Upcoming Agent Spotlight Interviews & Guest Posts

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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 Weltz

This week's Agent Spotlight features Jennifer Weltz of the Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency, Inc.
Status: Open to submissions.
our_team_weltzAbout: “As President of JVNLA, Jennifer Weltz has sold books domestically, internationally, and for film for over two decades. Coming from a mediation background, Jennifer sees herself as a liaison between her author and the editor and publishing house that acquire her author's work. This role takes on a myriad of forms — business manager, confidant, task master, preliminary editor, and matchmaker — to name a few. Since Jennifer takes up an author's career and not just a project, she is very careful and selective about signing on new authors.” (Link)
About the Agency:
“Jean Naggar established her eponymous literary agency in 1978 with no staff, no capital, and ten previously unpublished authors. What she did have was unwavering commitment and dedication to her authors' careers and the tenacity to fight for their success on all fronts possible.
“As this singular philosophy proved its worth, Jean's one-woman agency expanded. In 2004, Jean decided to partner with Jennifer Weltz, who had joined the agency in 1994. They incorporated as The Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency, Inc., or JVNLA, Inc. Some 40+ years later, the agency numbers many more. Each agent represents an independent list of authors that reflects her individual styles, tastes, and strengths, with all collaborating as a team to orchestrate the agency's contracts, subsidiary rights, publicity, and editorial development.
“JVNLA is an agency that has never identified with the ordinary. Our list includes award-winning writers from every genre. Our books have been published in over 50 countries; showcased in big screen, in small screen, and on stage; featured in short story anthologies, magazines, and webzines; and adapted for audio and e-book publications. Our knowledge of the print and digital world is driving the conversation of publishing's future so that our authors are protected in an ever-changing market. We invite you to peruse our website and learn more.” (Link)
Web Presence:
JVNLA website.
JVNLA blog (Old).
JVNLA Tumblr.
JVNLA Facebook.
JVNLA Authors Daily.
AgentQuery, QueryTracker.
What She's Looking For:
Picture Books, Middle Grade, Young Adult, Fantasy, Commercial Fiction, Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction, Thrillers/Suspense. (Link)
From a Writer's Digest Interview She Links to on Her Bio Page:
"She specializes in compelling historicals and thrillers that stand out from the crowd as well as women’s fiction with a taste of the unusual and an emotional tug. She also works with middle grade and picture books where she looks for a voice that you can’t resist to get to know. I do go for YA’s if they are more the fun or fantastical. Angst is not my forte.
“I’m looking for something I have never seen with writing that grabs me from the first page and a character that comes to life from the moment I meet him/her.  The voice, the originality of the story and a story that takes me out of the world and life I am living.” (Link)
From a 2012 Conference Bio:
“No rhyming books please. I will consider both simple text and author/illustrators, but please do not have someone create illustrations for your text- it is simply NOT necessary. I also love a great Middle Grade read- here I find the voice to be key.” (Link)
What She Isn't Looking For:
Rhyming picture books
Editorial Agent?
There are lists of clients on the JVNLA website. Ms. Weltz’s clients include: Iza Trapani, Berthe Amoss, Susan Lowell, the Roger Duvoisin estate, and C.W. Gortner, among others.
Query Methods:
E-mail: No.
Snail-Mail: No.
Online-Form: Yes (only).
Submission Guidelines (always verify):
Follow the steps and submit to Ms. Weltz using the agency form online.
See the JVNLA website for complete, up-to-date submission guidelines.
Query Tips:
“Make sure to tell me what your book is about front and center when sending me a query, especially if it is fiction. I’ll read about the other stuff later but only if the story grabs me. One last thing – I read every query with great hope and desire to find something wonderful that I can love because first and foremost I am a reader!” (Link)
Response Times:
The agency only responds if they are interested.
What's the Buzz?
Jennifer Weltz is a well-established and respected agent. She is president of JVNLA. You can follow her on Twitter where she tweets regularly. I also recommend following the agency Tumblr for additional agency news and tips.
Worth Your Time:
Interview on Common Mistakes Authors Make at The Big Thrill (06/2015).
Genres to Watch, YouTube video featuring Jean Naggar and Jennifer Weltz (07/2011).
Young Adult Fiction, The Evolution of Content, YouTube Video featuring Jennifer Weltz (06/2011).
Agent Advice Interview with Jennifer Weltz at the Guide to Literary Agency Blog (06/2009).
Please see the Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency website for contact and query information.
Profile Details:
Last updated: 6/8/2020.
Agent Contacted For Review? Yes.
Last Reviewed By Agent? 6/11/2020.
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.


Barbara Watson said...

These posts are so thorough. I wish I could explain how helpful they are and how often I refer to them (and other links) while making agent notes. Thanks so much.

Natalie Aguirre said...

Thanks Casey for another great spotlight. Being an attorney, seeing that Jennifer comes from a mediation background really appeals to me. And I'm excited that she's looking for middle grade and fantasy. Yah!

Jemi Fraser said...

Jennifer sounds like a fabulous agent - thanks for all the info!

Unknown said...

This agency and this agent sound great! If Jessica rejects me I'm going after her! (unless it's a no from one is no from all situation of course)

Also, I love the new look of the blog! Gorgeous wallpaper!

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

Thanks for the introduction to Ms. Weltz. It's exciting to see an agent that is looking for picture books and mid grade novels. :)

Thermocline said...

I always appreciate these Spotlights, Casey. Thank you for all the time and effort you put into collecting these details.

Anonymous said...

Love these, Casey.
When you're actually interviewing an agent, can you find out if it's a "no-means-no-from-all" agency or not? A lot of times it's not clear from an agency's website. In JVNLA's case, I don't think they are, but when there's a single on-line submission form or a single submission email address it becomes a little murkier.

Casey McCormick said...


The agent spotlights aren't actually interviews. They're more like compilations of information that I then have the agent review, if willing. If I can ascertain whether they're a no-from-one-is-a-no-from-all, I will add the info.


Casey McCormick said...


Ms. Weltz was kind enough to answer your question. They are not a no-means-no-from-all agency, but they will share a submission if it seems right for another agent. I've quoted her above in the "submissions" section.

Good luck!