This week's Agent Spotlight features Stefanie von Borstel of Full Circle Literary.
Status: Accepting submissions.
About: "Stefanie von Borstel is co-founder of Full Circle Literary and has almost 20 years of experience in publishing. Prior to agenting, she worked in editorial and marketing with Penguin and Harcourt. Stefanie represents children's books from toddler to teen, and select adult books. On the adult side, her focus is on family-interest, design/lifestyle/DIY, and creative nonfiction.She has the pleasure of working with Meg Mateo Ilasco, Justina Blakeney, Barb Blair, Lisa Congdon, Kelly McCants, Betz White, and Anne Weil of Flax & Twine, among others.
“On the children's side, she is especially seeking middle grade fiction and nonfiction, and is excited about her clients' latest titles Diana Lopez's Ask My Mood Ring How I Feel, Penny Warner's Code Busters Club, and Sarah Burningham's Girl to Girl. For picture books: diverse books with broad appeal, nonfiction with a distinct voice,"ficinformational" books (as coined by Julie Danielson at Kirkus), and books that inspire imagination of the young and young-at-heart. Clients include: Monica Brown, Jennifer Ward, Toni Buzzeo, Carmen Tafolla, Rafael Lopez, Heather Montgomery, Cindy Jenson-Elliott, and SCBWI Grand Prize Portfolio Award Winner Juana Martinez-Neal, to name a few. Books she has represented have been awarded Pura Belpre Honors, ALA Notable Children's Books, the Christopher Award, NCTE Orbis Pictus Honors, the Agatha Award, and the Charlotte Zolotow Award. Stefanie is thrilled to work with clients that have a distinct style or expertise that can crossover to both the children's and adult markets. When not reading, Stefanie is probably searching for green fig beetles or exploring tidepools with her son.” (Link)
About the Agency:
“We are a boutique literary agency, offering a unique full circle approach to literary representation. Our diverse experience in book publishing includes editorial, marketing, publicity, legal and rights, which we use to help build authors one step at a time. We work with both veteran and debut writers and artists and our team has a knack for finding and developing new and diverse talent. Our titles have received awards and honors from the American Library Association, National Book Critics' Circle, Children's Book Council, Society of Children's Books Writers & Illustrators, National Council of Teachers of English, International Reading Association, Pura Belpre Award and Honors, Americas Book Award, and Charlotte Zolotow Award. Our authors have been featured on National Public Radio, Good Morning America, Martha Stewart Living, Design*Sponge, Ohdeedoh, Working Mother magazine, Parents magazine, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times and other national media.
“Full Circle Literary works with a variety of creative prescriptive and narrative nonfiction books, literary fiction for adults and teens, as well as middle grade and children's picture books. Our underlying policy is that we only sign work we are as enthusiastic about as you are. We'll support you through the publication process... full circle.” (Link)
What She's Looking For:
Genres / Specialties:
Children’s literature, picture book to young adult; select adult books.
From Her Bio (as above):
“On the adult side, her focus is on family-interest, design/lifestyle/DIY, and creative nonfiction.
“On the children's side, she is especially seeking middle grade fiction and nonfiction, and is excited about her clients' latest titles Diana Lopez's Ask My Mood Ring How I Feel, Penny Warner's Code Busters Club, and Sarah Burningham's Girl to Girl. For picture books: diverse books with broad appeal, nonfiction with a distinct voice, ‘ficinformational’ books (as coined by Julie Danielson at Kirkus), and books that inspire imagination of the young and young-at-heart.
“Stefanie is thrilled to work with clients that have a distinct style or expertise that can crossover to both the children's and adult markets.” (Link)
Agency Interests (as of 8/2014):
“Middle grade: contemporary, unique historical, voice-driven, stories that illuminate everyday life of in a distinct voice or from a diverse viewpoint, humor, multicultural (Latino, African American, Asian, Middle Eastern), fantasy, paranormal, dystopian, light science fiction
“Young Adult: literary, contemporary or unique historical, stories that illuminate social pressures faced by teens, multicultural (Latino, African American, Asian, Middle Eastern), fantasy, paranormal, dystopian, light science fiction
“Picture books (900 words or less, non-rhyming): character-driven, humor, untold biographies, nature/animals, multicultural
“Stories that appeal to boy readers of all ages
“Interactive books or multimedia projects for very young or books with family appeal that parents can enjoy with their little ones.” (Link)
What She Isn't Looking For:
“We are currently not accepting Adult fiction submissions (except multicultural or historical), religious or spiritual, biography, history, expose-type books, cookbooks or wine books, travel, screenplays.”
“Picture books with rhyming text, picture books longer than 900 words, poetry or short stories, educational books, workbooks, or foreign language learning books.
“We do not accept unsolicited submission materials in Spanish, since we work primarily with US publishers all queries and submission materials should be in English.” (Link)
The agency supports its clients through all phases of the publishing process, including editorial support when needed.
There is list of select client titles on the agency website.
Ms. von Borstel's clients include: Justina Blakeney, Barb Blair, Monica Brown, Sarah Burningham, Toni Buzzeo, Lisa Congdon, Cindy Jenson-Elliott, Diana Lopez, Rafael Lopez, Meg Mateo Ilasco, Kelly McCants, Heather Montgomery, Juana Martinez-Neal, Carmen Tafolla, Penny Warner, Jennifer Ward, Anne Weil, Betz White, among others.
E-mail: Yes (only).
Submission Guidelines (always verify):
"Send a 1-page query letter (in the body of the email, no attachments please) including a description of your book, writing credentials and author highlights. Following your query, please include the first TEN PAGES or complete picture book manuscript text within the body of the email. For nonfiction, include a proposal with one sample chapter.
“You may include the name of the agent in the email subject line, if you're directing to a specific agent."
See the Full Circle Literary website for complete, up-to-date submission guidelines.
The agency only responds if interested, usually within 6-8 weeks (Link). Stats on the web appear fairly consistent with this range.
What's the Buzz?
Full Circle Literary is a well established and respected agency that prides itself on its full circle approach. They are big supporters of diversity in books and actively seek multicultural and diverse projects. Ms. von Borstel’s clients seem very happy with her representation. Her experience and sales recommend her.
Worth Your Time:
Interview with Full Circle Literary Agent, Stefanie Von Borstel at GumboWriters (11/2008).
Around the Web:
Follow the Full Circle Lit blog for client updates and news.
Check out the Info and Upcoming Appearances page on the website.
See the About Us page for conferences Ms. von Borsel will attend this year.
Full Circle Literary in the 2014 Guide to Literary Agents via Google Books.
Marilyn Atlas & Stefanie Von Borstel - 2012 Agents & Editors Conference video at YouTube.
Agent’s Conference Success Story from Stefanie von Borstel at Writer’s League of Texax (10/2010).
If you have a MediaBistro membership you can check out this article, "Pitching an Agent: Door Open to Innovative Authors" on Full Circle Lit.
Please see the Full Circle Literary website for contact and query information.
Last updated: 8/28/14.
Last 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 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.