Upcoming Agent Spotlight Interviews & Guest Posts

  • Sarah Stephens Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveawawy on 10/10/2022
  • Eve Adler Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 10/17/2022
  • Adria Goetz Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 11/14/2022
  • Kelly Dyksterhouse Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 12/12/2022
  • Savannah Brooks Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 12/19/2022

Agent Spotlight & Agent Spotlight Updates

  • All Agent Spotlights & Interviews have been updated as of 7/15/2020, and many have been reviewed by the agents. Look for them to be fully updated in 2023.

Agent Spotlight: Sarah Burnes

This week's Agent Spotlight features Sarah Burnes of The Gernert Company.
Status: Open to submissions.
sb-final-photoAbout: “Sarah began her career on the editorial side of publishing, first at Houghton Mifflin, then in the Knopf Group, and last at Little, Brown. She became an agent in 2001, joining The Gernert Company in 2005. As an editor, she acquired and edited literary fiction and non-fiction, and as an agent has added children's fiction to her list. She is always on the lookout for sharp, original voices. Sarah sits on the board of non-profit progressive publisher the New Press and lives with her husband and three children in Brooklyn.” (Link)
About the Agency:
“The Gernert Company is a literary agency located in Manhattan. Our client list is as broad as the market; we represent equal parts fiction (commercial and literary writers, both well-known and soon-to-be, whether writing for adults or younger readers) and nonfiction (biographers, memoirists, journalists, essayists, bloggers, and writers of trade and scholarly nonfiction in subjects ranging from sports and history to current events and science). We sell domestic, foreign, and subsidiary rights for our clients and partner with subagents in select foreign markets and in the film/TV industry.
"The Gernert Company was founded in 1996 by David Gernert after he left his post as Editor-in-Chief of Doubleday to become an agent. The agency currently represents more than 200 authors and has six full-time agents.” (Link)
Web Presence:
The Gernert Company website.
What She's Looking For:
Fiction: Literary fiction, commercial fiction, middle grade, young adult.
Non-Fiction: Adventure / true story.
“She is always on the lookout for sharp, original voices.” (Link)
What She Isn't Looking For:
Picture books, screenplays. (Info via e-mail)
Editorial Agent?
She requests revisions from her clients as needed.
See the agency website.
Query Methods:
E-mail: Yes.
Snail-Mail: No.
Online-Form: No.
Submission Guidelines (always verify):
E-mail a query letter and one chapter to info@thegernertco.com. Indicate the agent that you are querying in your query letter.
See the Gernert Company website for complete, up-to-date submission guidelines.
Response Times:
The agency only responds if interested, usually within four to six weeks.
Ms. Burnes’ response time on requested material ranges from a couple weeks to a couple months.
What's the Buzz?
First an editor for Houghton Miffin, then Knopf, and finally Little, Brown, Sarah Burnes became an agent in 2001, joining The Gernert Company in 2005.  She has an amazing client list, and her clients seem really happy with her representation.
There isn’t much information available regarding her particular tastes but a look at her clients (Gayle Foreman, Alyssa Sheinmel, Margaret Stohl, Pseudonymous Bosch, Adam Gidwitz, etc.) suggests an interest in contemporary and fantasy. 
Worth Your Time:
Interviews and Posts:
Podcast with Sarah Burnes at First Draft With Sarah Enni (02/2019)
Q&A With Sarah Burnes at Kirkus (12/2015)
Agent Interview With Sarah Burnes Podcast at YallFest 2015 (12/2014
Around the Web:
Check out the agency “News” page for client news and happenings.
A Week in Culture: Sarah Burnes, Literary Agent, Part I at the Paris Review (11/2010).
A Week in Culture: Sarah Burnes, Literary Agent, Part II at the Paris Review (11/2010).
Please see The Gernert Company website for contact and query information.
Profile Details:
Last updated: 5/11/20207.
Agent Contacted For Review? Yes.
Last Reviewed By Agent? 1/23/12.
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.


E.Maree said...

Thanks Casey!

Nicole Zoltack said...

Thanks! I love reading up on agents.

Matthew MacNish said...

I've probably said this before, but when I'm ready to query, Literary Rambles will be my first stop.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this! What a great line up of clients she has!

Barbara Watson said...

I love seeing that she's looking for middle grade. Like Matthew, when I query, I'm coming here to browse these posts.

Natalie Aguirre said...

I'm so excited that she likes middle grade & fantasy. I'm definitely adding Sarah to my list.

Angela Brown said...

As always, another great agent spotlight. Looks like another for me to mark for my list of agents to check out when my query time arrives.

Thermocline said...

Genres are always helpful. Too bad we don't know more about what really interests here within those genres. Ah well. Thanks, Casey!

Theresa Milstein said...

Thanks for the info. I like what she isn't looking for!

JKA said...

Enjoying the blog. I just found you! I think, after my first publishing experience, I now understand the value of representation a bit better. :) You've got a great resource here.

Unknown said...

Oh, lovely to find you Natalie (via Alex and CassaFire). Your blog is going to be so useful for me - don't have anything for submission yet, have a novel due out in April and I'm writing the next! But it's best to be prepared.

Regina said...

I love the agent spotlight!

Unknown said...

You guys have the BEST agent resource posts! Thank you.