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.

Agent Spotlight: Jennifer Laughran

This week's Agent Spotlight features Jennifer Laughran of the Andrea Brown Literary Agency, Inc.
Status: Accepting submissions.
1427997807About: “Jennifer began her career in agenting after working as a long-time children's bookseller and buyer. She is also the founder of the extremely popular YA event series ‘Not Your Mother's Book Club’. She joined Andrea Brown Literary Agency in 2007. Always on the lookout for sparkling YA and middle grade fiction with unusual and unforgettable characters and vivid settings, she is drawn to all kinds of books, whether realistic comedies or richly imagined magical adventures. However, the common thread in her favorite stories is an offbeat world-view. Jennifer adores simplicity, but she is not interested in the conventional, predictable, mechanical, gimmicky or ordinary. Jennifer loves funny books, thrilling books, romantic books, books that make her cry, and all-around un-put-downable books... and her true favorites are all of the above.
“Clients include: The author of over 100 books for young readers, Daniel Pinkwater, and his wife, the talented illustrator Jill Pinkwater, who, among other collaborations, created BEAUTIFUL YETTA (THE YIDDISH CHICKEN) (Feiwel & Friends/Macmillan). Author/illustrator Calef Brown, whose whimsical drawings and poems have garnered him praise and the number one spot on the NYT bestseller list. Middle grade maestros like Kate Messner and Linda Urban, and debut middle grade authors like Alex Gino. Ilsa J. Bick, author of the ASHES series (Egmont), who is quickly becoming one of the most gripping voices in YA thrillers. And Erin Lange, author of edgy YA like BUTTER (Bloomsbury). These are to name just a few.
“Jennifer attends several conferences each year. Past conferences include Willamette, Writer's League of Texas, SCBWI-NY, NE-SCBWI, Oregon Coast Children's Book Writers Workshop, Book Passage Children's Writers Workshop, and Big Sur Children's Writer's Workshop. She spends most of her free time... well, reading, what else?! You can find out more about Jennifer and her clients on her website.” (Link)
About the Agency:
“The Andrea Brown Literary Agency was founded in August 1981 and has offices in the San Francisco Bay area, San Diego, Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago.
“Our agency works to bring to light the voices and perspectives of new writers as well as to nurture and develop the careers of experienced authors. Our goal, whether seeking to secure a publishing contract for a first book or a fiftieth book, is to make sure that clients are not only published, but published well.
“Our philosophy is to remain a ‘small’ agency at heart. We invest a great deal of personal care and attention in each project, and we are hands-on in all aspects of our interactions with clients. We work closely with clients in an editorial capacity and we devise a strategy at every stage of the writing process that will enable us to find the best publisher for each book. In doing so, we think about both short term and long term goals for our clients, always keeping the trajectory of a successful career in mind.
“Our agents have backgrounds in New York publishing, editing, academia, business, teaching, writing and film, and one of our strengths as an agency is that we work collaboratively. Our clients have the benefit not only of their individual agent's expertise but of the combined experience and vision of the group.
“As a West Coast based agency, we follow a tradition of West Coast innovation in our passion for discovering new voices, in our efforts to make New York publishing more inclusive of voices from other parts of the country, and in our attempt to see publishing trends that result from this broader perspective. We combine this approach with access, standing, and visibility in the publishing community at large. Our agents make regular trips to New York, attend industry conventions, and participate as faculty at writers' conferences all over the country. We ensure a high profile for our clients and actively keep our fingers on the pulse of publishing.” (Link)
Web Presence:
Andrea Brown Agency website.
Publisher's Marketplace page.
Personal website.
Twitter @literaticat.
Ask the Agent (Tumblr).
Manuscript Wish List.
Jennifer Represents (no longer posts).
What She's Looking For:
Children’s fiction, middle grade and young adult.
From Her Manuscript Wish List:
"I'm looking for sparkling middle grade and young adult fiction. Great writing a must, high concept a plus. Authors from marginalized communities are encouraged to query. Diverse narratives of all kinds welcome. #OwnVoices
"For contemp, I like very voicey characters that I will laugh and cry with, and a hooky plot doesn't hurt. I really want stories and perspectives that I may not have read before. I prefer upbeat to dismal - put the characters through hell if you must, but I hope they come out the other side stronger for it!
"For fantasy, my preference is "cute magic" and adventure involving human/humanoid POV characters we can relate to, with maybe some humor and romance, and recognizable earth or earth-like settings. I am probably not the best agent for extreme high fantasy. (I like GRACELING and Tamora Pierce... not so much GoT or LoTR). For SF, again, I prefer stories that are rooted in some version of our world.
"For historical, well, I'm probably not the best person for historical unless it is pre-1929 and there's something flashy about it. (Tudor, Regency, Victorian, WW1 and 1920's or similar are all fine.)" (Link).
You can find more on what she is looking for via her Twitter #MSWL tweets.
What She Isn't Looking For:
Adult fiction or nonfiction, picture books, early readers, nonfiction, high fantasy, religious stories, or talking animals, and adult fiction and nonfiction. (Link)
"Ugh. I am so NOT fascinated by trends. I am the opposite of fascinated by them. I would say 95% of my inbox at the moment is paranormal romance with some sort of creature (mermaid, selkie, siren, werewolf, unicorn, vampire, zombie, mummy, or some combo like selkwolf or mercorn) - and I am totally not interested, unless it is truly, totally genre-busting. I have enough. No more room at the inn! (Link)
Editorial Agent?
Yes, but mostly for big picture issues.
There is a list of select Andrea Brown Lit titles on the website.
Ms. Laughran’s clients include: Gwenda Bond, Calef Brown, Don Brown, Cindy Derby, Julie Falatko, Alex Gino, Gareth Hinds, James Klise, Erin J. Lange, Kate Messner, Stephanie Oakes, Daniel & Jill Pinkwater, Mara Rockliff, Sergio Ruzzier, Phoebe Wahl, Ellen Emerson White, Diane Zahler, among others.
Query Methods:
E-mail: No.  
Snail-Mail: No.
Online-Form: Yes at https://querymanager.com/query/JenniferLaughran. (Only)
Submission Guidelines (always verify):
“We accept email queries only. Please direct your e-query to ONE agent at our agency, and include the following:
“Fiction: query letter and first 10 pages.”
Please see the Andrea Brown Literary website for complete, up-to-date submission guidelines as well as the agency's Submission Advice, Dos and Dont’s, and Tips.
Query Tips:
“If you want to give me a line about why you're querying me, that is fine - but you have a very short window. I REALLY want to know about the manuscript. And at the end, yes, a short bio is fine, but I have no interest in digging deep into your personal life.” (Link)
Response Times:
Ms. Laughran tries to respond to all queries that follow her submission guidelines. If you do not hear back within 8 weeks, however, assume rejection.
What's the Buzz? 
Ms. Laughran has been an agent at Andrea Brown Literary since 2007. Not only does she have invaluable experience as a bookseller, buyer, and reviewer, she has a fantastic list of clients and sales, the backing of an extremely well-respected agency, and a great passion for books.  Her clients seem very happy with her representation.
I recommend following her on Twitter @literaticat and Tumblr.
Worth Your Time:
Interviews and Q&As:
Interview with Jennifer Laughran at Justin Colon Books (01/2019)
Chat with Jennifer Laughran with Author Meg Medina (03/2019)
Jennifer Laughran (Andrea Brown Literary Agency): Agent Looking For Diversity at Lee Wind’s site (02/2015).
Query Questions with Jennifer Laughran at Michelle4Laughs (07/2013).
Literary Agent Jennifer Laughran: Ask Me Anything at YAWriters (07/2013).
7 Questions For: Literary Agent Jennifer Laughran at Middle Grade Ninja (02/2011).
An Agent's View: Talking with Jennifer Laughran at Shrinking Violet Promotions (02/2011).
How to Get Your Children’s Book Published: Literary Agent Jennifer Laughran Answers the Top 10 Questions We Get Asked Every Day at Book Doctors (01/2011).
Please see the Andrea Brown Literary website for contact and query information.
Profile Details:

Last Updated: 4/29/2019. Updated 5/13/2020 as to submission status
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.


Tahereh said...


you make querying so much easier, love.

Natalie Aguirre said...

Great spotlight! Jennifer Laughran sounds like a great agent. And she likes high fantasy. I'm definitely adding her to my list.

Literaticat said...

WOW Casey this is an amazing collection of links and quotes - it must have taken you forever to put it together! I will definitely link to this blog & point to it as a resource.

Sorry, Natalie, high fantasy is one of the things in the "ISN'T looking for" section.

- Jenn

Jemi Fraser said...

Awesome post Casey - thanks so much for putting it altogether. Jennifer seems like a fabulous person to work with :)

Casey McCormick said...

Thanks Tahereh, Natalie, and Jemi!

Jenn, I'm glad you appreciate it. Thank you for spreading the word!

Thermocline said...

Another great Spotlight. Thanks, Casey!

Bethany C Morrow said...

That was such a great spotlight! Loved the quotes and gathered information/links. Goodonya!

Jonathon Arntson said...

Jennifer - I love that you have the word 'laugh' in your name.

Casey - I've missed you. Classes are finally over for me. For you too?

Kelly Polark said...

Incredibly thorough spotlight, Casey! You rock! And by the looks of this spotlight, Jennifer does too!

Anonymous said...

As an aspiring author, I say thank you for laying things about agents out so clearly. What a thorough and incredible spotlight! Thanks!!

Anonymous said...

Interesting that she hates trends. That's gotta be a plus for some writers.

Kristen said...

She has an excellent response time on e-mail submissions. I heard back in nine hours. As a plus, she writes a very nice rejection letter. Encouraging rather than rote.