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Devin Ross Agent Spotlight Interview & Query Critique Giveaway on 4/29/19

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Jim McCarthy/Remy Lai Guest Post & Query Critique Giveaway on 5/14/2019

Brent Taylor/Rajani LaRocca Guest Post & Query Critique Giveaway on 5/20/2019

Kirsten Wolf Agent Spotlight Interview & Query Critique Giveaway on 6/12/19

Agent Spotlight: Sarah LaPolla

This week's Agent Spotlight features Sarah LaPolla of the Bradford Literary Agency.
Status: Accepting submissions.
Sarah-Bradford-Lit-photo About:Sarah LaPolla joined Bradford Literary Agency as an agent in 2013. She had previously worked in the foreign rights department at Curtis Brown, Ltd., and became an associate agent there in 2010. Sarah received her MFA in Creative Writing (Nonfiction) from The New School in 2008, and has a B.A. in Creative Writing from Ithaca College.” (Link) She represents middle grade, young adult, and adult fiction.
About the Agency:
“The Bradford Literary Agency is a boutique agency which offers a full range of representation services to authors who are both published and pre-published. Our mission at the Bradford Literary Agency is to form true partnerships with our clients and build long-term relationships that extend from writing the first draft through the length of the author’s career..” (Link)
Web Presence:
Bradford Literary.
Publisher’s Marketplace page.
Glass Cases (blog).

What She's Looking For:
General fiction, literary fiction, magical realism, science fiction, psychological mystery, literary horror, middle grade, young adult fiction.  (Link)
From Her Website Bio (as above):
Sarah represents MG, YA, and adult fiction. "Sarah is especially drawn to the following genres: literary fiction, science fiction, magical realism, dark/psychological mystery, literary horror, and upmarket contemporary fiction. No matter the genre, Sarah is drawn to layered/strong characters with engaging voices. She seeks stories that evoke strong connections and novels that offer a wide range of emotions. Whether they write dark, gritty YA, light coming-of-age narratives, or edgy urban fantasy, Sarah’s authors tend to reflect larger themes within a character-focused story, such as feminism, tolerance, religion, and challenging the status quo.” (Link)
From an Interview (08/2014):
“Adult science fiction in the tradition of Vonnegut or Philip K. Dick - not a space opera or action/adventure story.
“Literary fiction (adult or YA) that has a strong plot as well as high quality writing.
“YA horror/super dark mystery - psychological plot twists are a huge bonus!” (Link)
From an Interview (03/2013):
“1) Great characters. A good character has a life outside of whatever book they’re in, and I want to be able to think about them after the story ends.
“2) Something that surprises me. [Note: Not shock value!] I want a book that surprises me in some way, whether it’s through the style of the writing, the type of character I’m following, or an element of the plot I didn’t see coming.” (Link)

What She Isn't Looking For:
“Non-fiction, picture books/children’s, inspirational/spiritual novels, romance, or erotica.” (Link)

Editorial Agent?
She likes to be a part of the editorial process, so it’s important for her to have mutual trust and respect in her relationships with her author.

Dislikes (Don’ts): Gimmicks, ignoring submission guidelines, trend-chasing.

Tracey NeithercottStephanie ScottEvan Roskos, Pam HarrisAJ LarrieuCory Putman OakesKaitlin Ward among others.

Query Methods:
E-mail: Yes (only).
Snail-Mail: No.
Online-Form: No.

Submission Guidelines (always verify):
E-mail a query letter with the first chapter of your manuscript and a synopsis in the body of the e-mail. Include genre and word count.   
Put QUERY in the subject line followed by the title of the manuscript and any short message needed. No attachments unless requested.
Please see the Bradford Literary Agency website for complete, up-to-date submission guidelines.

Query Tips:

Response Times:
The agency’s approximate response time for queries is 2-4 weeks. If you have not received a response within 1 month, resend your query and note you’re resending.
Ms. LaPolla’s response time on queries seems to range from minutes to a week or two.  Requested material usually gets a response within days to a couple months.

What's the Buzz?
Sarah LaPolla joined Bradford Literary in 2013 after five years with Curtis Brown. She maintains a small list of authors who appear happy with her representation. See her recent deals here.
I recommend following Ms. LaPolla on Twitter @SarahLaPolla and subscribing to her blog, Glass Cases.

Worth Your Time:
Q&A with Sarah LaPolla at Scripts & Scribes (04/2015)
Query Questions with Sarah LaPolla at Michelle4Laughs (08/2014).
Meet Sarah LaPolla, associate agent from the Bradford Literary Agency! at All the Write Stuff (03/2014).
Query, Sign, Submit with Sarah LaPolla at Write For Apples (06/2013).
Agent Sarah LaPolla returns to MWW at Midewest Writers Workshop (06/2013).
7 Questions For: Literary Agent Sarah LaPolla at Middle Grade Ninja (03/2013).
First Five Frenzy with Sarah LaPolla at Chasing the Crazies (03/2013).
Interview with Literary Agent Sarah LaPolla at Stacey O’Neale’s site (01/2013).
Interview: Sarah LaPolla, Literary Agent at The Madeleine Project (01/2013).
Fizzy Fangirling – An Interview with Sarah LaPolla! at Fizzygirl (01/2013).
Selected Blog Posts:
2013: A Year in Queries (12/2013).
Any Questions? (08/2013).

Around the Web:
Bradford Literary Agency at P&E ($).  
Laura Bradford Literary Agency thread at AbsoluteWrite.
Keep an eye on the News page of the Bradford Lit website for client news, new releases, and recent deals.

Sarah LaPolla’s Tweets at MS Wishlist.
Guest Post: Sarah LaPolla on Finding Her Voice as an Agent at Cynsations (08/2013).
Agent Sarah LaPolla – Bradford Literary at Writing and Illustrating (08/2013).

Please see the Bradford Literary Agency website for contact and query information.

Profile Details:
Last updated: 6/20/16.
Last Reviewed By Agent?  6/20/16
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.


  1. You people are so cool. Like rock stars.

  2. Yay! So glad that you spotlighted Sarah. She's truly awesome, and her editorial feedback is just incredible. Good luck to everyone who's thinking about querying her. :)

  3. Great spotlight. I've heard such great things about Sarah and you've found out so much about what she likes and dislikes. I'm definitely adding her to my list. Thanks!

  4. This is extremely helpful. Thank you.

  5. Yay new spotlights! Thanks for all your hard work.

  6. Her take on horror is funny!

  7. I am beyond impressed with the thoroughness of your post. Thank you!

  8. Sarah = Awesome

    That pretty much sums her up. But I forgot about brilliant, funny and incredibly hard working.

    She is THE BEST. I am so happy you spotlighted her, Casey!

  9. Chiming in here to say that Sarah really is the best agent out there! She gives great editorial feedback, she's very supportive and communicative, and she loves Buffy. Which means she has excellent taste.

  10. You just got back and already you're hard at work. Thanks, Casey!

  11. Thanks so much for the info. She passed on my last manuscript. I think she'll like my next one, but I have to finish the last few chapters, edit, get critiqued, and edit some more. It's not going to be anytime soon!

  12. Great interview! I love how you guys tell us all we need to know. Sarah sounds wonderful, but I know she's not for me because she doesn't rep what I write....I'm so glad you guys are here for us.

    Have a great weekend! I can't wait to read your interivew of Judith next week!

  13. Super in-depth review! Ms. LaPolla seems like a great agent. You do such a good job with these agent features.

  14. Hi ladies! I'm pretty sure Sarah is with Bradford Lit these days. :)

    1. Thank you, Jade. I'll try to get her profile updated soon!.