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: Jessica Sinsheimer

This week's Agent Spotlight features Jessica Sinsheimer of the Context Literary Agency.
Status: Open to submissions.
SinsheimerNewPictureAbout: “Jessica has been reading and campaigning for her favorite queries since 2004. Previously at the Sarah Jane Freymann Agency, she’s known for co-creating #MSWL, ManuscriptWistList.com, and drinking far too much coffee.” (Link)
Web Presence:
Context Literary Agency website.
The Manuscript Academy.
QueryTracker, AgentQuery.
What She's Looking For:
From the agency website:
"Jessica is always on the lookout for new writers, she is most excited about finding YA, MG, upmarket genre fiction (especially women’s fiction, psychological thrillers, and SF/F that gives us insight into both fictional worlds and this one) and—on the nonfiction side—psychology, self-help, cookbooks, narrative nonfiction, and works that speak to life in the twenty-first century. She especially likes highbrow sentences with lowbrow content, beautiful descriptions of scary situations, smart and nerdy protagonists, underrepresented characters in positions of power, and justified acts of bravery."
"Whatever the age group, I tend to love contrast–highbrow sentences and lowbrow content, beautiful settings and ugly motives–the books that are beautiful and scary, heartbreaking and hilarious. I love secrets, scheming, revenge, plotting–and stories that have to be written forward and backward to make sense (I LOVE discovering a very cleverly planted clue that makes sense in retrospect). I love watching powerful people navigate their public and private lives.
"More underrepresented characters, please--especially those with power, agency, and happy endings. Wish fulfillment, romance, specialized skills (especially tech), taking over the world. We need to see more of that.
"Upmarket genre fiction (whether for YA or adult) usually works for me.
"For YA: Any subgenre. I’m serious.
"I’m into the books that are mostly in our world–but then that veer slightly into surrealism (like Aimee Bender) or genre fiction–that really works for me.
"But if the voice is wonderful, I can love just about anything.
"I have a particular interest in retellings (of classic movies–I’d LOVE a book version of, say, Arsenic and Old Lace or, better yet, Gaslight), and characters who are genuinely flawed but (usually) well-meaning.
"Also welcome: fictionalizations of historical events." You can find more about what she is looking for on her Manuscript Wish List.What She Isn't Looking For:
Not actively looking for picture books. No screenplays.
Editorial Agent?
“I am VERY editorial. I love it! I love watching a book take shape. That said, would I turn down something because it was already perfect?  No. As always, it's a balance of ‘how much work is this?’ vs. ‘how much do I love this?’” (Link Defunct)
There are lists of agency clients and titles on the website.
Query Methods:

E-mail: Yes.
Snail-Mail: No.
Online-Form: No.
Submission Guidelines (always verify):
Send a query letter with a short bio and the first five to ten pages pasted in the body of the email. No attachments.
See the Context Literary Agency for complete, up-to-date submission guidelines.Response Times:
Worth Your Time:
On Publishing and the Love of Books Podcast at Notre Dame Office of Provost (03/2019)
An Interview with Manuscript Academy Co-Founder at The Winged Pen (09/2017)
5 Tips for Pitching to Agents: Jessica Sinsheimer at Midwest Writers Workship (07/2017)
Interview with Literary Agent Jessica Sinsheimer at Wow Women Writing (Date unknown)
Interview with Jessica Sinsheimer Podcast at Open Spotify (12/2015)
Interview with Jessica Sinsheimer Podcast at Covered (Date unknown)
7 Questions for Literary Agent Jessica Sinsheimer at Middle Grade Ninja (11/2013)
First Five Frenzy with Jessica Sinsheimer at Amy Trueblood (04/2013)
Interview with Literary Agent Jessica Sinsheimer at Amy Newman (04/2013)
Please see the Context Literary Agency for contact and query information.
Profile Details:
Last updated: 5/30/2020.
Agent Contacted For Review? Yes.
Last Reviewed By Agent? 10/13/11.
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.


Jewels said...

I was wondering since you talk to so many agents was if you knew how I could get into that field. I've been interested in becoming an agent for a while, and I'd love to know if you knew anything about it. :)

The Kranky Crow said...

Aw, I <3 Ms. Sinsheimer. She's a class act and one of those rare agents with the ability to make even the rejection of a full go down like a spoonful of sugar. Good luck everyone!

Natalie Aguirre said...

I'm so excited you spotlighted Jessica. She is SO nice. At the WriteOnCon live chat, she stayed there answering our questions for so much longer than the scheduled event. It was so kind of her to give so much of her time.

I'm excited she's interested in middle because I really like her from getting to know her at WriteOnCon. I recommend people read through her live chat there.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for providing another insightful agent spotlight. You have become my go-to guide during the query process. Thanks again!

Thermocline said...

Thanks for finding another closet middle grade agent, Casey.

Wanton Redhead Writing said...

Thanks for this insightful post. I have her on my list, but am now researching further my YA is not literary.

Unknown said...

I'm usually a silent visitor, but I just wanted to say Jessica Sinsheimer is INCREDIBLY nice. On Twitter, via email, all over.

Dana Elmendorf said...

Here's a very comprehensive article with Jessica on WOW.

Shannon Lee Alexander said...

Completely agree. Her kind attitude is what convinced me to sign with her.

Anonymous said...

Jessica is the best! I’ve known her and loved her for years!