This week's Agent Spotlight features Jessica Regel of Foundry Literary + Media.
Status: Open to submissions.
“As a domestic agent, Jessica represents all genres of young adult and middle grade books, as well as a select list of adult general fiction, women’s fiction, and adult nonfiction. She is passionate about discovering projects that are compulsive, contagious, and creative. She’s particularly interested in books that bridge the literary-commercial divide, combining a high-concept plot with beautiful writing.
“On the foreign side, with energy and persistence, Jessica develops the international careers of Foundry clients. Each day she calls on the relationships she’s cultivated with foreign editors and agents to place Foundry authors’ works in new countries and new cultures across the globe.
“Originally from Iowa, Jessica was working at her local library when she was offered a job at the Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency and packed up for to New York City. She spent eleven years at the Naggar Agency representing subsidiary rights and building her list of authors, including: Lesley Livingston’s Wondrous Strange and Starling series (HarperTeen), Emily Danforth’s The Miseducation of Cameron Post (Balzer + Bray), Adrienne Kress’ The Friday Society (Dial), Cecilia Galante’s The Patron Saint of Butterflies (Bloomsbury) and Little Wings Series (Random House Children’s), Shana Mlawski’s Hammer of Witches (Lee & Low), Jeryl Brunner’s My City, My New York, J.C Carleson’s Work Like a Spy (Profile), and Jillian Cantor’s Margot (Riverhead). Jessica is a graduate of Hunter College with a degree in English Literature.” (Link)
About the Agency:
"Foundry is a full-service literary and media development agency. We are dedicated to providing the most positive and profitable publishing experience for our clients, from the American book market to foreign publishing, film, TV, merchandise, online media and beyond. Rooted in the tradition of representing writers and other talent in the book trade, the Foundry team is relentless in finding new and diverse ways for our clients to reach wider audiences." (Link with more)
Happy Birthday, Book! (Ms. Regel’s blog).
What She's Looking For:
Fiction: Middle Grade, Young Adult, Commercial Fiction, Literary Fiction, Women’s Fiction, Edgy/Quirky Fiction.
Non-Fiction: Young Adult, Narrative, Biography, Memoir, Humor, Pop Culture, Journalism. (Link)
From an Interview (10/2013):
“Great writing with a strong hook catches my eye in a query letter. I’m specifically looking for Young Adult and Middle Grade Fiction and Nonfiction, as well as Adult Fiction.
“For YA I represent high concept stories paired with great writing. I’m always up for a contemporary story that is thought-provoking—something that has an interesting non-fiction hook. For example, I represent JC Carleson whose book THE TYRANT’S DAUGHTER will be published by Knopf Children’s Books in February. In this novel the main character’s father is the King of an unnamed Middle Eastern country and when he’s killed in a coup she is forced to seek asylum in the US, where she must integrate into a regular US High School. Obviously this book draws on some riveting real life events.
“I also represent YA genre (magical realism, sci-fi, fantasy) when it’s grounded in reality. Specifically I’m looking for sophisticated thrillers, suspense or horror. I’d love to find the YA Secret History or Fingersmith!! I don’t shy away from gritty or edgy stories. I’d also love to find a really unique YA love story.
“I’m also on a crusade to find YA and MG memoirs and narrative non-fiction.
“On the adult side, I represent general fiction. Fiction that borders the line between literary and commercial. For example, I represent Margot by Jillian Cantor, which is a novel about Anne Frank’s older sister Margot and reimagines what Margot’s life would’ve been like if she’d survived the Holocaust. I just finished reading The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion and I’d love to find something like that—a love story that I haven’t read before.” (Link)
From an Interview (01/2013):
“I’m always on the lookout for new voices in YA fiction and nonfiction. Specifically, I’m looking for high concept contemporary stories (dying for a funny John Hughes-ish/Easy A high school story), love stories, magical realism, horror (but not gory), and sophisticated thrillers.
“I still see a lot of vampires, werewolves, and zombies. I also see a lot of what I call ‘powers and prophecies’ pitches and dystopian novels. While I won’t automatically reject a book that involves these elements, it is much, much harder to get my attention with these pitches because the market is flooded. For these books to stand out the author needs to have an incredible voice and a strong grasp on what makes their book stand out from what’s already been published in the genre.” (Link)
What She Isn't Looking For:
“She is not looking to represent picture books, practical non-fiction, inspirational or spirituality books, genre fiction (such as sci-fi, fantasy, cozy mysteries, crime, or romance), political thrillers, misery memoirs, screenplays, or animal books.” (dead link – info may or may not be current)
“I’m not typically drawn to books that play with the formats. I’ve never liked epistolary novels (and don’t even get me started on Pamelaby Samuel Richardson). I’m also not a fan of books that are told through verse or text message.” (Link)
“Typically I like to do a round of edits on a manuscript before submitting out to editors, just to make sure that the manuscript is in tip-top shape. And then, I keep my author’s in the loop as things progress.” (Link)
There’s a page of agency titles on the Foundry website.
Ms. Regel’s clients include: Julie Bourbeau, K. Ryer Breese, Jeryl Brunner, Jillian Cantor, Emily Danforth, Cecilia Galante, Kristi Helvig, Adrienne Kress, Lesley Livingston, Steve and Matthew Murrie, Kate Kae Myers, Karen Schaler, Susan Schoenberger, Samantha Seiple, Victoria Strauss, among others.
E-mail: Yes (only).
Submission Guidelines (always verify):
Send Ms. Regel a query by e-mail.
See the Foundry Literary + Media website for complete, up-to-date submission guidelines.
“One of my pet peeves is repeat queriers. I remember if I’ve read a book concept before from an author. I’m bombarded with queries– which is a good thing!– but I don’t like to waste my time rereading a query that I’ve already read before.” (Link)
“Yes! I hate it when a query starts with a question!” (Link)
#queryfail -- when authors diss their genre, ‘I wrote this because all the other YA books suck.’ Stop talking smack about my babies!” (Link)
Ms. Regel only responds to queries if interested. Her response time on requested material ranges from days to about a month.
What's the Buzz?
Jessica Regel is a well-established agent with a great list of clients and sales.
Worth Your Time:
Agent Interview - JESSICA REGEL at Realm (10/2013).
Literary Agent Jessica Regel of
Jean V. Naggar Literary Foundry Literary + Media Seeks New Clients at Guide to Literary Agents (01/2013).
Q&A with Agent Jessica Regel at Sisters in Scribe (01/2012).
Interview with Jessica Regel at MediaBistro (07/2010).
Agent Advice Interview with Jessica Regel at Guide to Literary Agents (06/2010).
Interview with Jessica Regel, Literary Agent with
Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency Foundry Literary + Media at Gumbowriters (12/2008).
Q&A with Jessica Regel at Pennwriters (5/2008).
Around the Web:
Jessica Regel at P&E ($, AAR).
How I Got My Agent post by client Kristi Helvig at Sisters in Scribe (01/2012).
Jessica Regel: What Works in Women's Fiction, YouTube video (07/2011).
How 2 Pitch to an Agent at a Writer’s Conference, article with quotes by Ms. Regel at WOW! (2010).
Please see the Foundry Literary + Media website for additional contact and query information.
Last updated: 1/21/14.
Last Reviewed By Agent? 3/15/12.
Have any experience with this agent? See something that needs updating? Please leave a comment or e-mail me at agentspotlight(at)gmail(dot)com
Note: These agent profiles presently focus on agents who accept children's and/or teen 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.