great interview and information. I heard her speak at Prairie Writers Day in November. I am looking forward to submitting to her soon!

Tana said...

Thanx I'll keep her in mind for my YA.

Tyler said...

Boy, what a roundup! I've heard nothing but good things about her, and she was really nice when I met her.

Christina Farley said...

Thanks for the details. She sounds like a great agent.

Keri Mikulski said...

Heard great things about Jennifer. Good luck to everyone querying her. :)

Catherine Meyer said...

Jennifer Rofe is my agent, and I have to say that she is fabulous. I'm one of her clients in that revision place she mentioned. Her comments and feedback have always been right on, and I really feel like she cares about my career.

Casey Something said...

Thanks for commenting everyone! And thank you, Catherine, for sharing your experience with Ms. Rofe so far. So glad to here things are going well. Best wishes!