This week's Agent Spotlight features Wendy Schmalz of Wendy Schmalz Agency.
About: "Wendy is the principal and founder of the Wendy Schmalz Agency, founded in 2002. Representing a wide range of writers for both the children’s and adult markets for more than twenty-five years, her current client list includes Sandy Asher, Seymour Simon, and Ed Koch, to name a few. She began her career at Curtis Brown before moving on to Harold Ober Associates, where she was a principal of the company." (Link)
Status: Accepting submissions.
What She's Looking For:
Genres of Interest: Children's and adult fiction and nonfiction including middle grade, young adult, literary fiction, graphic novels, gay/lesbian literature, history, politics, current affairs, pop culture, entertainment, narrative nonfiction.
From an Interview (05/2009):
"Right now my list is about 75% children’s books and 25% adult books. I tend not to handle genre books (romance, Sci-fi, etc.) and I’m not taking on any new picture book writers or books for readers younger than middle grade. Other than that, I represent an eclectic group of fiction and non-fiction writers." (Link)
From a Guest Post (11/2009):
"As an agent, I look for books that are well written and that appeal to my personal taste. I’ve never been a fan of traditional fantasy or science fiction so I’m not a good judge of those genres. I focus on older middle grade and YA fiction. I’m not taking on any new picture book writers." (Link)
What She Isn't Looking For:
"Not currently accepting submissions of genre fiction or children's picture books." (Link)
Including: Christian literature, comedy/humor, erotica, horror, poetry, puzzles/games, romance, sci-fi, fantasy, western, business/investment, cooking/food/wine, crafts/hobbies/DIY, health/diet, home/garden, mind/body/spirit, music/musicals, parenting/family, professional/reference, relationships/family, religion/spirituality/inspiration, science/technology, self-help, sports, technical/how-two, textbooks, dramatic works, picture books. (Link)
"I want an open, honest give-and-take with my authors. It should be a close relationship and it’s just as important for me to like my authors as it is for me to like their work. I’m happy to work with my authors editorially. I’m not a good hand-holder and I don’t want to be anyone’s therapist." (Link)
About the Agency:
"Wendy Schmalz Agency represents an eclectic cadre of writers. Founded in 2002." (Link)
"I hate it when people send manuscripts or writing samples without asking first. I will delete those without opening them or send them back unread if they’re sent by snail mail. I don’t like it when people start out their queries with statistics. I’m amused by letters that tell me I’ll regret it if I don’t read their novel because representing them will make me richer than rich (I don’t ask to read those –who wants to represent someone with an out of control ego?)" (Link)
Yes. "I’m happy to work with my authors editorially." (Link)
Alice Alexiou, Shari Becker, Partricia Calvert, Kathy Charles, Michael Delaney, Erik Esckilsen, Eve Feldman, Myla Goldberg, John Maxwell Hamilton, April Henry, Elizabeth Starr Hill, Marybeth Kelsey, Marlane Kennedy, Jason Little, Robin MacCready, Albert Marrin, Amanda Marrone, Sarah Miller, Alice Peck, Lila Perl, Julie Ann Peters, Dean Pitchford, Bonnie Shimko, Sue Stauffacher, Leonard Todd, Denise Vega, Amy Wallace, Michael Williams, among others.
As of this posting, Ms. Schmalz is listed on Publisher's Marketplace as having made 5 deals in the last 12 months and 16 overall. Recent deals include 5 young adult.
NOTE: PM is usually not a complete representation of sales.
E-mail: Yes (preferred).
Submission Guidelines (always verify):
"Mail and e-mail queries are accepted. Please include a synopsis. Do not enclose or attach the manuscript or sample chapters. Queries sent by mail must enclose an SASE. We will only respond to e-mail queries if we're interested in reading the manuscript." (Link)
See the Wendy Schmalz Literary website for complete, up-to-date submission guidelines.
"What gets my attention is when someone says why they want me specifically to be their agent. It shows they’ve done their homework – that they know what sort of writers I represent and think we’d be a good fit." (Link)
Ms. Schmalz doesn't respond to e-mail queries unless interested. Her response time on snail-mail queries seems to be around 3 weeks. Requested material generally takes 3-4 weeks.
What's the Buzz?
Ms. Schmalz has a good but quiet buzz on the Internet. She's been representing authors for over 25 years and is taking on very few new clients as a result. She is currently open to submissions. Her years of experience, sales history, and client list recommend her. She's also a member of the AAR.
Worth Your Time:
Interview with Wendy Schmalz at The Five Randoms (05/2009).
Around the Web:
Guest post by Wendy Schmalz at David L. Harrison's blog (11/2009).
Agent Appreciation Day post on Wendy Schmalz at Jennifer_d_g's blog.
Please see the Wendy Schmalz Literary website for contact and query information.
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.