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: Melissa Sarver White

This week's Agent Spotlight features Melissa Sarver White of Folio Literary Management.
Status: Accepting submissions.
melissaAbout: “What I love most about being an agent is finding new voices that can express something in a fresh way or new subject matter that makes me view the world differently, whether it’s through fiction or non-fiction. One of the most thrilling aspects of my job is the constant exposure to a wide variety of topics; it’s truly thrilling to play a part ushering innovative projects into the world.
"In addition to representing authors, I am the Director of International Rights at Folio and attend all the major international book fairs, keeping my finger on the pulse of what's working in book markets worldwide.” (Link)
About the Agency:
"Folio Literary Management places both fiction and non-fiction with major publishers throughout the U.S. and around the world. We represent many first-time authors, some of whom have gone on to become bestsellers and major award-winners. We also represent many well-established authors, and work closely with them to take their careers to new heights." (Link)
“A division of Folio Literary Management, Folio Jr. is wholly committed to offering our clients impeccable, individually tailored care. We strive not only to discover and cultivate the most compelling new voices and the most original and memorable styles of illustration, but also to indefatigably and strategically support our established writers and illustrators as they thrive and develop their careers in the publishing industry.” (Link)Web Presence:
Folio Literary website.
Folio Jr. website.Folio Literary PM page.
Ms. Sarver White's PM page.
Folio Literary Twitter.
Ms. Sarver’s Twitter.
What She’s Looking For:
From Her Publisher's Marketplace page:
"YA: contemporary, fantasy, sci-fi, historical, magical realism, thrillers, issue books
I love quirky, humorous writing in contemporary YA, and always looking for something with a strong hook (whether it’s a sweeping sci-fi trilogy, or a contemporary story of friendship and first love). I will always get excited about strong sense of voice and writing that packs an emotional punch, like Sara Zarr’s STORY OF A GIRL. I also enjoy lighter fare like ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS. My YA taste runs much lighter, fun and romancy than adult fiction.

MG and Chapter Books: mainly contemporary stories that have a classic, evergreen feel to them. I’m not the right agent for your animal-narrated or adventure MG.
ADULT: I represent very select adult fiction titles and live for dark, raw voices that make me see the world in a new way. I love to get lost in anything that teaches me about another place and time through the lens of the character. Some of my favorite non-client authors are Michael Chabon, Nicole Krauss, Graham Swift, Margaret Atwood, Barbara Kingsolver, Abraham Verghese, and Tana French.

NON-FICTION: I represent a wide variety of NF and looking for authors with a very strong platform along with a fresh idea and expertise in the area they propose to write a book. I’m actively looking for projects in the following areas:

*Cookbooks and food writing (including food history)
*Memoir (especially those that have a sociological, historical, anthropological or research-based component)

The narrative NF and memoir I work on features strong voice and prose that reads like a novel, that aren’t just about the author’s personal story but one that uses that story as a springboard for a larger story about a place or an event that has deeper resonance."From a Blog Post (06/2012):
“She looks for contemporary/realistic fiction, both literary and commercial; mysteries; urban fantasy; magical realism, and issue-based stories. She’s drawn to dark tales with brilliant prose and strong voice as well as quirky stories with a fresh sense of humor, and heartbreaking romances. She especially enjoys multicultural stories and similarly emotional stories with dystopian themes. She also considers Middle Grade fiction and Picture Books.” (Link)
What She Isn’t Looking For:
Poetry, screenplays, stage plays, romance, fantasy, science, biography (Link) (Link)
Editorial Agent?
There are lists of Folio clients on the website.
Ms. Sarver’s clients include: Todd Henry, Jessica Taylor, Kim Culbertson, Tessa Huff, Jessie Sholl, Jennifer Longo, Emily Bliss, among others
Query Methods:
E-mail: Yes.
Snail-Mail: No.  
Online-Form: No.
Submission Guidelines (always verify):
Email a query with the first 10 pages pasted in the email. No attachments. (Link) For up-to-date  information on queries and tips on how to write one, see the “Submissions” tab on the website.
Response Times:
Ms. Sarver White only responds if she's interested. If you have not heard from her in six weeks, consider it a rejection.
What's the Buzz?
Melissa Sarver joined Folio in late 2012 after more than six years with the Elizabeth Kaplan Literary Agency. She is a vice president and has a stable and growing list of authors who seem to love her and sales to such houses/imprints as Random House Children’s, Balzer & Bray, Razorbill, and Sourcebooks.
I recommend following her on Twitter @mjsarver for the latest and greatest.
Worth Your Time:
Interviews and Posts:
Agents Like Us: Melissa Sarver White at Valerie Cole Reads (01/2016)
Interview with Agent Melissa Sarver White at Amy Newman (12/2012)
Interview with Agent Melissa at Echoes of Wayward Mind (07/2012)
Please see Folio Literary Management website for contact and query information.
Profile Details:
Last updated: 5/27/2020.
Agent Contacted for Update?
Last Reviewed By Agent? 10/3/12.
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 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.


Rachna Chhabria said...

Melissa sounds like a wonderful agent. I was thrilled to see that she represents Middle Grade Fiction.

Natalie Aguirre said...

Melissa sounds like a great agent. So sad she doesn't like fantasy though.

Lauri Meyers said...

Casey- you are always so thorough! Love it.

Lydia Kang said...

As always, what a great resource!

Beth said...

It's amazing what a great resource you provide through your Agent Spotlights. Thanks again, Casey, for this terrific feature.

Unknown said...

I found this really helpful. I've wondered if it is wise to continue writing a series while you are shopping the first book, and I'm glad to have gotten an answer here. Thank you for this information.

Theresa Milstein said...

Sounds like a good fit for my manuscript. Thank you!

Yvonne C said...

Thanks for another wonderful Agent Spotlight Casey.

Anonymous said...

I've been an intern for Melissa, so I can vouch for how great she is to work with! Very hands on and approachable; you'd be wise to query her.

yvonnec said...

I noticed that Melissa has moved to Folio. Here's the link: http://foliolit.com/melissa-sarver/

Thanks for all the great work you do Casey!

Casey McCormick said...

Thank you, Yvonnec. I'll try to get her spotlight updated soon!

Casey McCormick said...