Upcoming Agent Spotlight Interviews & Guest Posts

  • Caroline Trussell Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 5/20/2024
  • Jenna Satterthwaite Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 6/10/2024
  • Bethany Weaver Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 6/26/2024

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: Laura Rennert

This week's Agent Spotlight features Laura Rennert of the Andrea Brown Literary Agency, Inc.
Status: Open to submissions.

laura2012About: “Laura Rennert, Executive Agent with Andrea Brown Literary Agency, has been with the agency since 1998. She’s something of a “literary omnivore, with wide-ranging interests. She specializes in all categories of children's books, from picture books to YA, including graphic novels. She also represents literary-commercial fiction, thrillers, psychological suspense/horror, fantasy, speculative fiction, and narrative nonfiction on the adult side.
"Laura gravitates toward the gorgeously written, the weirdly idiosyncratic, and the refreshingly unexpected. The common threads in the diverse range of projects Laura represents are conflicted, dynamic characters; a fresh, strong voice; an unusual point of view; and vivid world-building. She loves works that draw on literary traditions and reimagine them as something completely, captivatingly new. She has a special fondness for books that play with commercial tropes, but give them surprising emotional depth.
"She'd love to find fiction in all categories with an intriguing, thoughtful feminist sensibility. She'd particularly like to find middle grade, YA, or adult fiction that tells an emotionally compelling story in an unusual way – like Shelley Parker-Chan’s SHE WHO BECAME THE SUN, which reimagines Chinese history and examines gender identity and individual power with a distinctive literary voice and speculative edge; or Romina Garber’s LOBIZONA, which blends Argentine mythology and her own immigration experience to confront questions of home, identity, and belonging. In thrillers and psychological suspense/horror, she gravitates towards unreliable narrators and morally ambiguous characters. She looks for street cred and authenticity – whether of trade-craft, investigative technique, historical/geographical setting, culture, or psychology. She’s fascinated with hidden worlds and secret knowledge.
"Laura has a Ph.D. in English Literature and was a faculty member in the English departments of the University of Virginia, Osaka University of Foreign Studies, and Santa Clara University. You can find the latest about Laura on Facebook (laura.rennert.7​) and Twitter (@LitTraveler).” (Link)
About the Agency:
“The Andrea Brown Literary Agency was founded in August 1981 and has offices in the San Francisco Bay area, San Diego, Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago.
“Our agency works to bring to light the voices and perspectives of new writers as well as to nurture and develop the careers of experienced authors. Our goal, whether seeking to secure a publishing contract for a first book or a fiftieth book, is to make sure that clients are not only published, but published well.
“Our philosophy is to remain a ‘small’ agency at heart. We invest a great deal of personal care and attention in each project, and we are hands-on in all aspects of our interactions with clients. We work closely with clients in an editorial capacity and we devise a strategy at every stage of the writing process that will enable us to find the best publisher for each book. In doing so, we think about both short term and long term goals for our clients, always keeping the trajectory of a successful career in mind.
“Our agents have backgrounds in New York publishing, editing, academia, business, teaching, writing and film, and one of our strengths as an agency is that we work collaboratively. Our clients have the benefit not only of their individual agent's expertise but of the combined experience and vision of the group.
“As a West Coast based agency, we follow a tradition of West Coast innovation in our passion for discovering new voices, in our efforts to make New York publishing more inclusive of voices from other parts of the country, and in our attempt to see publishing trends that result from this broader perspective. We combine this approach with access, standing, and visibility in the publishing community at large. Our agents make regular trips to New York, attend industry conventions, and participate as faculty at writers' conferences all over the country. We ensure a high profile for our clients and actively keep our fingers on the pulse of publishing.” (Link)
Web Presence:
Andrea Brown Agency website. Publisher’s Marketplace page.
Author website.
AgentQuery, QueryTracker.
What She's Looking For:
Laura is seeking middle-grade fiction and YA fiction, graphic novels, picture books by author-illustrators, and adult literary-commercial fiction. She's drawn to contemporary fiction; genre fiction with an emotional underpinning; fiction in all categories that draws on underrepresented cultures, traditions, or mythologies; speculative fiction and alternate histories/realities; fantasy and paranormal; thrillers and horror; and subversive fairy tales. Laura’s sweet spot across the wide range of work she represents is literary voice and commercial conception.

She has a weakness for works that turn her favorite classics or myths inside out (hint, 19th-century Brit Lit, Shakespeare, Dante, fairy tales, non-western mythologies and folklore), give them an unexpected new context, and make us see them with fresh eyes. She loves picture books with wit, whimsy, and heart. She's drawn to works that tell a great story using words and images in unexpected ways, whether for younger or older readers. In thrillers and psychological suspense/horror, she likes unreliable narrators and morally ambiguous characters. She looks for street cred and authenticity (whether of tradecraft, police procedure, historical/geographical setting, psychological profile). She's fascinated with hidden worlds and secret knowledge.

Send Laura fiction with an original, unexpected point of view; a fresh, literary voice; and a strong commercial hook, and you've got her. (Via email)
What She Isn't Looking For:
“Romance, Western, Prescriptive Non-fiction, Spirituality” (Link).
Editorial Agent?
You can find a listing of some Ms. Rennert's clients on the agency website. They include Shannon Messenger, Ellen Hopkins, Mitali Perkins, Romina Garber, Tessa Gratton, Catherine Ryan Hyde, Barry Eisler, Shelley Parker-Chan, Amanda Helander, Lauren Kate, Kimberly Derting, Christina Meldrum, Lily LaMotte, Troy Cummings, Deborah Marcero, Nina Laden, Lisa Mantchev, Victoria Piontek, Heidi Woodward Sheffield, and Tammi Sauer, among others.
Query Methods:
E-mail: No.
Snail-Mail: No.
Online-Form: Yes. at http://QueryMe.Online/LauraRennert.
Submission Guidelines (always verify):
Laura uses QueryManager to receive queries. Please follow the prompts in the form and complete all required fields. When submitting your query via QueryManager, you will receive a confirmation of receipt from this program.
  • All submissions should include a short Query Letter to that agent introducing yourself and including a description of your work, as well as previous publishing credentials (if any), and publisher submission history.
  • Following your Query Letter, depending on what you are submitting, you will be asked to include:
    • Picture Book text: full manuscript text typed (or copy/pasted) into the box provided in the QueryManager form
    • Picture Book with illustrations (if you are an artist and writer): attach the full dummy (in pdf format) that includes 1-2 color samples, and provide a link to your online portfolio
    • Illustrations: attach 2-3 illustration samples (in jpeg format), and provide link to online portfolio
    • Fiction (chapter books, MG, YA, adult): first 10 pages typed (or copy/pasted) into the box provided in the QueryManager form
    • Graphic novel (art and text): attach 10-20 sample page spreads in jpg or pdf format, summary/synopsis typed (or copy/pasted) into the box provided in the QueryManager form, and provide link to online portfolio
    • Graphic novel (script only): first 10 pages of script typed (or copy/pasted) into the box provided in the QueryManager form
 Please be sure to enclose a contact phone number as well as your email address.
 If you receive an offer of representation from another agency, please let us know immediately so we can respond accordingly. ​(Via email)
Please see the Andrea Brown Literary website for complete, up-to-date submission guidelines as well as the agency's Submission Advice, Dos and Dont’s, and Tips.
Response Times:
The agency tries to respond within 4-8 weeks but does not guarantee a response due to the large number of submissions they receive. If you have not heard back in 8 weeks, assume rejection. (Link)
What's the Buzz?
Laura Rennert is a highly respected agent who consistently ranks among the top dealmakers on Publisher’s Marketplace for children’s/YA. She has an amazing stable of authors, including many bestsellers and award winners, who seem very loyal and happy with her representation.
You can find Ms. Rennert at the Big Sur Writing Workshop twice a year and at other conferences listed on the ABLA website.
Worth Your Time:
Interviews and Posts:
Why Picture Books Are Important at Picture Book Month (11/2017)
Interview with Agent Laura Rennert at Amy Newman (10/2014)
7 Questions for Literary Agent Laura Rennert at Middle Grade Ninja (02/2013)
Interview with Literary Agent Laura Rennert at Krista Van Dolzer (01/2013)
INTERVIEW: Laura Rennert, Sr. Literary Agent - Andrea Brown Literary Agency at A View from the Top (02/2010).
SCBWI Bologna 2010 Agent Interview: Laura Rennert of Andrea Brown Literary Agency at Cynsations (01/2010).
Please see the Andrea Brown Literary website for contact and query information.
Profile Details:
Last updated: 5/24/2020.
Agent Contacted For Review? Yes.
Last Reviewed By Agent? 5/26/2020.
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.


Jemi Fraser said...

Great spotlight. From everything I've seen and heard online, Laura is a very classy lady.

Barbara Watson said...

Very thorough, as usual, Casey. Thank you.

Natalie Aguirre said...

Awesome spotlight. I've heard great things about Laura as an agent. I'm excited she's looking for upper middle grade and likes fantasy.

Gina Gao said...

This is a great spotlight. I really liked reading this post. Laura seems like a pretty cool lady.


Frankie Diane Mallis said...

Had to comment because it's Laura--she pretty much rules! And has an insanely smart editorial eye :)

Martha Ramirez said...

Awesome -awesome agent!!

Donna K. Weaver said...

Wow, so much information. It's nice to see agencies that aren't all in New York.

Cortney Pearson said...

Great spotlight, Laura Rennert is awesome. :)

Theresa Milstein said...

Sounds like a great agent and agency. Maybe she'll like my next query.

Ishta Mercurio said...

Great spotlight, Casey. I've only heard good things about Laura.

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

Super spotlight! You guys are masters!

Thermocline said...

Thanks for the Spotlight, Casey.

Matthew MacNish said...

I can't believe I missed this one. Laura represents pretty much all my best friends.

Janis said...

Love what I've read about her, and that she's seeking MG Sci Fi