This week's Agent Spotlight features Victoria Marini of Gelfman Schneider Literary Agents, Inc.
About: “Victoria Marini was born in Pennsylvania and moved to New York in 2003. She is the newest member of the Agency and came to Gelfman Schneider in July of 2008 as an Agency Assistant after graduating college in 2007. She has begun to build her own client list which includes commercial fiction, narrative non-fiction, and memoir. She is very interested in acquiring literary fiction, YA, and pop-culture and is looking for debut writers.” (Link)
Status: Accepting submissions, actively building her list.
What She's Looking For:
Fiction: Action/Adventure, Mystery, Women's Fiction, Young Adult/Juvenile.
Non-Fiction: Humor, Memoir, Narrative Non-fiction. (Link)
From her bio:
“She has begun to build her own client list which includes commercial fiction, narrative non- fiction, and memoir. She is very interested in acquiring literary fiction, YA, and pop-culture and is looking for debut writers.” (Link)
From an Interview (09/10):
“I’d love to see strong YA with genuine characters, an exciting story, and a fully realized world. I’m looking for edgy contemporary YA and for a fresh take on paranormal /supernatural. The only thing that is probably not for me is a coming of age story.
“As for my wish list…I’d love a so-suspenseful-I-can’t-put-it-down women’s mystery. I desperately want a spooky fantasy in the vein of Neil Gaiman. I want a gothic novel. I’d love a fresh take on the classic American noir mystery for the YA audience. I’m also interested in acquiring speculative fiction. That being said, my tastes are very eclectic and I’m drawn to anything full of heart and imagination.” (Link)
From Guide to Literary Agents:
“She is specifically looking for YA, commercial adult fiction, mysteries, creative nonfiction, memoir, pop culture, and humor. What she really wants is a book so engrossing she cannot put it down. While she loves edgy, paranormal, and suspenseful YA, she is not your best bet for traditional coming-of-age novels.” (Link)
What She Isn't Looking For:
Screenplays, serious nonfiction, politics, math, religion, or other academic/reference books. She is not the best bet for traditional coming-of-age novels. (Link)
About the Agency:
“Gelfman Schneider represents a wide range of authors including American Academy of Arts, Edgar Awards and Pushcart Prize winners as well as several New York Times bestselling authors. Among our diverse list of clients are playwrights, journalists, scientists, activists & humorists writing narrative non-fiction, memoir, political & current affairs, popular science and popular culture non-fiction, as well as novelists writing literary & commercial fiction, women’s fiction, and historical fiction.
“We also exploit all the sub-rights to our clients work including Foreign Rights, Audio Rights, and Film & Television Rights and have been privileged to form working relationships with various co-agents. We are dedicated to veterans of the business & emerging voices which maintains our longstanding traditions while ensuring that we and our clients thrive in the future.” (Link)
“If an author is rude, trashes the book industry, trashes others’ books, tries to tell me why they don’t want to follow guidelines or why their novel will make a million dollars, I am usually not going past the first paragraph. I also can’t stress enough the importance of checking out agent guidelines and bios before you submit. You would be surprised by how many queries I get for popular reference books, which I don’t represent. It is a waste of postage to query an agent who does not represent the genre in which you are writing.” (Link)
Yes. “I’d say I am a very editorial agent. I think my style would probably be classified as collaborative. I believe in talking, asking questions, and brainstorming. I maintain a close relationship with my bosses and industry friends whose advice is precious to me. I have an open door policy and share as much information as possible with my clients and want to know what visions my clients have for their books and future with me. I want my clients to feel confident, informed and comfortable. I’m very friendly.” (Link)
As of this posting, Ms. Marini does not appear to be a member of Publisher’s Marketplace. I do not see mention of any sales on Google search, either.
NOTE: PM is usually not a complete representation of sales.
Submission Guidelines (always verify):
“The query letters I am drawn to the most are the ones that get right to the point and are written with the author’s unique voice. Be original, engaging and informative. Tell me about your book. I don’t need statistics, marketing ideas, generic letters, and overly formal introductions.” (Link)
The agency has a stated response time of four weeks. Ms. Marini seems to respond within a week to a month. Response times on requested material are limited but seem to fall within a month or two.
The Gelfman Schneider Lit website also states:
“If you followed all the submission instructions and have not heard back within 4 weeks, please write to us with subject line “query follow-up.” This is ONLY for instances where your submission has not been acknowledged by us within 4 weeks.” (Link)
What's the Buzz?
Victoria Marini is a relatively new agent with growing buzz. She’s active on Twitter and her fun, friendly nature comes through there. I definitely recommend following her. Not only will you get occasional updates on queries and fulls, you’ll get a great peek at her personality and interests. I’ve been nothing but impressed in my limited contact with her.
Worth Your Time:
Agent Interview with Victoria Marini at Shiny (09/2010).
Around the Web:
Keep an eye on the About Us page on the website for recent deal news.
“The Last Book I Loved, The Testament of Gideon Mack,” guest post by Victoria Marini at The Rumpus (10/2009).
“Should Jackets Be Required?” an article by Victoria Marini at The Brooklyn Rail.
Gelfman Schneider Literary Agents, Inc. on P&E (Recommended).
Gelfman Schneider Literary Agents, Inc. thread on AbsoluteWrite.
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 or teen 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.