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THE ARCHER AT DAWN through May 23rd

Upcoming Agent Spotlight Interviews and Guest Posts w/ Debut Authors & Query Critique Giveaways

Kristina Perez Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 6/17/20

Erin Casey Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 7/22/20

Adria Goetz and G.Z. Schmidt Guest Post and Query Critique Giveaway on 10/19/20

Amy Brewer and Dana Swift Guest Post and Query Critique Giveaway on 11/3/20

Agent Spotlight: Joanna Stampfel-Volpe

This week's Agent Spotlight features Joanna Stampfel-Volpe of New Leaf Literary & Media.

Status: Open to submissions.

joannavolpeAbout: “Joanna Volpe has been a bookseller at Barnes & Noble, an editorial assistant with independent publisher Blue Martin Publications, an assistant and junior agent at FinePrint Literary Management and a full-time agent with Nancy Coffey Literary & Media Representation, all before starting her own company: New Leaf Literary & Media, Inc. She has worked on a number of exciting projects, including Kody Keplinger’s The DUFF, Leigh Bardugo’s Shadow & Bone, Veronica Roth’s Divergent trilogy, Sandy Williams’ Shadow Reader series, Shelby Bach’s Ever Afters: Of Giants and Ice, and Sarah Frances Hardy’s picture book, Puzzled by Pink. For a full list of the New Leaf projects, go here. What she is most excited for right now is working with her amazing team at New Leaf. The company is off to a strong start, and they are looking to sign on more wonderful talent!” (Link) 

About the Agency:

“New Leaf Literary & Media, Inc. is a full service agency. We represent both juvenile and adult literature and work with only high quality writers. Joanna is an active member of SCBWI, RWA and AAR.” (Link) 

Web Presence:

New Leaf website.

New Leaf  blog.

New Leaf Facebook.

New Leaf Twitter.

New Leaf Pinterest.

Publisher's Marketplace Page.





AgentQuery, QueryTracker. 

What She's Looking For:

“Joanna represents all brands of fiction, from picture books to adult. She has an affinity for stories that have a darker, grittier element to them, whether they be horror, drama or comedy. Her recent publications include The Shadow Reader by Sandy Williams (Ace), Divergent by Veronica Roth (Katherine Tegen Books), Sway by Amber McRee Turner (Disney*Hyperion), and Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo (Henry Holt).

“Joanna is currently on the lookout for solid fiction in the following genres: women's fiction, thriller, horror, speculative fiction, literary fiction and historical fiction. Joanna prefers her stories dark, in tone, style and even in humor. Some recent reads that she enjoyed are: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn,World War Z by Max Brooks, The Breach by Patrick Lee, and The Second Duchess by Elizabeth Loupas.

“In terms of the juvenile market, Joanna would love to find (Young Adult) horror, dark high fantasy, or literary novels; (Middle Grade) all genres (Picture Book) art-focused, 200-500 words.” (Link) 

What She ISN'T Looking For:

“Joanna is NOT looking for: chapter books, text-only picture book submissions, hard science fiction.” (Link)


"From children's to adult the most important part of a manuscript to me is the voice. The characters really need to come alive for me on the page whether it's a fast-paced adventure for kids, a beautiful, family-drama for women, or a dark, horror for teen boys. I often look for more character-driven stories rather than strictly plot-driven (although plot is important, obviously). So I guess my taste in children's, YA and adult is the same: strong voice, no matter what it's about." (Link)

Her Advice to Writers:

"Remember that everything you write is important, even the stories that will never see the light of day. Each one you learn from and it gets you to the next. It's okay to put something in the trunk to work on something else. Every author I know has trunked stories." (Link)

"Don’t try to find out what the next ‘hot thing’ is. Just write what comes to you. Trends or no trends, agents and editors are just looking for solid writing." (Link)

Editorial Agent?

"Once I sign someone, I ALWAYS do another pass of the book before sending it out. So far, I have yet to sign anyone that has had the perfect manuscript. I am working with a lot of debut authors, but even my more experienced clients appreciate (at least, I think they do!) a polished revision before going out. I want to send it out in the best shape it can be." (Link )


Eric Etkin, Maple Lam, Realm Lovejoy, Kody Keplinger, Amber McRee Turner, Lee Nichols, Veronica Roth, Allan Woodrow, Sarah Frances Hardy, Lynne Kelly, Monica Vavra, Amy Lukavics, Loretta Nyhan, Adam Watkins, Lori Nichols, Shelley Moore Thomas, Shelby Bach, April Genevieve Tucholke, among others.

Query Methods:

E-mail: Yes (only).

Snail-Mail: No.

Online-Form: No.

Submission Guidelines (always verify):

Send an e-query with the word “query” in the subject line, along with the agents name, i.e. “Query,
Joanna Volpe.” You may include up to 5 double-spaced pages in the body of the e-mail. No attachments. Include all necessary contact information.  You should receive an auto-response confirming receipt.

Do not query more than one agent at the agency. 

See the New Leaf Literary website for complete, up-to-date submission guidelines.

Query Tip:

See the New Leaf blog for submission FAQ.

"The query letter is very important, but I’m not the kind of agent that will reject because of a spelling error or two…I’m more concerned about the story. […] If a query really conveys the tone of the story or the voice of the protagonist, I tend to get more excited about it. If it’s kind of standard but the premise is really cool, I might request some sample pages. But if it’s too brief or too long or unfocused, I most likely will be passing." (Link)

Response Times:

The agency only responds if interested, usually within two weeks. If you’ve received a partial or full request, you may contact the agency for an update after eight weeks, not anytime before.

What's the Buzz?

Joanna has a fantastic list of clients and sales and is popular among aspiring authors for her generousity in doing contests, critiques, and giveaways. She founded New Leaf Literary in June of 2012. Follow her on Twitter and keep an eye on the New Leaf Literary blog for updates and happenings.

Worth Your Time


Agent Joanna Volpe - The Pre-#LA13SCBWI Conference Interviews at I’m Here. I’m Queer. What the Hell Do I Read? (05/2013).

Agent Joanna Volpe, president of New Leaf Media at Honestly YA (06/2012).

INSURGENT Release Day: Perfect 10 Interview Agent Joanna Volpe at Julie Cross’ site (05/2012).

Introducing Joanna Volpe! at Pub(lishing) Crawl (01/2012).

A BBCHAT with Joanna Volpe at Writer, Writer, Pants on Fire (08/2011).

Q&A with Joanna Volpe at Seeing Creative (10/2010).

Interview with Joanna Volpe at Renae Mercado's blog (09/2010).

7 Questions For: Literary Agent Joanna Volpe at Middle Grade Ninja (07/2010).

Audio Interview with Joanna Stampfel-Volpe at AuthorMagazine (01/2010).

Interview with Joanna Stampfel-Volpe at Write About Now (11/2009).

Marvelous Marketer interview with Joanna Stampfel-Volpe over at Market My Words (07/2009).

Agent Advice interview with Joanna Stampfel-Volpe at Guide to Literary Agents (03/2009).

Interview with Joanna Stampfel-Volpe at WordHustler (05/2009).

Guest Posts

Why Literary Agent Joanna Volpe Loves Middle Grade at Middle Grade Ninja (03/2013).

Middle Grade Memories: Agent Joanna Volpe at Claire Legrand’s site (08/2012).

How to Determine Your Author Fee at Pub(lishing) Crawl (08/2012).

The DOJ Settlement and Why We Should Care at Pub(lishing) Crawl (07/2012).

The Truth and Nothing but the Truth on Promotion and Publicity for Debut Authors at Pub(lishing) Crawl (05/2012).

NARB or Just Read! at Pub(lishing) Crawl (04/2012).

Bologna Book Fair for Beginners at Pub(lishing) Crawl (03/2012).

The Changing Role of the Literary Agent at Pub(lishing) Crawl (02/2012).

Guest blogger Joanna Stampfel-Volpe responds to a recent PW blog post on LGBTQ YA at The Swivet (09/2011).

Agent Joanna Volpe On: Why Realistic Teen Dialogue Isn’t Necessarily a Good Thing at Guide to Literary Agents (11/2010).

The Dreaded Pitch -- What to Include in that One Line at the QueryTracker Blog (04/2009).

Guest post by Joanna Stampfel-Volpe at The Swivet - "Reader's Block or, Stop and Read a Book Once in a While" (01/2009).
Guest post by Joanna Stampfel-Volpe, "BNFFs," at Susan Adrian's blog (12/2009).

Guest post by Joanna Stampfel-Volpe at The Insanity of Writerhood (details how she got into the publishing biz/agenting) (08/2009).

Around the Web:

New Leaf Literary & Media page at AbsoluteWrite.

New Leaf Literary & Media at P&E.

CONFERENCE 2013: Joanna Volpe, "The Dreaded Synopsis" at The Official SCBWI Blog (04/2013).

We Have News – New Leaf Announcement at the New Leaf blog (06/2012).

Query Series: April Tucholke and Joanna Volpe at YA Highway (05/2012).

Live Panel of Industry Professionals: Kate Testerman, Martha Mihalick, Joanna Volpe, Jen Rofe, 
Diana Fox at WriteOnCon (08/2011).

Live Event With Molly O’Neill, Joanna Volpe and Michelle Andelman at WriteOnCon (05/2011).

Middle Grade’s Got Heart by Joanna Volpe at WriteOnCon (08/2011).

Synopsis Tips from Agent Joanna Volpe, Part 1 at Writing While the Rice Boils (05/2011

Synopsis Tips from Agent Joanna Volpe, Part 2 at Writing While the Rice Boils (05/2011

Professional Panel with Joanna Stampfel-Volpe, Mary Kole, Suzie Townsend, and Anica Rissi at WriteOnCon - Press "Replay" (08/2010).

Query Critique #1 from Agent Joanna Volpe at WriteOnCon (08/2010).

Query Critique #2 from Agent Joanna Volpe at WriteOnCon (08/2010).

Successful Query story over on the Guide to Literary Agent's blog featuring Joanna and her client, Amber Turner (author of SWAY).

NYC Publishing Tips: The Movie! at YA Highway. A cute video featuring Joanna at the end (02/2010).

Agent Appreciation Day posts on Ms. Volpe here, here, here, and here.


Please see the New Leaf blog and Ms. Volpe’s PM page for contact and query information.

Profile Details:

Last updated: 9/26/13.

Last Reviewed By Agent: 09/12/10.


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.


  1. Thank you for a very thorough analysis of an amazing, driven agent! I'll be querying her in a few months!! I always appreciate the info and links you present for each agent, Casey!

  2. I simply LOVE Jo! Anyone who has her as an agent is uber-lucky!

  3. She's on my list -- and sounds fantastic -- so I intend to read each and every link you have here. Thanks so much for another great Spotlight!

  4. Thorough as usual! Great job. Joanna's definitely been on my radar as an excellent agent.

  5. Very interesting. You are incredibly thorough.

  6. Jo is an absolute sweetheart. Thanks for posting about her! Would love to have you feature Brendan Deneen. (He's pretty amazing too...)

  7. Well done, as always. Thanks.

    And congrats on being noted in Jill Corcoran's blog Jan. 1 as a good resource for agent research!

  8. I heart Joanna. She requested a partial from me and even though she passed, she gave helpful feedback. Timely responses, professional but warm, and always seemed sincere. She gets two big thumbs up on my favorite agent list.
    My blog

  9. I'm just amazed at the amount of work you put into this feature. You truly deserve the reputation you're gaining as an agent resource.

  10. During the short time I got to know Joanna when I interviewed her, I was so impressed. She's an incredibly nice person and anyone who has her for an agent is VERY lucky.

  11. I've been in a writing group with Jo for two years and she absolutely deserves all the positive buzz. She is not only a master of the craft, but she's responsive, considerate, and wise.

  12. I love your agent spotlights. I'm going to a SCBWI conference tomorrow and ended up here b/c Jen Rofe (agent, Andrea Brown Literary Agency) is one of the speakers.

    Great blog, I've added it to my reader. I'll be back.

  13. Joanna is fast. She requested a partial within 48 hours (yea!) and rejected it within one month (boo!)

  14. Thanks for all the great comments, everyone. I love Jo too. Isn't she fab?!

    I just updated her profile, so it's all linked up with the new website, blog, and other recent stuff.

  15. Thanks for all your awesome research, Casey! I just noticed an update on the Nancy Coffey website: "Joanna is closed to all submissions as of Dec. 1, 2011. She will re-open to queries in the late spring."

    1. Thank you, Winter (love your name!). I've put a note on Ms. Volpe's profile.

  16. I noticed this hasn't been updated in a bit. She is now starting a new agency called New Leaf Literary. I can't find much about it, any news that you've heard?