This week's Agent Spotlight features Sara Sciuto of Full Circle Literary.
Status: Open to submissions, actively building her list.
About: “Sara Sciuto is a new member of Full Circle Literary. A recent graduate of University of California San Diego, Sara also completed literature coursework at NYU. Before joining Full Circle, she gained valuable experience working on film and foreign rights with the Taryn Fagerness Agency. Sara is actively building her list with a focus on middle grade and young adult, in particular, dystopian, science fiction, fantasy, and unique paranormal. She also enjoys contemporary stories with a strong, authentic voice (but no chick-lit, please). She has a particular soft spot for anything in the Deep South (sweet contemporary to dark paranormal), gritty contemporary, utilitarian dystopias or dystopian thrillers, anything with international locales or period settings (think flappers or "Mad Men"), and anything with artistic themes. Sara is also looking for standout picture books, especially those with a quirky or humorous narrative. She's also considering select nonfiction in the areas of craft, design, how-to, lifestyle, and pop culture. Currently, she is NOT considering any adult fiction (all genres).
“Her great passions in life are travel and good food - and good books, of course, but that goes without saying! While she's always cultivating new obsessions, her latest are photography and sailing.” (Link)
About the Agency:
"We are a boutique literary agency, offering a unique full circle approach to literary representation. Our diverse experience in book publishing includes editorial, marketing, publicity, legal and rights, which we use to help build authors one step at a time. We work with both published and unpublished writers and our staff has a knack for finding and developing new talent. We've cultivated Pura Belpre Award and Honor winners, Americas Book Award and Honor winners, and Charlotte Zolotow Award winners. Our authors have been featured on National Public Radio, Good Morning America, Martha Stewart Living, Design*Sponge, Ohdeedoh, Working Mother magazine, Parents magazine, The New York Times and other national media.
“Full Circle Literary works with a variety of creative prescriptive and narrative nonfiction books, literary fiction for adults and teens, as well as middle grade and children's picture books. Our underlying policy is that we only sign work we are as enthusiastic about as you are. We'll support you through the publication process... full circle.” (Link)
What She's Looking For:
Children’s picture books through young adult; select non-fiction.
From Her Bio (as of 5/2012):
“Sara is actively building her list with a focus on middle grade and young adult, in particular, dystopian, science fiction, fantasy, and unique paranormal. She also enjoys contemporary stories with a strong, authentic voice (but no chick-lit, please). She has a particular soft spot for anything in the Deep South (sweet contemporary to dark paranormal), gritty contemporary, utilitarian dystopias or dystopian thrillers, anything with international locales or period settings (think flappers or ‘Mad Men’), and anything with artistic themes. Sara is also looking for standout picture books, especially those with a quirky or humorous narrative. She's also considering select nonfiction in the areas of craft, design, how-to, lifestyle, and pop culture.” (Link)
From her Tumblr (as of 5/2012):
“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), picture books with rhyming text, picture books longer than 900 words, poetry or short stories, screen plays, educational books, workbooks, foreign language learning books, materials in Spanish. (Link, Link)
“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)
“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)
There is list of selected client titles on the agency website.
Ms. Sciuto’s clients include: Unknown.
As of 05/2012, Ms. Sciuto has made her first picture book deal to Candlewick.
E-mail: Yes (only).
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.”
“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)
The agency policy is to only respond if interested with a response within 6-8 weeks. Despite this policy, Ms. Sciuto tries to respond to most queries that follow her submission guidelines. Stats on the web show response times within days to about a month for both queries and requested material.
For more information on Ms. Sciuto’s response policy, see this post.
What's the Buzz?
Sara Sciuto began at Full Circle Literary September 2010 and became a full-time agent in early 2011. 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:
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:
Query Me (static page).
My Query Response Policy (11/2011).
Introducing Sara (06/2011).
Around the Web:
Follow the Full Circle Lit blog for client updates and news.
Introducing Sara Sciuto, article with query tips in the SCBWI-LA Kite Tales (Page 21, Spring 2012).
Last updated: 5/15/12.
Agent Contacted For Review? Yes.
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.