This week's Agent Spotlight features Becca Stumpf of Prospect Agency.
Status: Accepting submissions.
About: "Becca Stumpf joined Prospect Agency in 2006 after working as an assistant at Writers House Literary Agency. After graduating from Grinnell College with a B.A. in English Literature, Becca lived and worked in England to indulge her yen for cobbled streets, neighborhood pubs, and barbed wit. She came to New York armed with naïveté and a love of books, and couldn't believe her luck when she found a field that allowed her to work closely with authors and their manuscripts. As a reader, Becca falls hard for sentences that are beautifully crafted, for humor in unexpected places, and for characters and worlds that spark off the page. She rereads the first chapter of A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L'Engle every year because it still knocks her socks off with its simple evocation of a family awoken by a storm in the nighttime.” (Link)
About the Agency (from the website):
“Prospect Agency is an independent New York based literary agency. Hailing from diverse backgrounds, our agents collaborate to offer skilled editorial and artistic advice while advocating for clients in the publishing marketplace. We represent both adult and children's books and seek to represent authors and illustrators who will positively impact the literary landscape.
“Prospect Agency strives to foster a community where writers, artists, editors and agents share ideas and grow together. Our relationships with our clients are built to last the length of a career. At Prospect Agency, we see the forest and the trees.” (Link)
What Becca’s Looking For:
Becca represents middle grade, young adult and adult fiction, with a special interest in literary voices and genre fiction with broad appeal. She’s currently looking to acquire in the following categories:
In children’s books: middle grade (all subgenres); young adult (contemporary, historical, fantasy, thriller, SciFi, horror)
In adult fiction: novels that blur the line between literary and commercial; literary mysteries that chill and charm; fantasy/SciFi novels with broad appeal; romance
Becca’s recent bio:
Becca is currently acquiring Adult, Young Adult and Middle-Grade literary and commercial fiction, with a special interest in genre fiction with broad appeal. She loves intricate plots that balance drama, wit, and intrigue in equal parts, as well as stories that explore the lives of anti-heroes and fringe-dwellers, or the unexpected depth and complexities of the "normal" day-to-day.
In the YA and Middle-Grade realm, Becca is especially looking for spine-tingling mysteries (historical or contemporary), character-driven fantasy and science fiction with big, fully-realized worlds, and the occasional horror story. She's also actively looking for contemporary YA and Middle Grade stories that push boundaries, challenge assumptions, feature more diverse characters and circumstances, and go beyond girl-meets-boy to explore a broader view of life and human relationships.
In adult fiction, Becca is looking for beautifully written novels that blur the line between literary and commercial; mysteries that chill and charm, fast-paced literary thrillers, character-driven SciFi and Fantasy novels with broad appeal, and smart, spicy romance novels (contemporary, historical, SciFi/UF/Steampunk all welcome).
What She Isn't Looking For:
Picture books, poetry, textbooks, plays, screenplays, prescriptive non-fiction.
A list of Prospect Agency clients is available on the agency website.
Ms. Stumpf's clients include: Laura Bickle, Molly Backes, Jane Kohuth, Dan Brewer & Paul Paolilli, Evie Manieri, Karen Keskinen, Jessa Slade, Linda Poitevin, Cassi Carver, Amanda Berry (among others).
Online-Form: Yes (only).
Submission Guidelines (always verify):
Send the following via the agency’s submission form:
“We request a query letter, three chapters and a brief synopsis.
“Your query letter should include your name, the date, contact information and a brief description of the work. Include only relevant personal information: previous publications, writing education, etc. For previously published authors, please also give a brief overview of your career thus far and your goals for the future. If you are submitting a picture book text, please submit the entire manuscript. Illustrators should provide a link to their URL.”
See the Prospect Agency website for complete, up-to-date submission guidelines.
The agency’s stated response time is one week to three months. They have an auto-responder that should confirm receipt of your submission within an hour. If you have not received a response to your submission in over six months, you may resend (Link).
Stats on the web show a large number of no-responses. When Ms. Stumpf does respond it’s usually within days to a couple months, though there are instances up to three or four.
What's the Buzz?
Becca Stumpf has been an agent with Prospect Agency since 2007. She has a modest web presence and appears to do most of her networking with writers via conferences. You can find her conference schedule here.
Worth Your Time:
Q&A with Becca Stumpf, Literary Agent at 2013 Miami Writers Institute at Miami Book Fair, posted at The Center for Literature and Theatre (11/2013).
An Interview with Literary Agent Becca Stumpf at Scribe – Writers’ League of Texas (3/2013).
Around the Web:
Becca Stumpf: Querying with the "Dreaded,” Synopsis, including audio recording, at Farland's Authors Advisory Conference Calls (09/2011).
Storymakers Conference 2011 Recap: Agent Becca Stumpf’s Breakout Session at Writing ‘Til Sunrise (05/2011).
Client Lark Howard’s “How I Got My Agent” post at Vicky Dreiling’s blog (08/2009).
Please see the Prospect Agency website for additional contact and query information.
Last Updated: 6/2/14.
Last Reviewed By Agent? 6/1/14.
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/teen fiction. They are not interviews. Please take the time to verify anything you might use here before querying. The information found herein is subject to change.