Upcoming Agent Spotlight Interviews & Guest Posts

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  • Ellen Goff Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 5/8/2023
  • Kristina Perez Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 5/17/2023
  • Natasha Mihell Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 5/22/2023
  • Karly Dizon Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 6/12/2023

Agent Spotlight & Agent Spotlight Updates

  • All Agent Spotlights & Interviews have been updated as of 7/15/2020, and many have been reviewed by the agents. Look for them to be fully updated in 2023.

Agent Spotlight: Adriann Ranta Zurhellen

This week's Agent Spotlight features Adriann Ranta Zurhellen of Foundry Literary + Media.
Status: Accepting submissions.
AdriannRanta About: "Adriann represents New York Times bestselling and award-winning authors, journalists, illustrators, and graphic novelists, as well as cultural commentators, stuntwomen, makeup artists, and many other pioneering creative thinkers and leaders in their fields. She is actively seeking projects in all genres and for all age groups, but has a penchant for edgy, dark, unusual voices, unique settings, and everyman stories told with a new spin. She loves gritty, realistic, true-to-life narratives with conflicts based in the real world; women’s fiction and nonfiction; accessible, pop nonfiction in science, history, and craft; and smart, fresh, genre-bending works for children.
"A magna cum laude graduate of the University of Arizona, Adriann’s first introduction to publishing was at The Editorial Department, a freelance editorial firm based in Tucson, AZ. After making the move to New York, Adriann spent two years at Anderson Literary Management and six years at Wolf Literary Services before moving to Foundry in 2015."" (Link)
About the Agency:
“Foundry is a full-service literary agency and media development company dedicated to providing the most positive and profitable publishing experience for our clients, from the American book market to foreign publishing, film and TV, merchandise, online media and beyond.
"Rooted in the tradition of representing writers and other talent in the book trade, the Foundry team is relentless in finding new and diverse ways for our clients to reach wider audiences.
"It all begins with the book. Whether you are a first time novelist or a veteran author, a comedy writer slugging it out in the trenches, or an established film or television personality, we take your book seriously. We roll up our sleeves and make sure that nothing lands on an editor’s desk that isn’t the best that it can be, and then guide you through the entire process of getting published, in the US and abroad.” (Link)Web Presence:
Foundry Literary + Media website.
Publisher's Marketplace page.
What She's Looking For:
Children's picture books, chapter books, middle grade, and young adult. Adult fiction and non-fiction.
From Ms. Ranta Zurhellen's Manuscript Wish List:
"Fiction: Action/Adventure, Children's, Crime, Family Saga, General, Graphic Novel, Historical, Literary, Middle Grade, Mystery, Women’s Fiction, Young Adult
"Non-Fiction: Crafts/DIY, History, Humor, Illustrated, Journalism, Memoir, Pop Culture, Psychology, Science, True Crime
Favorite sub-genres: Contemporary YA, Domestic Suspense, Fantasy YA, Feminism, Literary Middle Grade, Psychological Thrillers, Speculative Fiction, diverse voices, narrative non-fiction, upmarket genre fiction"
From an Interview (04/2011):
“I love dark, quirky projects that approach classic themes in new, fresh ways. Like, say, witches, only funny and with cheerleaders. I love ghost stories à la ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD, cool sci-fi/steampunk projects like CINDER, I adore smart boy books like OKAY FOR NOW or anything by David Almond. While I’m always looking out for YA and MG, and the occasional author/illustrator for picture books, I also represent adult fiction and non-fiction and I’d love more narrative non-fiction on quirky subjects.” (Link)
From an Interview (04/2011):
“I’d love a great ghost story, a fresh YA romance, a reimagining of a classic boy’s adventure story, some quality kid’s nonfiction… but am open to pleasant surprises too!” (Link)
What She Isn't Looking For:
"Fantasies on weird planets featuring characters with unpronounceable names are a little too much for me—ditto to faeries, ‘chosen ones,’ or sci-fi in general. I'm sick to death of vampires, angels, zombies, and werewolves. I'm open to picture books, but not ones about Jesus. " (Link –broken)
Her Advice to Writers:
"Read, read, read, read, read! No matter what happens with ebooks, iphone apps, hardcover editions, self-publishing, print-on-demand, or Google, write because you can't live without reading." (Link –broken)
"The representation process is very subjective, which makes personalization and research incredibly important. Sending a manuscript to an agent that pointedly doesn’t represent your genre is a waste of everyone’s time. Be patient, be persistent, be positive-just like any other professional relationship, sometimes random timing is everything. (That was unintentionally alliterative.)" (Link –broken)
Things not to say:
“’The book I’ve written defies comparison or genre.’ ‘I’ve invented my own language, in which I’ve written this high fantasy novel. I’ve included a glossary for your convenience.’ ‘Let’s make some money!’
“Also, query letters that go on and on about the lessons and moral underpinnings of the book, without saying what the friggin’ book is about.” (Link)
Editorial Agent?
Given quotes in her interviews and her editorial background, I believe she is editorial as needed. 
You can find a list of clients on the agency website. Her clients include Kendare Blake, Peter Hoffmeister, Michelle Krys, Daniella Martin, Mindy McGinnis, among others.
Query Methods:
E-mail: Yes (only).
Snail-Mail: No.  
Online-Form: No.
Submission Guidelines (always verify):
Send a query letter, synopsis, bio and first three chapters of your manuscript. Include your name and project name in the subject line. Chapters, etc. can be pasted in the email or attached.
See the Foundry Literary website for complete, up-to-date submission guidelines.
Response Times:
The agency only responds if interested. However, Ms. Ranta still tries to respond, usually within a month. If you haven't heard anything in eight weeks, she is not interested.
Query Tips:
"Query letters should be limited to one typewritten page—it’s a pitch document, not a synopsis! Beyond title, genre, hook, and pitch, I love a query letter that has a zoomed-out paragraph on what the book is about: themes or conflicts that first inspired the writer to think more deeply about what’s in the book. (I don’t mean “I was inspired by a dream I had,” but rather “The book is about sisterhood and toxic female friendship” or something.)
"I love seeing comps in query letters. They’re helpful to me to better understand the pitch and potential audience, and they also show that the author is well-read in the category in which she’s writing. Remember to compare your book to successful, contemporary (past 5 years or so) titles—a good indication of success without access to Bookscan is the number of reviews on Amazon. One hundred plus is usually a good sign." (Link)
What's the Buzz?
Ms. Ranta Zurhellen indicates on her Manuscript Wish List that she is involved in The Manuscript Academy, an offshoot of the Manuscript Wish List. You may want to check it out.
I recommend following her on Twitter @AdriannRanta where you can get a peak at her personality and see some commentary on queries, manuscripts, and more.
Worth Your Time:
Agent of the Month: Adriann Ranta Zurhellen at Writing and Illustrating (05/2019)
Guest Post with Adriann Ranta Zurhellen and Diane Magras at Literary Rambles (06/2018)
Successful Query: Agent Adriann Ranta at Writer's Digest (11/2016)
Query Questions with Adriann Ranta at Michelle Hauck (01/2014)
Interview with literary agent Adriann Ranta at client Michelle Krys’s site (04/2012).
7 Questions For: Literary Agent Adriann Ranta at Middle Grade Ninja (04/2011).
Please see the Foundry Literary website for contact and query information.
Profile Details:
Last updated: 5/23/2020.
Agent Contacted For Review? Yes.
Last Reviewed By Agent? 3/11/10.
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 and/or teen 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.


Unknown said...

Thanks Casey - I love your Spotlights!

Casey Something said...

Ms. Ranta has reviewed her profile and supplied a current bio and e-mail address for queries.

Casey Something said...

Thanks Kristi!

Anne R. Allen said...

I'm glad to hear some agents are finally over vampires, zombies, et al. Publishers Lunch is still announcing huge deals on zombie books, but there doesn't seem to be that much new to say about them. I hope publishers will start making room for something new.

Samantha Clark said...

Hey Casey,

I'm always in awe of your agent spotlights. They're a must-read, in my opinion.

I wanted to let you know I've awarded you the One Lovely Blog award today. Thanks for your blog.

Thermocline said...

Thank you for another great profile.

Ann Marie Wraight said...

I take a 'stroll' every day through Literary Rambles...before I even brush my teeth!! As always a superb source of great info. Congrats 'Our Casey.'You are loved and appreciated by all! Even those of us who live the other side of the Atlantic. Ann Marie

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the profile, Casey!

Does Ms. Ranta want the 50 pages in an attachment, or pasted into the email?

Casey Something said...

Thank you, everyone!


It doesn't seem to be specified anywhere, so I assume they're not picky about it. If you can, paste it in the body. If your e-mail service won't support that much, I'd include about 10 pages in the body and attach the 50. Best to you!

angel said...

If I were to wager a guess at why, I’d say that users don’t “browse” forms. The interaction style users engage in with forms is different, and requires its own study and design best practices. This is a very interesting post, and the comments are also fantastic to read. I’ll have poses to have a little re-think about my own contact form on our new website, as this some interesting questions!
study abroad

Karen said...

(First post) I was fortunate to find this blog about a month ago and look forward to seeing what you have here. It's been a great resource for me and others. Thanks for this one, Casey, as always.

One question: Is this (Ms Ranta) spotlight supposed to show up on the Agent Spotlight page, because the latest one there is for 3/4/2010. Maybe this is just my computer being cached, but it's actually happening on both computers.

Casey Something said...

Hi Karen! Thank you for delurking and leaving a comment. Yes, Ms. Ranta's profile is supposed to show up under the Agent Spotlight page. I fixed it. Thank you!

Jennifer Pickrell said...

Hey Casey, was doing research on this agent and saw that their website is up now: http://www.wolflit.com/

Thanks so much for these Agent Spotlights - they're so helpful!

Casey McCormick said...

Thank so much, Jennifer! I added the website and updated her sales.

Anup Ranta said...

heye me too Ranta...m proud of U...

Anup Ranta
India (Shimla)

Melinda Brasher said...

Thank you so much for posting these. I use your site a lot.

Anonymous said...

Seriously this girl is so misinformed about the market. I understand being sick of vampires, demons, angels, and zombies. Because, there are a lot of books based around them. But, she lost me at werewolves. Werewolves have not truly been explored. (Yes, they have books.) But not as nearly enough to be sick of them. In fact, Werewolf stories (I'm not talking about them being just added to vampire stories!) are disappearing slowly of the shelves.

It's because so many vampire books include them, that agents and many reader are confused about the werewolf market.

Anonymous said...

Anon, I think she is sick of seeing these in her inbox, she wasn't commenting on the market. This goes to her personal tastes.