Upcoming Agent Spotlight Interviews & Guest Posts

  • Bethany Weaver Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 6/26/2024
  • Rebecca Williamson Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 7/8/2024
  • Sheila Fernley Agent Spotlight Interview, Critique Giveaway, and One-Hour Zoom Call on 7/29/2024
  • Erica McGrath Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 8/12/2024

Agent Spotlight & Agent Spotlight Updates

  • Agent Spotlights & Interviews have been updated through the letter "K" as of 3/28/2024 and many have been reviewed by the agents. Look for more information as I find the time to update more agent spotlights.

W.I.B.I.J.?! with Prizes!

Remember when I had Heather, Tina, and Jon on the blog to tell you about their blog game, W.I.B.I.J.?!   Well, they've been working hard to spread the word, bring in more players, and make it the best experience it can be.

The next game is Wednesday, May 5th at 1 PM EST and this time there will be PRIZES.  Since W.I.B.I.J?! is all about community involvement and promotion, winners will get to choose a book by one of the previously featured authors, including May debut and picture book authors.  Get all the details here.

I recommend stopping by the site ahead of time and getting to know the game.  The rules are on the side bar and there's an EVERYTHING ELSE YOU NEED TO KNOW page.  You're also more than welcome to read through and/or play previous games to see how it works. 

It's a fun and brilliant promotional tool and YOUR BLOG could be the next stop (there's a form just for that!).  Please check it out and participate next Wed, May 5th.  I'd love to see you there!

Agent Spotlight: Natalie Lakosil

This week's Agent Spotlight features Natalie Lakosil previously of Irene Goodman Literary Agencyand now the founder of Looking Glass Literary & Media

Status: Natalie Lakosil is currently closed to submissions except by referrals. You should check the agency website to find out about her submission status.

natalie-m-fischer About: "Natalie Lakosil began her career in 2008, working as a literary agent at the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency, Bradford Literary Agency and Irene Goodman Agency before founding Looking Glass Literary & Media in 2023. She had a brief stint as a book reviewer at the San Diego Union Tribune and also managed the Licensing, Subrights and Permissions department for Cognella Academic Publishing for eight years. An honors graduate of the University of San Diego, California, Natalie holds a B.A. in Literature/Writing.
For over fifteen years she has championed and helped to build the careers of numerous award-winning, critically acclaimed and bestselling authors. Natalie represents adult nonfiction, adult cozy mystery/crime, female-driven thrillers, upmarket women’s/general fiction, illustrators, and all ages (picture book, chapter book, MG, YA) of children’s literature, both fiction and nonfiction." (From the agency website)
About the Agency:
Looking Glass Literary & Media was founded in 2023. Our approach is a solution-oriented, client-centric atmosphere driven by passion, honesty, and innovation.

We strive to make sure our authors feel seen, heard, and valued; within our agency, the publishing industry, and the larger world beyond.

Our agency pledges to do all that we can to promote and create a safe and equitable space within the publishing industry. We are committed to advocating for the work of underrepresented and marginalized voices, including LGBTQ+, BIPOC, neurodiverse, and disabled people.” (From the agency website)
MS Wish List.
What She's Looking For:
See Ms. Lakosil's Bio and Manuscript Wish List to learn what she's looking for. 
What She Isn't Looking For:
Anything that is not what is listed above.
Editorial Agent?
There is a page of agency authors on the website. 
Query Methods: Ms. Lakosil is currently closed to queries except for by referral.
E-mail: No.
Snail-Mail: No.  
Online-Form: Yes.
Submission Guidelines (always verify): 
See the agency website for Ms. Lakosil's submission guidelines.
Response Times:
What's the Buzz?
Natalie (Fischer) Lakosil has been representing clients since Sept ‘09. Her clients seem to love her and she's been known to seek out writers online whose excerpts she likes (in other words, she scouts!). The Bradford Literary Agency is very well respected, representing many talented and best-selling authors.
Follow her on Twitter to get a feel for her funny and sweet personality. 
Worth Your Time:
Interviews and Guest Post:
Interview at Only Picture Books (04/2022)
Interview at Books Forward (05/2022)
Interview at Wild Mind for Authors (09/2019)
Interview with Agent Natalie Lakosil at Justin Colon Books (02/2019)
Interview with Brian Liumek(05/2019)
Natalie Lakosil and Lindsey Becker Guest Post at Literary Rambles (04/2017)
Interview at Writing and Illustrating (07/2016)
Please see the agency website for contact and query information.
Last updated: 3/29/2024.
Agent Contacted For Review? Yes
Last Reviewed By Agent?  4/30/2019.
Have any experience with this agent? See something that needs updating? Please leave a comment or e-mail me at natalieiaguirre7@gmail.com

Note: These agent profiles and interviews presently focus on agents who accept children's fiction. Please take the time to verify anything you might use here before querying an agent. The information found here is subject to change.

BEFORE I FALL by Lauren Oliver

Your Next Must Read:

EDITOR: Rosemary Brosnan, HarperCollins

What if you had only one day to live? What would you do? Who would you kiss? And how far would you go to save your own life? 

Samantha Kingston has it all: the world's most crush-worthy boyfriend, three amazing best friends, and first pick of everything at Thomas Jefferson High—from the best table in the cafeteria to the choicest parking spot. Friday, February 12, should be just another day in her charmed life.

Instead, it turns out to be her last. 

Then she gets a second chance. Seven chances, in fact. Reliving her last day during one miraculous week, she will untangle the mystery surrounding her death—and discover the true value of everything she is in danger of losing.


You'll be seeing posts like these for books I love and strongly recommend.
If you've read BEFORE I FALL, please leave a non-spoilery comment with your opinion of it!

Tip Tuesday #34

Today's handy tip comes from Rachael who blogs at Writer's Chasm.  Please visit her blog on your way out!

Everyone has that one word or phrase that they use ALL the time. Mine are 'within minutes' and 'so' among other things. Then there are those garbage words like 'just' and 'then' and 'very.' There are whole lists of words to go through your manuscript and look for. But going through the whole thing with Find to look for each individual word is an extreme hassle. So I found a faster way.

NOTE: This works for Word 2007. If you have an earlier version, then I'm sure there's a way to do it, I'm just not sure of the specifics.

Go to Find and Replace.

Type the word you're looking for into the Find and the Replace boxes.

Click on 'More >>.' Go down to Format, click on it, and then click Highlight.

Hit Replace All.

Now all of the times you use that word are highlighted! You can do this with each word or phrase and then just scroll down the MS and look for all the highlight marks at the same time.

I love this tip, Rachael!  I didn't know there was a way to "find and highlight" rather than just replace.  That does make things simpler. Thank you! 

WANTED: YA Readers for Sherry

Hey all!  Sherry has another request.  She's looking for some teen/college-age readers to read the first 50 pages of her YA manuscript.  If you're a young adult, please check out her ad below. For a sample of her writing, view her ad from last week (now closed) or go to her website.  Interested in being a reader for her?  She can be reached at paranormal_writer @ yahoo.com

Here's Sherry:

Do you love to read? Do you enjoy helping others? Do you review books on a blog or website?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, than you're perfect for my Reading Evaluation! Yea!

I am looking for YA readers to review the first 50 pages of my manuscript.

I'm presently working on a YA paranormal/romance and would prefer a reader who loves reading supernatural love stories, horror, and/or paranormal suspense.
If you love scary, romantic or fantasy fiction, you might enjoy this process.

Who? High School or College Students who love to read.

What? You will be reading 50 pages of an unpublished work of fiction that I’m trying to find an agent for. After reading it, you will formulate an opinion and offer insightful feedback.

This will include a short questionnaire to be filled out after reading the text. Questions like: Does the heroine sound and act like a typical teenager? Do her reactions seem believable?

Where? You can do this from school or home, on your computer.

How? I will send you the pages via email. You get a two-week turnaround deadline. That is, you have two weeks to read the 50 pages and fill out the questionnaire.

Why should I help? Wouldn't it be wicked cool to get to say, "That book got published because of me?”

And if the book does get published, I will include your name in the dedication page and send you a signed copy in the mail before it hits the shelves.

Cat on The Witches of Greenwitch

Cat recently did an interview for Beth at writing it out on her free serial novel The Witches of Greenwitch I was interested in Cat's decision to publish one of her earlier novels online serially, a move I expect to see more often in the future, and invited her to tell us a little more about it.  When you're done reading her post, please click over to the site to check out the story and illustrations.  Here's Cat:

A Different Approach to Blogging

I confess that I am no good at blogging. I try but somehow time slips by so fast that I forget to post regularly. Also, I find it hard to come up with topics others might be interested in - I don't think dissecting bull's eyes or cleaning out hunted animals qualify. On the other hand, I really do want to reach new readers since I know that there are people who like my stories (like my German agent for example). I needed something a) interesting for my readers that b) could be posted regularly and that c) wouldn't eat up too much of my writing time.

What better could I use than one of my existing stories? I decided to serialize my MG-All Age Fantasy ""Die Hexen von Greenwitch", a story I wrote a few years ago and that my agent had considered too short to publish traditionally although she loved it. In the story, a mysterious stone magics book-rat Melissa to the world of Greenwitch where she meets fairy tale creatures that are not at all what she expected. Desperately, she looks for a way home and tries to ignore her past which pops up at the most inappropriate moments. At the same time, dangerous pursuers are at her heels getting closer by the minute.

When I realized that I needed illustrations because the Internet is a very visual medium, I took the time to translate it and searched for the right artist. By the time I had found Eszter Bohus, the translation was nearly done. Eszter is a 16 year old girl from Hungary with an amazing talent for drawing any sort of creature. I stumbled over her deviantArt page when another artist I had contacted realized she couldn't deliver four pictures a month without fail.

I chopped the story into 52 bits of 1500 to 2000 words each and started posting "The Witches of Greenwitch" both in German and English on March 2nd 2010 without any obligation for potential readers. The site has had 100 hits the first day (by the way, new readers are always welcome).

For me, this idea is still good. I know I gave away first worldwide print rights with publishing the story online - but I do believe that I would never have gotten illustrations (especially of this quality) had I chosen the traditional route - and I might have faced a long wait. Also, with current technology, it should be no problem to PoD-publish the story with all the pictures and some additional information if enough readers pester ask me.

This post was written by Katharina Gerlach, a writer and triple Mum from Germany.

Tip Tuesday #33

Today I have a tip from Carmela Martino.  Carmela blogs at Teaching Authors and her website.  If you have the time, please click over to both and check them out.  Here's her tip!

I picked this up from reading Natalie Goldberg’s WRITING DOWN THE BONES: timed writing sessions. I use these sessions to come up with new ideas or find a way to revise a scene when I’m stuck. Before starting, I set a timer for 10, 15, or 20 minutes and then try to keep my hand moving the whole time without stopping. I find that the pressure of the timer helps to turn off the inner critic. As Goldberg says, “the aim is to burn through to first thoughts, to the place where energy is unobstructed by social politeness or the internal censor, to the place where you are writing what your mind actually sees and feels, not what it THINKS it should see or feel.” I have a specific example of how I use the timer in my writing classes in a “Writing Workout” I posted on our TeachingAuthors.com blog. You can read the post here:


What an amazing quote!  Boy, do I need to burn past my internal censor.  I've seen quite a few writers using timed writing sessions lately.  I plan to give them a try.  Thanks, Carmela!

WANTED: Critique Partner for Sherry

Hey everyone!  I have a "wanted ad" today for a YA writer looking for a critique partner. Please read her details and excerpt below and consider swapping some pages to see if you're compatible.  Here's what she's looking for:

I am a previously published author, trying to find an agent for my latest novel. I am looking for a critique partner to exchange a chapter with per week. I work with published authors and struggling writers who share a love of the written word. I cannot, however work with first drafts right now. Sorry!

I have a completed, 90,000 word YA paranormal/ghost story that I'm working on and would prefer a partner who writes in the YA genre. Please contact me if you're interested in working together. My email: paranormal_writer @ yahoo.com

Thanks!! And thanks to Casey for letting put up this ad. ;-)

First page of working title, DARK ANGEL (A Girl's Guide to the Supernatural)

For as long as I can remember, I’ve heard whispers in the shadows. Dark twisting shapes that chilled my blood. During the day I was safe, felt the heat of the sun on my skin chasing away the chill. This morning the gloom did little to abate my fears or warm my bare flesh.

I was tempted to jump back into bed and pull the covers over my head. Instead, I went over to the closet to pick out my clothes. I threw a dress on the bed, and then rummaged in the closet again.

The rush at the edge of my skin made me shiver.

Out of the corner of my eye, a maelstrom of shadows glided over the walls, murmuring in an ancient language. Ah, hell.

I glanced over my shoulder—and froze.

An amorphous darkness crept along the wall, different from the others. This shadow slid closer to where I stood, vague in shape, yet growing in size. It shifted, altered, trickled into blood and limbs and then...

Oh god, the thing was almost touching me. I blinked, but it didn’t go away.

I let out a yelp and stumbled back, bumping into a chair. The temperature dropped, my breath made white puffs in the air.

My eyes darted to the window. I figured that if I could get the shade up, the sunlight would swallow the darkness. I inched forward, yet kept a keen eye on the otherworldly beings. Within the shadows were shapes, hands, arms…faces. Obsidian fingers reached out, trying to grab my ankles. I knew these creatures fed off my fear, doled out like so much bitter candy. Black, evil things with darkling eyes, probing for weakness, a way to steal my soul. The biggest shadow swelled to a bulky mass and blocked my path. The other shadows backed away, helpless in the dim light—more silhouette than solid—and the large one rose higher, it’s head bobbing like a serpent near the ceiling. He watched me, with red eyes, and inside my heart, something awakened. Something dark as the creature before me. My mouth tightened.

Move. Now. My legs refused to budge. Terror, stark and vivid, squeezed my throat, so I was unable to make a sound. My fists clenched and unclenched at my sides.

This was just a nightmare, only a bad dream. And nothing more.

But it wasn’t, because I was wide awake.

A knock on my door made me jump. “Serenity?” my mother cried. “Are you all right?”

I knew I should go to the door, but I couldn’t let her in. Couldn’t let her see those indiscernible shadows that I couldn’t tell anyone about. She wouldn’t understand. Parents told children monsters weren’t real. But they were.

“I’m sorry.” I tried to steady my voice. “A nightmare.”

“Is that all?”


“You shrieked.”

“Sorry. I’m fine.”

The shadows shifted and moaned.

“All right…hurry up. We’re going to be late.”

Silence descended.

The dismal March weather mingled with the quiet made my bedroom seem oddly dim and barren, hollow just like me. I tried to ground myself as I glanced around the messy room, at the mound of clothes in the corner, stuffed animals littering the shelves, and the pile of books stacked under the windowsill. The walls were painted a dusty-rose and covered with posters of my favorite bands, and one of the hottie actor Zac Efron, and the film, High School Musical. The iron frame bed had a pink and lime green comforter trimmed in white trim that matched the curtains. The urban IKEA dresser and desk were light-colored pine. It looked like a normal teenage girl’s room except for the silhouettes moving stealthily over the crème colored carpet. They covered everything in their path like a dense, opaque blob.

I swallowed. Hard. My heart beat so fast it wanted to leap from my chest.

The hulking mass before me pulsated with death.

Well, hell. I knew I couldn’t just stand there doing nothing.

Agent Spotlight: Jodi Reamer

This week's Agent Spotlight features Jodi Reamer of Writers House.
Status: Accepting submissions.
WritersHouse[15]About: Jodi Reamer is an agent and an attorney. She's been with Writers House 1995. She handles both children's books, picture book to young adult, and adult books with a focus on commercial fiction. She represents many bestselling and award winning authors. She would love to represent a legal thriller. (Link)
About the Agency: "Writers House was founded in 1973 with a vision for a new kind of literary agency, one that would combine a passion for managing a writer's career with an integrated understanding of how storytelling works. With this two-pronged philosophy, Writers House has played a critical role in developing the careers of hundreds of novelists and non-fiction authors. We believe in offering our clients not only our expertise in negotiating contracts, but in contributing to all phases of the editorial and publishing processes. Our goal is to maximize the value of our clients' work by providing hands-on editorial and marketing advice, as well as leading the way in branding, licensing, and selling film/TV, foreign, audio, dramatic and serial rights." (Link)
"Al Zuckerman, a former novelist, TV writer, and teacher of playwriting at Yale, is the founder of Writers House. One of the largest literary agencies in the world, Writers House provides an extraordinary amount of individual client attention combined with the benefits of full service foreign rights, subsidiary rights, and contracts departments. We house an accounting department equipped to provide forensic royalty and financial analysis, as well as a digital department focusing on the ever changing technological landscape of contemporary publishing. Home to more than a dozen senior agents and several rising junior agents, we work individually as well as collectively and take full advantage of the unparalleled depth of experience we embody. Some of our agents started here as assistants, while others have joined us from other parts of the business, bringing editorial, bookselling, writing, and legal experience. We also pride ourselves on the stability of our firm. Many of our agents have been here together for more than 20 years, as have many of our clients. Writers House is a name which reflects our vision for our authors and ourselves. Our goals are long term, and the environment we strive to create is one that invites authors and agents to stay with us for the duration of their careers." (Link)
Web Presence:
Writers House website.
Publisher's Marketplace page.
AgentQuery, QueryTracker.
What She's Looking For:
Children's picture books, middle grade, and young adult -- all genres.  Adult general fiction, mystery, romance, fantasy, science fiction, biography, and lifestyle.  (Link)
What She Isn't Looking For:
She does not represent easy readers. 
She’s not interested in non-fiction, except for biography, memoir, and lifestyle.
Editorial Agent?
Yes. She makes revision requests as needed.  Many of her clients have mentioned doing revisions for her. 
You can find a listing of Ms. Reamer's clients on the agency website. They include Lisa Barham, Coe Booth, Bruce Campbell, Ally Condie, Jennifer Crusie, Cameron Dokey, Elizabeth Eulberg, Victoria Forester, Mariah Fredericks, Kami Garcia, John Green, James Jennewein and Tom Parker, Barbara Kerley, Ronald Kidd, Michelle Knudsen, Sarah Darer Littman, Carolyn Mackler, T.H. Mafi, Stephenie Meyer, Peter Moore, Blake Nelson, Micol Ostow, Shani Petroff, Aprilynne Pike, Jacqui Robbins, Dan Santat, Jill Santopolo, Danny Tobey, Roderick Townley, Vera Williams, Lisa Yee, among others.
Query Methods:
E-mail: Yes.
Snail-Mail: Yes.
Online-Form: No.Submission Guidelines (always verify):
Mail or e-mail a query letter and the first 10 pages of the manuscript (or until the end of that chapter). Queries are reviewed by her assistant, Alec Shane.
Do not query more than one agent within the agency at a time. She prefers exclusives on full requests.  For further details and contact information, see Ms. Reamer's Publisher's Marketplace page.
Response Times:
The Writers House agency has a stated response time of 6-8 weeks on queries.  Ms. Reamer's response times have fluctuated from weeks to nearly a year or more in the past. Currently, the timeframe appears to be about 1-8 weeks for queries and 1-10 weeks for requested material.
What's the Buzz?
Jodi Reamer is a top notch agent.  She boasts an impressive list of children's and teen authors, many award winning and/or bestselling, and has a keen eye for potentially successful manuscripts.  Her clients seem very loyal and pleased with her.  She's been with Writers House for over fifteen years, has great contacts in the industry, and is a fantastic negotiator.
She reportedly prefers exclusives on full requests given her full client list and limited time.  She takes on very few new authors. 
Worth Your Time:
An Inside Look at Agents at Erica Verrillo (07/2017)
Jodi Reamer: Agents' Panel at The Official SCBWI Blog (08/2015)
Please see Writers House website and Ms. Reamer's Publisher's Marketplace page for contact and query information.
Profile Details:
Last updated: 5/23/2020
Agent Contacted For Review? Yes.
Last Reviewed By Agent? 4/15/10.

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 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.

So Tell Me: How Do You Use Twitter?

I love Twitter.  It's second only to blogging as my preferred form of social networking.  You'll rarely see me on Facebook, except to accept friend requests and  "like" or comment on the occasional thing, and I don't like Myspace.  
But the problem I have with Twitter is that I approach it too much like blog reading.  I like to follow certain people closely so I can read most, if not all, of their tweets.  This has kept me from following as many people as I would like.  But that list is growing as more people become active on Twitter, and I'm beginning to lose track of tweets anyway.  I hate feeling like I have to be selective!  Until recently, lists seemed inconvenient to me. I have everyone divided up into groups like "writers," "agents," "publishers," etc. and I don't like clicking around from list to list.

Well, I've given it some thought and here are my options (the two I'm aware of):

1) I could make a list of "favorites," as I've seen others do, and lump all my favorite tweeters together.  Since I use Tweetdeck (love!), I could keep my "Favorites" column up next to my "All Friends" stream and follow both.

2) I could subscribe to their RSS Twitter feeds and have tweets come into my reader with all the blogs I read.  Definitely more discreet, but not at all convenient in terms of "real time" following.

What do you guys do?  I see people following thousands and it just boggles my mind.  I'd miss tons and tons of great tweets!  Do they track certain people somehow (lists, a reader)?  Or is it that they simply have a different approach to Twitter?  I saw someone explain Twitter one time like a big party you're stepping in to.  You only know what's going on while you're there and interact accordingly, but I still haven't been able to shake the desire to know what certain people are tweeting all the time.  Does that increase my stalkerishness? Heh... maybe. 

So Tell Me:  Do you use Twitter?  Do you like it?  Why or why not?  If you do, how are you using it?

P.S. The picture will take you to my Twitter page, and if you'd like to leave a link to yours in the comments, please do!)

Tip Tuesday #32

Wow, guys.  Thanks for all the great support and encouragement yesterday.  You are truly made of awesome, every one of you.  In fact, there is so much awesome there, I'm still responding to comments.  Stay tuned!  Speaking of awesome, today I have Carrie of Fanfreakingtastic (isn't that the coolest site name ever?) on the blog for Tip Tuesday.  Here she is!

I feel like I have a pretty stellar secret weapon when it comes to finding your story and writing your first draft. The shower. No joke. The shower is, for me, an Idea Creation Machine. While I crank out a rough draft I shower up to three times a day. When I get stuck, I hop in the shower. The ideas just flow.

Now, the real secret, I think, is the white noise. The shower creates a neutral, distraction-free zone. While the shower is a magic writing place for me, other folks may ftind their ideas while driving, walking the dog, or cleaning. Walking the dog also works well for me. I think the trick is recognizing that space wherein you can be most creative, and then consistently utilizing it as such. It's a bit like sports psychology. As a competitor, you want to warm up the same way, every time. Writers can create mental muscle memory in much the same way athletes create actual muscle memory. I also think it's wise to treat it that way. Elite athletes take practice and competition very seriously, they place a priority on it, and they find ways to make it work for them. There's a lot to be said for that mindset and getting things done.

The shower is my secret weapon too!  I love your thoughts about creating mental muscle memory.  Now, if only my kids would actually let me shower...  Thanks Carrie!  Everyone, please tell us about your creativity zone and then visit Carrie's blog.  Happy Tuesday!

Support Group

I need a support group today.  Do you?

I haven't been having an easy time with my writing lately.  Perhaps you've noticed.  And the truth is...  I've lost the joy. 

I don't know how to get it back.

And I feel like I should quit.  At least until the need returns. 

What are you going through right now?  Be honest with yourself and let it out. 

It feels good. 

Love Interest a Must in YA?

Heart Girl and BoyI recently read a YA fantasy manuscript that had a great premise and great writing but no love interest.  Not even a possible love interest.  I went through more than half the novel expecting one to pop up before resigning myself to the fact that it wasn't going to happen.  By the end, I was pretty disappointed.  And rather than thinking about the awesome world building or lovely prose, I was mentally working in a love interest, wondering if the writer knew how much stronger, more marketable, and compelling the story would be with one. 

That got me thinking.  Does a YA novel need to have a love interest, even just an inkling of one, to really shine?

With issue-oriented novels, it's not so black and white.  But with fantasy and standard contemporary, I think yes.

In the least, with any YA novel, I feel the main character needs to have an awareness of this dynamic.  I don't know about you, but when I was a teen I was always conscious of attraction and chemistry even if I wasn't inclined to date anyone, was too caught up in other life stuff, or was just plain avoiding such things.  The adolescent years are when we really start exploring love and sexuality (often to the point of preoccupation), and I think you're only hurting yourself if you completely avoid it in your YA novel. 

What do you think?  Can you think of any YA novels that are successful without a love interest or hint of one?

Agent Spotlight: Josh Adams

This week's Agent Spotlight features Josh Adams of Adams Literary.

Status: Josh Adams is currently closed to queries.   

Josh Adams About: "Josh Adams, together with his wife Tracey, runs Adams Literary. A graduate of Dartmouth College and Columbia Business School—where he studied finance and accounting, and was awarded the Abe Shuchman Memorial Award in Marketing—Josh spent more than a decade in publishing and media before bringing his editorial and business backgrounds together as a literary agent.
“A media management specialist, he led teams of creative and business professionals in developing the editorial strategy and positioning of several national publications, and directed the marketing and brand strategy of many well-known international companies as a consultant. (Link)
About the Agency:
“Adams Literary is a full-service, boutique literary agency exclusively representing children's and young adult authors and artists. Founded by Tracey and Josh Adams, Adams Literary prides itself on nurturing the creativity of its clients and maintaining close relationships with editors and publishers in New York City and around the world.” (Link w/more)
Web Presence:
Adams Literary website.
What He's Looking For:
Every age and genre of children's books from picture books to older, edgy YA.
From the website:
"We know that you are just as passionate about children’s books as we are. Our clients’ work spans every age and every genre—from picture books to middle-grade and young adult fiction, from historical novels and fantasy to books that tackle important contemporary issues.
"While we give every submission careful consideration, we look for unforgettable, life-changing books: literary stories, high-concept speculative fiction, unique fantasy adventure, humor, and character-driven picture books. At this time, we only consider picture book submissions from author-artists (someone who is both author and artist of their work, not a team). We gravitate toward the timeless, not the trendy. We don’t typically handle textbooks, novelty, craft, how-to or coloring books—and we don’t handle any adult works." (Link)
What He's Not Looking For:
"We don’t typically handle textbooks, novelty, craft, how-to or coloring books—and we don’t handle any adult works." (Link)
Editorial Agent?
A complete list of Adams Literary clients is available on the website here.
Query Methods:
E-mail: No.
Snail-Mail: No.
Online-Form: Yes (only).
Submission Guidelines (always verify):
NOTE: Adams Literary is currently CLOSED to submissions.
"We take submissions only through the online form on our website. (We recycle any unsolicited submissions we receive by post.) On the form, attach your complete manuscript as a DOC or PDF file; for artists in particular, include your website or attach a PDF of your illustrations so we may view your art samples. We cannot accept any files over 10MB in size." (Link)
Query tips: Let them know if your submission is exclusive or non-exclusive. Notify them of any offers of representation. If you need to follow up, use their online submission form and reference your submission. Mr. Adams prefers personalized query letters. 
Via e-mail (04/2010) Mr. Adams shared the following:
"We do give priority consideration to people who've attended and met us at conferences, not only because we support SCBWI, but because we feel it's important for people to get a good sense of who we are and what we're about, since our philosophy and approach is different than other agencies."
See the Adams Literary website for complete, updated submission guidelines.
Response Times:
The agency only responds if interested, usually within 6 weeks (link).
What's the Buzz?
Adams Literary is successful, well-established agency with a wonderful roster of clients.  They have a great team philosophy and their clients seem pleased with their representation. They have made quite a number of big deals.
I recommend following them on Twitter @AdamsLiterary for the latest.
Worth Your Time:
Around the Web:
You can read about Josh Adams' discussion of query mistakes and his wish list on Thinking Through Our Fingers (7/2015)
You can read a guest post with debut author Kim Liggett at Literary Rambles (10/2015)
Please see the Adams Literary website for contact and query information.
Profile Details:
Last updated: 12/29/2022. Updated 5/10/2020 just to confirm that the agency continues to be closed to submissions
Agent Contacted for Review? No.
Last Reviewed By Agent? 3/13/17.
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 literature. 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.

The Not So Bad, Not So Great Agent

Given the nature of my blog, I see a lot of e-mails, comments, and forum threads about literary agents.  Over the past year, I've become aware of a "type" of agent that concerns me.  That is:  The not so bad, not so great agent.

This agent is legit but is not very good at what they do or has a slightly shady work ethic.  They're the poor communicator, the unorganized, the overwhelmed, the manipulator, the rude, the in-it-for-a-quick-sale, or making-few-if-any sales agent, the one editors aren't eager to (or won't) work with, etc.  For one reason or ten they're just not that great.  They're not representing their clients like they should be, and their current and former clients aren't willing to speak up about them (by name) because a) the agent isn't doing anything that bad, b) they're still trying to work things out, c) they don't know what a good agent should do for them, d) they're being professional and sheltering their reputation, e) a few or all of the above.

You don't want this agent.  This agent will frustrate you and make an already tough, emotionally draining business tougher.

The problem is, these agents are hard to recognize because few will speak up about them publicly.  They're reputation (from our limited view on the web) often appears as good as some very, very good agents.

So what can you do?  Well, start by being aware that they're out there (not all agents are created equal!) and then muster all your self-discipline and patience to be selective.

I know the search for representation is hard enough as it is, but take my advice and aim high and don't settle (I see the horror stories all the time).  I'm not saying you should only query hot shot agents or the agents of best selling, award-winning authors (that's no guarantee anyway).  No, I advise querying widely with the best of them.  But I AM saying it's in your best interest to know what you're looking for in an agent and then to put whoever offers through the wringer to see if they meet your standards and click with you.

In my opinion, the best agent will be the agent that is actively making sales and is knowledgeable in your genre (avoid genre-trend jumpers), has established clients they'd be willing to let you speak to (one or two), has a golden, public reputation, is a really good communicator, is passionate, and has a plan for you and your manuscript(s) from the get-go.

You never know how it's going to work out when you accept an offer of representation (from any agent), but I believe this is the best way to make an informed decision and give the partnership every chance at success. 

What do you think makes a great agent?  Do you recognize that some agents are better than others?  Have you had any experience with this type of agent?  Please add to the discussion!

Tuesday Tip #31

I'm in need of tips for the upcoming weeks, so if you have one to share, please send it in!  Today, I have another great tip from Lisa Nowak who seems to be full of great writing ideas.  Please visit her blog to show your appreciation. 

It's important to have a clear sense of the passage of time in your book, but that can be difficult to do from notes. I find it easier to have a visual cue, so I use Excel to create a calendar with squares large enough to jot down major plot points in. There are calendar-generating programs available as well.

You can also find calendars for past years online, which can be convenient if you're writing historical fiction. The website below allows you to create calendars for different years in various countries which include holidays and phases of the moon.

Love this idea, Lisa!  Especially for projects where the time line really matters.  Thank you again for another great tip.  I truly appreciate them.

Two-Year Blogiversary & Happy Easter

Spring Boquet Two years ago today, I started Literary Rambles like this.  I didn't think the blog would last.  I had nothing to say.  I kept wondering, "What kind of writer am I?  I don't even know what to write on my blog!" (still true, most of the time).  I never dreamed I would be celebrating the blog's two-year anniversary with so many friends and encouragers.   Who knew I'd meet so many awesome people, feel such a sense of community, or have such a great opportunity to give back?  Not me.  But here we are. 

Last month was Agent Spotlight's one-year anniversary, too.  That means there are over 50 agent profiles on the blog now.  Over 50!  Holy Moly. I wasn't sure the feature would last past a few months.  I was terrified to put it out there and put my name on it (would it really be useful?!? What would the agents think?!?), but I felt it was something writers could use, knew deep down it was a good idea, so I went with it.  And you encouraged me.  It has its issues but it's become a pretty amazing resource.  I have a lot of fun putting the profiles together, learning about the agents, and helping all of you on your journeys toward publication.

I think writing goes much the same way.  If you keep at it even when you don't know what you're doing, surround yourself with friends and encouragement, and stay open to change and improvement, success in some measure will eventually come of it.  Maybe it's not what you were expecting (better or worse) and maybe some have put you down along the way... but you got there.  You took a chance, you worked for it, and other people believe in it.  I don't think success should be held any higher than that. 

Anyway, I feel like this is as much your anniversary as it is mine and the blog's.  I wouldn't still be blogging and putting profiles and posts together every week if it weren't for you and your encouragement, enthusiasm, and contributions. 

So, Happy Anniversary to Literary Rambles and its Friends, and Happy Easter to all who celebrate!  I'd like to do a contest/giveaway sometime soon in celebration, so feel free to offer up some ideas and tell me what your favorite kinds of contests are. 

Agent Spotlight: Marcia Wernick

This week's Agent Spotlight features Marcia Wernick of Wernick & Pratt Agency.

Status: Accepting submissions.

MarciaBioPhoto About: "After working and traveling around Europe after college, and working in different jobs in New York City, Marcia Wernick finally found her calling in children’s publishing. She began working at the Sheldon Fogelman Agency, in subsidiary rights, advancing to director of subsidiary rights. She has attended the Bologna Children’s Book Fair more than a dozen times, enjoying the international camaraderie of the children’s book industry. When she realized that working directly with the authors and illustrators brought her the most joy, she focused on the agenting side of the business. She became a full time agent, bringing in many authors and illustrators to the agency.  Among the clients she brought in, and with whom she continues to work, are Bryan Collier, Elizabeth Cody Kimmel, Kathleen O’Dell, Jackie Urbanovic, Alexandra Boiger, and Mo Willems, who she introduced to the children’s book publishing world.  Her clients now range from the well-established to those just beginning their careers. She continues to use her subsidiary rights experience by handling the foreign rights side of Wernick & Pratt Agency and working with film agents on the licensing of motion picture/television rights. She has had great fun licensing merchandising rights such as ring-tones, game apps, plush dolls, pajamas, back packs, toys, and games. She is accepting new clients in all genres for children.” (Link)

About the Agency:

“Wernick & Pratt Agency is a full service agency focused exclusively on the children’s book industry. Established in January 2011 by industry veterans, Marcia Wernick and Linda Pratt, Wernick & Pratt represents established and emerging authors and illustrators, whose work ranges from fiction to non-fiction, from very young picture books and novelty books, through early readers, middle grade and young adult. Our philosophy is to represent people rather than merely the books they create, so our approach to representation is to create strategies for our clients’ long term careers.

“Wernick & Pratt Agency provides each client with personal attention and the highest quality of advice and service that has been the hallmark of our reputations in the industry. We have the resources and accumulated knowledge to assist clients in all aspects of their creative lives including editorial input, contract negotiations, and subsidiary rights management. Our goal is to represent and manage the careers of our clients so they may achieve industry wide and international recognition, as well as the highest level of financial potential.” (Link)

Web Presence:

Wernick & Pratt Agency website




AgentQuery (not up-to-date).

What She's Looking For:


Children’s books of all genres, fiction and non-fiction, as well as author/illustrators. (Link)

From the Website (as of 5/2012):

“We are most interested in the following: people who both write and illustrate in the picture book genre; humorous young chapter books with strong voice, and which are unique and compelling; middle grade/YA novels, both literary and commercial.” (Link)

From Ms. Wernick’s website Q&A (02/2012):

“For me, when I start reading a manuscript, I want the character and voice to come through so clearly, and in such a compelling manner that I’m drawn into the story and want to keep reading to find out more. I’m sorry to say, but honestly, life today has so many distractions for all of us, so the manuscript has to have the strength to keep me from refocusing on all the other tasks and jobs at hand. I think it would hold true for the reader, as well. There has to be immediacy in connection and appeal. There is no chapter more important than your first chapter, no page more important than your first page and no line more important than your first line.

“For illustrations, I’m looking for a character whose personality and voice jumps out of the illustration in a unique way and says come join me on my adventure. Good technique is not necessarily enough. What I look for is how an artist uses that technique to make the look their own. It’s not only in the eyes of the beholder, but so frequently in the eyes of the characters drawn. The line between a more mass market illustration style and that in trade books tends to come down to the drawing of the eye more than anything else.” (Link)

From an Interview (03/2010):

"Although Marcia takes on relatively few clients in a year, she is always drawn to strong voices and age appropriate stories that engage, entertain and amuse the reader. In fiction, strong opening lines and first chapters that compel one to read on are key. She's a sucker for Southern voices, but overall shies away from mean-spirited characters and horror. She's not currently looking for traditional nonfiction." (Link)

What She Isn't Looking For:

Adult fiction and non-fiction projects.

She shies away from "mean-spirited characters and horror." (Link)


"I'm particularly interested in people who are prolific, so I prefer to see a couple of picture book manuscripts. I'm also interested in people who can work in more than one genre, so I’d be interested in seeing the broader scope of a potential client’s work. If a writer has multiple novels, I’d recommend including descriptions and synopsis of each of them, together with the first three chapters of one of them. For illustrators, I'd also like to see the broader scope. If a potential client can illustrate with both anthropomorphized animals and people, I recommend including both. And, since it's so crucial to the picture-book genre, again, their portfolio should demonstrate their ability to illustrate with a continuity of character." (Link)

"I really appreciate being given a straightforward presentation of the person’s own work, and their reason for seeking representation. Believe it or not, everyone does not have the same reason for wanting an agent. It’s helpful to clarify the reasons. Some people are particularly interested in editorial feedback, while others want to focus mostly on the business side. And some people just think they ‘should’ have an agent, even though they don't really want one!" (Link)

Editorial Agent?

“We have the resources and accumulated knowledge to assist clients in all aspects of their creative lives including editorial input, contract negotiations, and subsidiary rights management.” (Link)


Katherine Applegate, Alexandra Boiger, Laurie Caple, Bryan Collier, Nikki Grimes, Elizabeth Cody Kimmel, Vincent X. Kirsch, Kathleen O'Dell, Peggy Rathmann, Jackie Urbanovich, Mo Willems, and Jake Wizner, among others.


As of 05/2012, Ms. Wernick is listed on Publisher's Marketplace as having made 2 deals in the last 12 months and 14 overall. Recent deals include 2 picture books.

Note: PM is usually not a complete representation of sales and Ms. Wernick does not appear to actively report.

Query Methods:

E-mail: Yes (only).

Snail-Mail: No.

Online-Form: No.

Submission Guidelines (always verify):

“Please send us your contact information, including your email address, your mailing address and your telephone number. Please also indicate if you were referred to us, and by whom.

“Please indicate if this is an exclusive or non-exclusive submission. We prefer exclusive submissions for at least 1 month, but it is not a requirement for submission.

“Please include a brief synopsis of your work of no more than 1 page, your background, including any publishing history, and if you have any other work available for consideration.

“If you are a novelist, please include the first three (3) chapters of the work and a synopsis; please do not submit the entire work or include chapters from more than one work unless specifically requested.

“If you are a picture book writer, please include two (2) manuscripts; please do not submit any additional manuscripts unless specifically requested.

“If you are an illustrator, please include PDF samples of your work, as well as a link to your website, or to a portfolio of your work. Please do not send any original artwork as we do not assume any responsibility for original artwork that is submitted.

“Please send all submissions to [see website for e-addy], and please indicate if you are submitting to Marcia Wernick or Linda Pratt.”

See the Wernick & Pratt Agency website for complete, up-to-date submission guidelines.

Query Tips:

"They should describe what they are submitting, (i.e., a 600-word picture book manuscript or a 30,000-word middle grade contemporary novel), whether or not it's been submitted and/or rejected by any publishers. They should also let me know what other types of projects they may be working on, if any. It's helpful to know if they've attended any writer's conferences, and whether or not they're a member of a critique group, or SCBWI. Also, I do like to know if they are submitting to other agents at the same time. For illustrators, their portfolio should show their range and must demonstrate continuity of character." (Link)

See the “Quotables” above for more submission preferences.

Response Times:

The agency only responds if interested. If you do not hear back within six weeks, assume rejection. (Link)

What's the Buzz?

Marcia Wernick has an impressive 20+ years in the industry with experience not only in agenting but in rights and licensing. Wernick founded the Wernick & Pratt Agency with long-time colleague Linda Pratt in January 2011. Many, if not all, of her clients appear to have followed her and seem quite happy with her representation.

Worth Your Time:


Q&A with Marcia Wernick on the agency website (02/2012).

Agent Panel: Marcia Wernick at the SCBWI Conference Blog (08/2011).

SCBWI Bologna 2010 Agent Interview: Marcia Wernick of Sheldon Fogelman Agency at Cynsations (2010).

Around the Web:

Wernick & Pratt Agency on P&E. Marcia Wernick on P&E.

Wernick & Pratt Agency thread on AbsoluteWrite.

See the Wernick & Pratt Agency “News” page for updates and happenings.

Marcia Wernick's Workshop: Ain't Nobody's Business but my Own: Creating Your Own Career Path, workshop notes at the SCBWI Conference Blog (08/2011).

Bits of Wisdom: SCBWI Bologna 2010 at Bethbeck's blog, featuring a quote about rhyme. (03/2010).

What's Hot.... And What's Not: Current Trends in Children's Book Publishing, including a quote from Ms. Wernick, at Walking in Public (07/2009).


Please see the Wernick & Pratt Agency website for contact and query information.

Profile Details:

Last updated: 5/17/12.

Agent Contacted For Review? Yes.

Reviewed By Agent? N/A.


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.