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  • Alex Brown Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 9/9/2024
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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.

Agent Spotlight: Holly Root

This week's Agent Spotlight features Holly Root of Root Literary.
Status: Open to submissions, but the other agents at Root Literary (Taylor Haggerty, Melanie Castillo, Molly O'Neill, and Kurestin Armada) are growing their clients lists more actively, so currently most likely to refer a project in-house.
About: ""Reading as much as you do in this job, it's easy to become overly analytical. My favorite books are the ones so assured in their execution that the only input my critical mind can muster is 'That was fun. How soon can we tell everyone we know about it?' I'm delighted to be in a position of perpetual discovery." (Link)
About the Agency:
“Literary agent Holly Root launched over two dozen New York Times bestsellers before founding Root Literary in 2017. The agency's clients benefit from our agents' proven skills in identifying talent, negotiating advantageous deals, and advocating for our books all the way from submission to publication. We offer our clients broad-based industry insights as well as individualized strategic thinking to empower each author to define and pursue their own unique path to success.
"We love what we do, and we do it best in partnership with storytellers who combine artistry with the drive to build a lasting body of work.” (Link)
Web Presence:
Root Literary Website.
Publisher’s Marketplace page.
Twitter @hroot.
What She's Looking For:  
Genres / Specialties:
Our primary focus is commercial fiction for kids and adults. We also represent select nonfiction projects. (Via email)From an Interview (05/2011):
“I love being genuinely surprised (I should clarify this is ‘surprised,’ not ‘baffled’). What does that look like? A fresh spin on a genre I thought I was completely tired of, the execution that reminds me I actually LOVE [whatever genre I forgot that I love], the concept I can't get out of my head, the character who is flawed and frustrating and yet totally, completely lovable for those vulnerabilities. I'm really a fan of lots of kinds of books; it's so much about voice for me that I've fallen for all manner of things against my better sense and only after I've sold it had to be like, ‘Um. Right. I guess I do [chick lit/steampunk/witch/Amish/high fantasy/etc] now.’” (Link)
You There God? It's Me, Margaret involves, but is not strictly about, a young girl's faith." (Link)
What She Isn't Looking For:
Poetry or screenplays (Via email)
Editorial Agent?
"I’m a pretty editorial agent; the competition is so stiff these days that I can’t imagine not being that way. There’s definitely a point where you just have to put it out and let the market speak but if I see a way to make a ms that much tighter, why wouldn’t I jump on it?" (Link)
There is a page of client books on the agency website.
Ms. Root’s client include: Becky Albertalli, Winnie Archer/Melissa Bourbon, Rae Carson, JC Cervantes, Mark Cheverton, Diana Cosby, Jessica Clare, Manda Collins, Megan Crane, Kari Lynn Dell, Meredith Duran, Addison Fox, Alan Gratz, Jasmine Guillory, Kristin Harmel, Kelly Harms, Rachel Hawkins, Vivien Jackson, Amanda Joy, SJ Kincaid, Celia Kyle, Christina Lauren, Victoria Lee, Sarah MacLean, Ashley Poston, CJ Redwine, Victoria Schwab, Rebekah Weatherspoon, among others, among others!
Query Methods:
E-mail: Yes (only).
Snail-Mail: No.
Online-Form: No.
Submission Guidelines (always verify):
Send a query letter and the first ten pages of your manuscript in the body of an e-mail.  No attachments.
Please check the Root Literary website for the most current information.
Response Times:
The agency sends an automated response to a query that indicates their response time.
What’s the Buzz?
Holly Root a top-notch agent with an incredible list of clients and sales. Her clients adore and gush about her every chance they get and she’s one of the sharpest, funniest agents I’ve come across. Definitely follow her on Twitter.
Worth Your Time:
Holly Root on Entrepreneurial Mindset as a Literary Agent Podcast at 88 Cups of Tea (Date unknown) 
Holly Root on The Rise of Rom-Coms and Publishing in the Coronavirus Podcast at Sarah's Books (04/2020)
Agents: Who They Are and How to Get One at Track Changes (04/2020).
How to Query Root Literary with Holly Root Podcast at Middle Grade Ninja (07/2019).
Literary Agents Evaluating Manuscripts Podcast at Middle Grade Ninja (07/2019).
Literary Agent Holly Root Podcast at Middle Grade Ninja (04/2019).
Switching Agents Interview at Jane Friedman (11/2018.
New Agency Alert: Root Literary at Writer's Digest (05/2017).
LitChat with Holly Root at LitChat (07/2016)
Interview with Holly Root at I Want Her Job (10/2011).
7 Questions For: Literary Agent Holly Root at Middle Grade Ninja (05/2011).
Hilarious Interview with Agent Holly Root at The Last Word (03/2010).
Brief interview with Holly Root at Jill Myles blog (01/2010).
Please see the Root Literary website for contact and query information.
Profile Details:
Last Updated: 5/25/2020.
Agent Contacted for Review? Yes
Last Reviewed By Agent? 6/2/2020.
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.


Tahereh said...

she's a rockstar agent, and this spotlight is only a testament to just how much!

thanks for all your hard work, Casey!!

Marsha Sigman said...

Is she not the cutest agent ever???
She sounds awesome and her advice during The Last Word interview are words to live by.

"Stop picking at it."

My new motto.

Thanks, Casey!!

Natalie Aguirre said...

Thanks for another great agent spotlight. Yea! She really wants middle grade manuscripts. Thanks for giving me all the links for researching her too.

Krista Van Dolzer said...

Hey, Casey! Thanks for including a link to my interview!

Thermocline said...

Casey, I'm amazed at how much information you amassed about Holly. You always gather a lot, but you really outdid yourself with this profile.

Casey McCormick said...

Thank you for the great comments, guys. I definitely think Ms. Root is in the running for longest profile yet!

Ms. Root has reviewed her profile and will be providing a new bio soon!

Carolina M. Valdez Schneider said...

Super agent, for sure! Thanks for the spotlight, Casey!

Laura Pauling said...

Thanks Casey for all your hard work! Holly seems like a great agent.

Myra McEntire said...

Wow, Casey! Holly is my agent (and yes, she's amazing) and I haven't seen all of this information! You're providing an excellent service to people who are looking for representation. Fabulous work.

Christina Farley said...

Wow! This is so thorough. Thank you!!!!!!

pat said...

It's a long list already but thank-you Casey for such a thorough bio on Ms. Root. Did you finish with school for the year?

Pat Martinez

Shelli (srjohannes) said...

how long does each one take you to do! this is awesome...

Sherrie Petersen said...

I love her advice. That's hard to remember sometimes when you see all the posts about who did what. This is an amazingly detailed post you've put together here. You rock!!

C.J. Redwine said...

What a fantastic profile you put together! Thanks for linking to my interview. Holly is my agent and I can personally testify that she is nothing short of complete awesomesauce.

@I said...

I just submitted a work of mine to her. I hope she decides to represent it. She seems like an awesome agent and person to know. If she doesn't, I'm still, glad to have came by her. She gave wonderful advice. I actually have a bit of hope in finding an agent.

Casey McCormick said...

According to her PM page, Ms. Root is reopening to submissions today. Good luck queriers!

Unknown said...

Actually, she is closed until March 2016 as of October 1st.

Unknown said...

Actually, she closed her queries as of October 1st.