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  • 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: Michelle Wolfson

This week's Agent Spotlight features Michelle Wolfson of Wolfson Literary Agency, LLC.
Status: Open to submissions.
Michelle-WolfsonAbout: “Michelle Wolfson formed Wolfson Literary Agency in 2007 and is actively seeking authors of commercial fiction in the following categories: young adult, mainstream, women’s fiction, romance, suspense, and thrillers. She is drawn to well-written material with strong, interesting characters.
"Michelle holds a BA from Dartmouth College and an MBA from New York University. Prior to forming her own agency, Michelle spent four years working at other literary agencies. Before that, she spent several years working outside of publishing, in non-profit and then finance, and she brings the skills she learned there plus a lifetime love of reading to the table as an agent.” (Link)
About the Agency:
“Founded in December 2007 by Michelle Wolfson, Wolfson Literary Agency is a full service agency. We work closely with clients to execute a personalized plan for the entire process from submission through publication and beyond, including strategic management of their careers.
We represent a range of commercial fiction and nonfiction projects.” (Link)
Web Presence:
Wolfson Literary.
Agency Blog.
Publisher’s Marketplace page.
AgentQuery, QueryTracker.
What She's Looking For:
Genres / Specialties:
Young adult, mainstream, women’s fiction, romance, suspense, and thrillers (Link)
From Publisher’s Marketplace:
“I handle commercial fiction and non-fiction with an emphasis on quirky, fun projects and practical titles that appeal to women. In fiction my taste is broad and covers mysteries and thrillers, women's fiction and romance, young adult, and the occasional memoir or fantasy (but not fantasy memoir, none of those please), and always commercial.” (Link)
What She Isn't Looking For:
Picture books, middle grade, original screenplays. (Link)
“My personal agenting philosophy is that I only take on clients whose projects I absolutely love and then I work my butt off for them. I believe in my clients so much that I take it extremely personally when their books don’t sell. I have a relatively small list of clients and am committed to building my list slowly and I’m looking for big, quality projects. I often see queries for things that I think will probably sell, but I don’t realistically have time to devote--at least not the kind of time I like to give each client--to that many people. So I am ultra selective. And I’m sure I pass on a lot of talented people.” (Link defunct)
“I definitely think of myself as someone who falls in love with voice first and foremost. That’s what stands out and makes me really fall in love with a book. Although I really love a story that I just can’t put down, so maybe a great plot too. Yes, definitely I’m looking for a gripping plot. You know, the kind where I want to go to sleep at night but I keep telling myself one more chapter and the next thing I know it’s 3:30 in the morning. But I finished it! Although maybe it was the characters. I guess you could say it’s the characters that get my attention. The kind of characters whose stories I don’t want to end. The kind where I’m emailing the authors at 3:31 in the morning saying there’s a sequel, right?? Please, tell me there’s a sequel! That was a clear answer to your question, right?” (Link)
Editorial Agent?
She often asks for revisions before she signs a client, and I believe she is very hands on with her clients as well (as needed).
Clients: You can find a list of Ms. Wolfson's clients on the agency website and her AgentQuery and Publishers Marketplace pages.
Tawna Fenske, Kimberly Sabatini, Travis Sentell, Kasie West, Kiersten White, among others.
Query Methods:
E-mail: Yes (only).
Snail-Mail: No.
Online-Form: No.
Submission Guidelines (always verify):
Put “Query” and the title of your book in the subject of your email. Paste your query letter and the first five pages of your manuscript in the body of your email. No attachments. Include a word count. (Link)
See the Wolfson Literary website for complete up-to-date submission guidelines.
Query Tips:
“I think the primary mistake writers make is forgetting that the query is supposed to catch my attention . And what's going to catch my attention? Your writing and your story. Not the fact that this is your first manuscript or your 23 rd manuscript. Not that you have no literary background or your mother really loves your writing. That stuff just gets in the way.
“I think the best queries look something like what you'd find on the back of a book in a bookstore. What's tempting you to buy that book, to want to read it? Those same things will tempt me to want to read your manuscript. Who is the main character? What is his/her conflict? What's at stake?” (Link defunct)
Response Times:
Ms. Wolfson only responds to queries if interested. The agency responds if interested within 48 hours in general. If you have not heard from her within two weeks, you should consider it a rejection.
What's the Buzz?
Michelle Wolfson is a highly respected agent with a select list of clients. She has a great agenting philosophy and her clients really seem to respect and love her.  I’ve heard nothing but great things.
Follow her on Twitter @WolfsonLiterary where she’s very active (and funny) to get a peek at her personality and agenting style. 
Worth Your Time:
Interview with Michelle Wolfson at The Novel Road (03/2011).
Agents are Mysterious People - Interview with Agent Michelle Wolfson at Write On Target (10/2009).
Please see the Woflson Literary Agency website for contact and query information.
Profile Details:
Last updated: 6/11/2020.
Agent Contacted For Review? Yes.
Last Reviewed By Agent? 6/18/2020.
Have any experience with this agent? See something that needs updating? Please leave a comment or e-mail me at natalieiagurre7(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.


Natalie Aguirre said...

Great spotlight. Michelle Wolfson sounds like a great agent and I noticed that Kiersten White is one of her clients. Too bad she doesn't like more fantasy or MG. But she sounds great for the right author.

The Pen and Ink Blogspot said...

I agree with Natalie. Michelle sounds like a wonderful agent, but she doesn't want the types of things I write. ah well... Onwards!

Myrna Foster said...

This is a fabulous interview. Thank you!

MTeacress said...

I love agent spotlots - this one is very complete and informative. Thanks for the info, and have a great weekend.

Stina said...

Thanks for another great compilation of agent info. I've heard great things about Michelle. :D

Michelle Wolfson said...

Casey, thank you so much for this incredible compilation of information! I always just repeat myself a million times but instead, I will refer people here! What a fabulous resource. Thanks for including me.

Casey McCormick said...

You're so welcome, Michelle. I hope you get some fabulous submissions from here!


Living, Learning, Eating said...

"Days to months..." I'm hoping for days! And I'm hoping for 'I love it, I want to be your agent!' :P

Kaye M. said...

Apparently, according to her website, Ms. Wolfson is closed to queries for now.