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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 De Chiara

This week's Agent Spotlight features Jennifer De Chiara of the Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency.   
Status: Open to submissions. 
jencopyAbout:Jennifer De Chiara is President of The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency, which she founded in 2001. Before forming the agency, she was a literary agent with two established New York agencies, worked in the editorial departments of Simon & Schuster and Random House, and was a writing consultant for several major corporations. A New York City-based writer, she is a frequent guest judge for the WRITER’S DIGEST, WOW! WOMEN ON WRITING, and THAT FIRST LINE writing contests, among others, and is a frequent guest lecturer on publishing and the art of writing at universities and writers conferences throughout the country, which have included New York University’s Summer Publishing Institute, the Penticton, Canada Writers Conference, the San Diego State University Writers Conference, Backspace, the International Women’s Writing Guild, and the Learning Annex.” (From the agency website)
About the Agency:
“The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency is a New York City-based full-service literary agency founded in 2001 and named one of the top 25 literary agencies in the country by Writer’s Digest. The agency represents children’s literature for all ages – picture books and middle-grade and young adult novels – but also represents high-quality adult fiction and non-fiction in a wide range of genres. JDLA is proud to represent illustrators, as well as screenwriters for both television and film, including Emmy and Peabody Award-winning writers and illustrators. What sets JDLA apart from other agencies is our holistic approach to managing every aspect of an author’s career to make the most of their project's potential.” (From the agency website)
Web Presence:
Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency website.
Agency Twitter.
Agency Facebook.
AgentQuery, QueryTracker.
What She's Looking For:
"Adult Fiction: I'm passionate about literary fiction with a unique, beautiful voice, but I also enjoy commercial fiction, women's fiction (no bodice-rippers, please), chick-lit, mysteries, suspense, thrillers - in general, I'm open to manuscripts in every category. I'm a sucker for underdog and outsider stories, manuscripts about the triumph of the human spirit. I want to read manuscripts that will keep me up at night, make me feel something, change the world in some way. Even if it's a fun, commercial story, at its heart should be a wonderful protagonist from whom I can learn.
"Children's Fiction: I love all kinds of picture books - soft, quirky, funny - rhyming or non-rhyming. For middle-grade and YA fiction, I'm looking for beautiful, distinctive voices, above all, and character-driven stories. I'm open to every genre under the sun, but I'm not a huge science fiction fan.
"Non-fiction: Being a former dancer/actress, I love anything and everything Hollywood, especially celebrity bios/autobiographies. I'm always looking for beautifully written memoirs about people who have overcome incredible odds, books about the arts and performing arts, behind-the-scenes-type books, and books about popular culture. I am passionate about books that empower people to live their best lives, whether it's a great health or exercise book or a spiritual-type (think Eckhart Tolle or Deepak Chopra) book, and self-help books of all kinds. I am particularly open to books for the GLBTQ audience and, in general, any underdog/outsider stories. I'd love to see just about any well-written book on any topic; if you're in doubt, just query me." (From the agency website)
From an Interview:
“The agency represents children's literature in a variety of age ranges and genres, everything from picture books to middle-grade books to young adult books; we also represent adult fiction and nonfiction in almost every genre - literary fiction, commercial fiction, women's fiction, celebrity biographies, film and television, self-help, health, social issues and contemporary affairs, mysteries, thrillers - and much more. We also represent screenplays, TV projects.” (Link)
From an Interview:
“The agency represents all kinds of fiction, but we are most passionate about literary fiction, which I define as beautiful writing that is a pleasure to read.
A literary novel usually appeals to a more intellectual crowd; it either has a unique style or exquisite writing, or both. It's the kind of book where I find myself reading a sentence or a paragraph over and over because the language feels wonderful on my tongue; I will remember sentences that the writer has written many years later.” (Link)
What She Isn't Looking For:
Romance, Sci-Fi, Westerns, or Poetry (Link and via email)
Editorial Agent?
“I'm a very hands-on agent, and I regularly work with my authors to edit/rework their manuscripts to get them ready for submission. Sometimes a book will need a total restructuring, and sometimes it will need only minor line editing or proofreading. I love all of it!” (Link)
“I love representing children's books because I love the idea of doing something that will possibly create a child's lifelong relationship with books. I can still remember the books I loved as a child, and there are books that I know influenced me to become the person I am now. It's thrilling to be a part of that. Children's books are challenging because you not only have to appeal to a child, but also to the parent buying the book. But they're also a lot of fun to work on. Most important for me is knowing that one of the books I've helped create and/or sell might put a smile on a child's face. I don't think there's anything nobler than that.” (Link)
“The secret to success in publishing is realizing that there are no secrets. Writers must be willing to work hard on their art and just as hard in learning about the business of publishing. They must be able to take constructive criticism and be willing to learn about and be responsible for their own book promotion. But, most important, they must hang on to their dreams and never give up.” (Link)
“I wish authors knew two things before they contact me: First, that it's good to dream, but you have to dream in the real world; a writer's road is often a rocky one, with a lot of potholes along the way. Second, dreams come true - every single day. DREAMS COME TRUE.” (Link)
The agency represents over 400 clients, including "New York Times Bestselling authors" and two PEN Award winners, a Lambda Award winner, an Edgar Award winner, and a Newbery Honor winner. Selected lists of clients can be found on the agency website.
Query Methods:
E-mail: Yes (only).
Snail-Mail: No.
Online-Form: No.
Submission Guidelines (always verify):
Send a query in the body of an e-mail. No attachments. Put “query” in the subject line. "For queries regarding children's and adult fiction, please send the first twenty pages in the body of your email, along with a one-paragraph bio and a one-paragraph synopsis. For queries regarding a non-fiction book, please attach the entire proposal as a Word document (the proposal should include a sample chapter), along with a one-paragraph bio and a one-paragraph synopsis of your book in the body of your email." (From the agency website)
See the Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency website for complete, up-to-date submission guidelines.
What's the Buzz?
Jennifer De Chiara is a successful, well-established agent with a lot of great experience in the publishing industry. She’s always looking for new talent and regularly attends conferences. Follow her on Twitter @4writers for further insight and submission updates.
Worth Your Time:
Interview with Jennifer De Chiara at Women on Writing (2007?)
Agent Spotlight: Jennifer De Chiara at The Harvard Square Edition (Date Unknown)
Please see the Jennifer De Chiara website for contact and query information.
Profile Details:
Last updated: 1/24/2023.
Agent Contacted For Review? Yes.
Last Reviewed By Agent: 6/30/2020.
Have any experience with this agent? See something that needs updating? Please leave a comment or e-mail me at natalieiaguirre7(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.


Unknown said...

As always, another great spotlight. Thanks so much for this service you provide! It is a lot of work and research and is greatly appreciated!

Unknown said...

A great spotlight on a very diverse and talented agent.

By the way, the website now says query only.

Casey McCormick said...

Thanks Pam and Kyle! Kyle, fixed the guidelines. Thank you.

Natalie Aguirre said...

Awesome spotlight. Jennifer sounds like such an awesome agent. And the best thing is that I didn't even know about her. Thanks for increasing my list of possible agents.

Anita said...

Wow! There's a lot of good stuff here...I think if more than usual. How can any aspiring author NOT come here?!

Casey McCormick said...

Glad you found another agent for your list, Natalie.

Thank you, Anita!

Charmaine Clancy said...

What a fantastic and extensive interview. So helpful for writers querying. Thanks!
Wagging Tales - Blog for Writers

Barbara Watson said...

Thank you, once again. These agent spotlights are so thorough!

Brent Taylor said...

JD Lit represents a few friends of mine, and I've heard nothing but great things about them!

Casey McCormick said...

You're welcome Charmaine and Barbara!

Brent, I'm so glad to hear it! Thank you for taking the time to leave some feedback.

Martha Ramirez said...

Awesome spotlight! Thank you, Casey.

Anonymous said...

Great spotlight. It was nice to learn more about Jennifer and her agency.

Unknown said...

Thanks for this post! I love all the agent spotlights. They really help me on my query list so that I know exactly what to send in the letters to each agent.

I love this blog so much I linked to it on a page on my own blog. If there are writers out there who don't know about it, they need to!

Casey McCormick said...

Thank you Martha and Suzanne!

Donelle, I'm so glad to hear the feature has helped you with your query list. Thank you for the link, and good luck!

Stephanie Denise Brown said...

Jennifer is my agent, and she has been so thoughtful and encouraging. I'm definitely in the right hands!

Casey McCormick said...

Wonderful to hear, Stephanie!

Thank you for the feedback.