This week's Agent Spotlight features Rosemary Stimola of Stimola Literary Studio, Inc.
About: "In more than thirty years of professional life, Rosemary Stimola has worn many hats, all of them centered on books for children and young adults. Her first work life as a PH.D linguist, teaching language and literature at the City University of New York, with a specialization in children’s literature, steeped her in the aesthetics of narrative, the power of the written word, and the nuanced partnership of word and art in the telling of story. Her second work life, as owner of A Child’s Story, an independent bookstore of national reputation in Teaneck, NJ, educated her in the business of children’s publishing, and brought her the Lucile Micheels Pannell Award, given by the National Women’s Book Association, for bringing children and books together. Given her experience and reputation as an educator, bookseller and literary agent bookseller, Rosemary has become one of the most sought after speakers at writer and illustrator conferences throughout the United States and abroad.” (Link)
Status: Open to submissions.
What She's Looking For:
From the Website:
"Eclectic in tastes but not in standards, the Stimola Literary Studio, highly selective in representation, invites unsolicited queries on picture books, novels, and graphic novels, as well as select projects in nonfiction, most of the year.
“At present, we are MOST interested in: Author/ illustrators, Humorous middle grade, especially for boys, Spare of language/illustrated picturebooks for the very young, Middle grade/young adult mysteries with a fun ‘puzzling’ dimension, Young adult thrillers, supernatural, and/or sci-fi novels, Multi-cultural middle or teen fantasy (African, eastern, middle eastern), Graphic novels for early, middle and YA, Nonfiction, with crossover appeal in adult markets, And, just to keep things interesting… we are also looking to add to our growing list of cookbook titles with unique concepts and niche market appeal!” (Link)
From an Interview (10/2010):
“Something fresh. Something that doesn’t feel like I have seen it a hundred times before.” (Link)
From an Interview (01/2010):
“I remain open to queries, ranging from picturebook to young adult. Taking very few new in the picturebook realm right now, looking for ‘fresh’ middle and tween fiction and always ready for compelling YA novels. In all age groups and genres, I need to be blown away.” (Link)
What She Isn't Looking For:
“We are NOT interested in: Picture book texts of 1000 words or more, Fables, folklore or traditional fairytales, Poetry or ‘mood pieces’, Stories for ‘all ages,’ Educational workbooks/activity books, Nonfiction for institutional markets, Message-driven or didactic stories, Civil War or Revolutionary War era historical fiction.” (Link)
She also does not represent adult fiction or illustrators who illustrate only. (Link)
About the Agency:
“A full service literary agency devoted to representing authors and author/illustrators of fiction and nonfiction, preschool through young adult, who bring unique and substantive contributions to the industry.” (Link)
On selecting an agent: "I often liken the selection of an agent to the selection of a spouse (without the romance, of course!). All writers deserve to work with a person they like and trust, a person with whom they communicate easily and share sensibilities and goals. Reputations exist for a reason, so I always recommend to potential clients that they interview editors and clients with whom the agent has worked." (Link)
Regarding potential clients: "I must see that the writer is capable of the kind of flexibility and patience that will be needed as we move through the publishing processes. I look for a person who understands the value of collaboration, when to compromise and when to stand strong. And most importantly, I look for a person who is a deep well of stories, with the first one representing just the tip of the iceberg." (Link)
On advances: "You don't want to over-burden a book (firsts, in particular) with a too-heavy advance. If it doesn't earn out, makes the the path to subsequent books more difficult. and there are ways to build in back end monies. On the other side, you want enough upfront to warrant some more than basic marketing attention. It's like walking a tightrope and it varies from book to book." (Link)
“Don’t apologize if you are unpublished. Don’t pitch your book as the next Harry Potter or Hunger Games. Don’t tell me you read it to your four-year-old and she loved it.” (Link)
A list of Stimola Literary clients can be found on the website.
Recent, upcoming, and past book titles can also be found on the website.
As of 03/2011, Ms. Stimola is listed on Publisher's Marketplace as having made 20 deals in the last 12 months, 14 six-figure+ deals, and 131 overall. Recent deals include 8 young adult, 7 picture books, 5 middle grade.
NOTE: PM is usually not a complete representation of sales.
E-mail: Yes (preferred).
Submission Guidelines (always verify):
"Queries, no more than one page in length, including synopsis, credentials and statement of what makes the book distinctive or unique, may be sent via e-mail or snail mail.
“If you are sending query as a conference attendee where Rosemary has been a speaker, please note name of conference in your subject line.” (Link)
Include a SASE for snail mail.
See the Stimola Literary website for complete, up-to-date submission guidelines.
“I look for the ‘stand out’ in a concise and well-written query: a premise that intrigues, a character that appeals, an approach that breaks new ground. There is a wide spectrum for YA these days, pushing to boundaries of adult fiction and even crossing that boundary from time to time, so I am always looking for something new and wonderful in that realm. And then, I never walk away from a pitch-perfect, character-driven middle grade with the right blend of humor and pathos.” (Link)
“Responses to queries we wish to pursue further, generally within a week’s time, will provide further guidelines for requested materials, which require approximately 6-8 weeks response time. We prefer requested manuscripts be sent on an exclusive basis. (Link)
What's the Buzz?
Rosemary Stimola has incredible buzz! In my research I came across more than one mention that Ms. Stimola is a "rockstar" or "superstar” agent, and from what I can tell, this seems very apt. She has the experience, reputation, clientele, and sales to warrant the praise, certainly. She’s a top dealmaker, highly respected, and her clients seem extremely happy with her. If you can peak her interest, you’re sure to be in good hands.
Worth Your Time:
SCBWI Bologna 2010 Agent Interview: Rosemary Stimola at Cynsations (02/2011).
Interview with an Agent: Rosemary Stimola at Mother. Write. (Repeat.) (10/2010).
Agent Perspective: Rosemary Stimola at Class of 2k10 (01/2010).
Interview with Rosemary Stimola at The Longstockings (05/2008).
Interview with Rosemary Stimola at Cynsations (02/2006).
Rosemary Stimola on P&E ($, AAR).
Rosemary Stimola thread on AbsoluteWrite.
Keep an eye on the “News” page on the website for updates and happenings.
SCBWI Panel Notes on Ms. Stimola on the SCBWI Conference Blog from Jan 2011.
Client Irene Latham's experience with Rosemary Stimola (01/2009).
Leah Clifford’s Agent Appreciation Day YouTube video, which you can watch here (12/2009).
Client Leah Clifford's query (that gained her representation with Ms. Stimola) in an interview on QueryTracker.
If you have an AvantGuild mebership, there is a "Pitching An Agent" article available on Ms. Stimola (02/2009).
Please see the Stimola Literary website for contact and query information.
Last updated: 3/16/11
Agent Contacted For Review? Yes
Last Reviewed by Agent: 3/16/11
Have any experience with this agent? See something that needs updating? Please leave a comment or e-mail me at agentspotlight(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.