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Agent Spotlight: Sara Sciuto

This week's Agent Spotlight features Sara Sciuto of Foreword Literary.

Status: Accepting submissions, actively building her list.

Sara-Sciuto-headshot-480x396 About: “Sara is a graduate of the University of California, San Diego, and also completed literature coursework at NYU. Her first industry experience was working on film and foreign rights with Taryn Fagerness Agency. From there she joined Full Circle Literary where she specialized in children’s literature and was there for over three years before joining Foreword Literary.

“Sara is actively building her list with a focus on middle grade and young adult fiction; in particular, contemporary, historical, gothic/thriller/horror, sci-fi, mystery/suspense, fantasy and other speculative fiction. For YA she’s especially drawn to literary voices with commercial appeal (i.e. no chick-lit, please). For MG, her tastes are broader and she seeks everything from provoking historical to fun/silly adventure projects. She has a particular soft spot for gritty narratives, anything with international or regional locales, period settings, and anything with artistic themes.

“Sara is also looking for standout picture books, especially those with a quirky or humorous narrative; and welcomes author/illustrators, as well as conceptual or art-driven projects. She’s also considering select adult nonfiction in the areas of craft, design, how-to, lifestyle, and pop culture. For children’s nonfiction, she’s open to a wider range of both narrative and prescriptive projects. Currently, she is NOT considering any adult fiction (all genres).

“To learn more about Sara, you can follow her on Twitter and Tumblr.” (Link)

About the Agency:

“Foreword Literary is a full-service, hybrid literary agency based in the Silicon Valley with offices throughout the country. We blend the tried-and-true methods of traditional publishing with the brash new opportunities engendered by digital publishing, emerging technologies, and an evolving author-agent relationship.

“Foreword manages a wide variety of clients, from bestsellers to debut authors, working with fiction and non-fiction for children and adults worldwide. We combine technical efficiency with outside-the-covers creative thinking so that each individual client’s career is specifically fine-tuned for them.

“We are not an agency that sells a book and then washes our hands of the project. We realize that our ongoing success directly results from that of our clients, so we remain at their side to cultivate and strategize throughout the many lives of each book, both before and after the initial sale. Innovations, such as our FastForeword publishing program, help bridge the gaps between books, growing and maintaining the author’s fan base without lag.

“The partners launched Foreword following tenures at established agencies, bringing with them experience in writing, teaching, professional editing, book marketing, blogging and social media, running high-tech companies, and marketing new technologies. A boutique, collaborative agency, Foreword provides each client with the expertise and forward vision of the group.

“We pride ourselves on our flexibility and passion for progression in an ever-changing publishing environment. We believe that the agency of the future will not just react to change but will actively create change, pushing markets and advancing formats to provide authors with the best possible outlets for their art.

“Foreword Literary, Inc. Moving Publishing Forward” (Link)

Web Presence:

Foreward Literary website.

Foreward Literary blog.

Twitter.

Tumblr.

Query Tracker.  

What She's Looking For:

Genres/Specialties:

Children’s picture books through young adult; select non-fiction.

From Her Bio (as of 8/2014):

“Sara is actively building her list with a focus on middle grade and young adult fiction; in particular, contemporary, historical, gothic/thriller/horror, sci-fi, mystery/suspense, fantasy and other speculative fiction. For YA she’s especially drawn to literary voices with commercial appeal (i.e. no chick-lit, please). For MG, her tastes are broader and she seeks everything from provoking historical to fun/silly adventure projects. She has a particular soft spot for gritty narratives, anything with international or regional locales, period settings, and anything with artistic themes.

“Sara is also looking for standout picture books, especially those with a quirky or humorous narrative; and welcomes author/illustrators, as well as conceptual or art-driven projects. She’s also considering select adult nonfiction in the areas of craft, design, how-to, lifestyle, and pop culture. For children’s nonfiction, she’s open to a wider range of both narrative and prescriptive projects.” (Link)

From her Tumblr (as of 8/2014):

“I’d love to find: A gritty dystopia, like SHIP BREAKER. A story with an experimental narrative structure, reminiscent of FEED. A utilitarian dystopia (I’m pretty sure I just made that term up, but if it makes sense to you I’d like to see your work! Hint: MATCHED, DIVERGENT). Something creepy, or that utilizes mixed media, or both as in MISS PEREGRINE’S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN. A gritty contemporary. A dystopian thriller. Anything with international locales or period settings (think flappers or ‘Mad Men’). Anything with artistic themes. Anything set in the Deep South (from sweet contemporary to dark paranormal). A character-driven historical MG, like MOON OVER MANIFEST. A quirky or humorous picture book. Especially from an author/illustrator. A unique character-driven picture book.” (Link)

From an Interview (02/2012):

“…it’s usually tough to win me over with high fantasy. I’m also being really selective with paranormal—if it doesn’t have a truly unique concept, I likely won’t be interested. I’ll really go nuts for a good dystopian thriller, anything with steampunk elements, a utilitarian dystopia, or a dark paranormal (especially if it’s set in the Deep South). Please note that I’m currently not considering any adult fiction, fantasy or otherwise.” (Link)

From a Blog Post (06/2011):

“A paranormal warning: I'll likely be passing if I see the words ‘vampire’ or ‘werewolf’; and if you're writing about angels/immortals/demons there needs to be another element (e.g. dystopia, à la ANGEL BURN) or a really unique twist. Better yet, it’s a creature or phenomena that I’ve never seen before. For contemporary stories I steer away from teen or relationship drama (i.e. teen chick-lit)—I prefer contemporary stories with some grit or quirkiness to them.” (Link)

What She Isn't Looking For:

Adult fiction (all genres) (Link).

Quotables:

“Write what you love! You’ll produce your best work that way—if you write for yourself and not for the marketplace. You’ve heard it before, ‘don’t write to the trends’, but really, don’t do it. It makes it difficult for your project to stand out and places yet another hurdle before you to overcome (on the already tough enough road to publication!). And don’t give up!” (Link)

Editorial Agent?

“We're very active during the revision process before sending a project to editors; we're your advocate during and after publication, and offer professional guidance for the lifetime of your author career. I'm a very hands-on agent and--perhaps, because I'm a newer agent with a bit more time to gamble with--I'll often take on projects that need some editorial work if I have a strong connection to the idea or the author. It doesn't always pay off, but it's worthwhile when it does.” (Link)

Clients:

Dev Petty, otherwise unknown.

Query Methods:

E-mail: Yes (only).

Snail-Mail: No.

Online-Form: No.

Submission Guidelines (always verify):

“Send a query letter + the first 10 pages of your manuscript pasted directly in the body of an email. For picture books, paste the full manuscript text in the email body. For non-fiction, include a proposal with one sample chapter. Include ‘Query’ somewhere in the subject line, as well as ‘Sara Sciuto’, if you’d like me to be the one to read your query.”

See the Foreword Literary website and Ms. Sciuto’s Query Me page for complete, up-to-date submission guidelines.

Query Tips:

“My biggest pet peeve is queries that are too long--especially when I have to read for five minutes only to figure out that it's adult fiction (which I don't represent!). This isn't the place for a full plot synopsis; I'm only looking to see if this is a project I would generally be interested in or not, and then I want to start straight in on the sample pages. Shoot for brevity and clarity--one sentence introducing the project, a three- to five-sentence description, brief author bio/relevant publishing history, and closing paragraph, is ideal.

“I also don't like to see a query that hasn't been personalized in any way. Queries should be addressed (in subject line or greeting) to a specific agent, or at least the agency, so we know you’ve actually considered our guidelines and interests.” (Link)

Response Times:

Ms. Sciuto’s usual response time is 2-4 weeks for queries and 6-8 weeks for requested material. She often provides personal feedback on partials and fulls. (Link)

What's the Buzz?

Sara Sciuto joined Foreword Literary as their kidlit specialist in March of 2014 after three years with Full Circle Literary. She is actively building her list. You can find her at conferences throughout the year as well as on Twitter and Tumblr.

Worth Your Time:

Interviews:

Interview with Sara Sciuto at Stacey O’Neale’s site (02/2012).

Interview with an Agent: Sara Sciuto at Mother. Write. (Repeat.) (06/2011).

Interview with Agent Sara Sciuto at YA Fantasy Guide (link currently broken –08/2011).

Selected Blog/Tumblr Posts:

Tales from the Slushpile (Plus an Easy 4-Step Query Tip!) (05/2014).

Query Me (static page).

My Query Response Policy (11/2011).

Around the Web:

Foreword Literary thread at AbsoluteWrite.

See the “Conferences” page on the Foreword Literary website for upcoming conferences and events.

Subscription to the Foreword Literary Newsletter can be found here.

You can find Ms. Sciuto’s conference calendar on her Tumblr, Mental Slush. She also posts query stats occasionally.

Guest Editor Sara Sciuto answers a picture book question at DearEditor.com (03/8/13).

Introducing Sara Sciuto, article with query tips in the SCBWI-LA Kite Tales (Page 21, Spring 2012).

Contact:

Please see the Foreword Literary website and Ms. Sciuto’s Tumblr for contact and query information.

Profile Details:

Last updated: 8/20/14.

Last Reviewed By Agent? 5/15/12.

***

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.

10 comments:

  1. Every week I pop in for your agent highlights and continue to build my list for querying possibilities. Thank you so much.

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  2. I love how your agent spotlights aren't just snapshots, but comprehensive information about the agent. You guys rock.

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  3. I definitely recommend querying Sara! She gave me some great advice on my middle-grade MS, and Full Circle seems like a wonderful agency. Just a really positive experience all the way around with Sara :)

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  4. Once again, you've packed a ton of information into your Spotlight. Thank you, Casey!

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  5. I just love your agent spotlights. Sara sounds like a wonderful agent.

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  6. I'm really excited that you spotlighted Sara. I saw on Guide to Literary Agents that she's a new agent and am really interested. I met one of the owners of Full Circle at a conference years ago and was really impressed by her. I'm definitely adding Sara to my list.

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  7. I had the chance to meet Sara at an agent's panel for one of our SCBWI - San Diego monthly meetings. She seems great, and Full Circle is a nice boutique agency that strives to manage careers - not just projects.

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  8. Sara sounds like a terrific agent! :)

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  9. Great information, thanks as always!

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  10. I love being able to come to this site to get background information on agents. Sara Sciuto is the agent for the Writer's Digest "Dear Lucky Agent" Contest, and it's nice to be able to find out a little about her. Thanks!

    Contest closes at the end of the day on 8/27/12:

    http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/guide-to-literary-agents/11th-free-dear-lucky-agent-contest-middle-grade-fiction

    ReplyDelete