This week's Agent Spotlight features Pam van Hylckama Vlieg of Foreword Literary.
Status: Open to submissions.
About: “Pam van Hylckama Vlieg started her literary career as assistant to Laurie McLean in early 2012. By April Pam was promoted to Associate Agent at Larsen Pomada. In January of 2013 after selling twenty-one books in her first year of agenting Pam was promoted to agent. When Laurie McLean mentioned creating Foreword, Pam jumped at the chance to follow her mentor and create a new agency together.
“Pam grew up on a sleepy little Podunk town in Virginia. She’s lived in the UK, several US states, and now resides in the Bay Area of California. She has two kids, two dogs, two guinea pigs, but only one husband. You can find her mostly on Twitter where she wastes copious amounts of time.” (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.
“Laurie, Pam, and Gordon 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)
What She's Looking For:
Genres / Specialties:
Children’s middle grade and young adult, new adult, commercial fiction, literary fiction, women’s fiction, romance, historical, fantasy, sci-fi, and select non-fiction. (Link)
From Her Submissions Page (as of 5/13):
“Pam is interested in the following genres:
“High concept young adult in any genre. Some of Pam’s favorite recent YA books are: The Masque of the Red Death, Cinder, Shadow and Bone, Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Small Damages, and Insignia.
“Middle grade in these genres: fantasy, science fiction, dystopian, paranormal, literary. Pam’s recent favorite MG books are: The Peculiars, The Emerald Atlas, Storybound, The Prince Who Fell from the Sky, and Icefall.
“Romance in these categories: historical, fantasy, and erotica. Pam’s favorite romance titles released recently are: Loving Lady Marcia, Be My Prince, Rogue’s Pawn, and The Siren.
“Pam is now accepting submissions in commercial science fiction, fantasy, and literary fiction.
“New Adult in all categories will be considered. Pam has enjoyed The Ivy, and Leopard Moon in this genre.
“She will be considering the following genres for submission along with her assistant agent Jen Karsbaek.
“I am now open to submissions in upmarket women’s fiction and historical fiction. I’m looking for books with particularly well-developed characters and strong authorial voice. In historical fiction in particular I am particularly interested in books that bring the setting to life and that maintain balance between historical accuracy and strong plot choices. I am also very interested in mystery, fantasy, and occasionally romance approaches to these genres as well.
“Non Fiction. Pop culture and pop science.” (Link)
From a Blog Post (10/2012):
“BDSM – girls tied up with red sashes
YA Fantasy – A Kingdom in ashes
Boys with green eyes, and a great regency
These are a few things I want in queries
“Erotica – hot but with literary flare
Victorian, European, historical, taudry affair
Pantaloons and codpieces, tea and a scone
Urban, paranormal, scifi with lots of pluton
“Basically I want your romance/erotica queries. I want New Adult and I want a Game of Thrones for teens.” (Link)
What She Isn't Looking For:
Picture books, screenplays.
Revisions as needed; otherwise unknown.
There is a list of clients on Ms. van Hylckama Vlieg’s blog here.
Clients include: Vivi Barnes, Jeanette Battista, Naomi Canale, Lorenda Christensen, Rhay Christou, Nick Courage, Sarah Eden, Rhonda Helms, Heather Hiestand, Jeffe Kennedy, Rick Lipman, Kari Olson, Danielle Smith, Lauren Smith, Kristen Strassel, and Cecily White.
E-mail: Yes (only).
Submission Guidelines (always verify):
Send a query, the first chapter, and a 1-2 page synopsis in the body of an e-mail to email@example.com. No attachments.
Stats on the web show Ms. van Hylckama Vlieg responding to most queries and requests within one to three months, often within days when she’s caught up.
What's the Buzz?
Pam van Hylckama Vlieg co-founded Foreword Literary early 2013 after a successful first year as an agent at Larsen Pomada. She’s sold to publishers such as Simon Pulse, Kensington, Entangled, Carina, and Spencer Hill Press. Her clients appear happy with her representation.
Pam is currently accepting middle grade and young adult submissions on the children’s side but occasionally closes to queries – keep an eye out for status changes in the future.
I recommend following her on Twitter @BookaliciousPam, subscribing to her blog, Bookalicio.us, and taking a peak at the other places she can be found on the web (linked above).
Worth Your Time:
Interview with Pam van Hylckama Vlieg! at Life on the Fringe (03/2013).
Small Press 411: Agent Pam van Hylckama Vlieg, interview at Tangled Up In Words (02/2013).
Interview with Literary Agent Pam van Hylckama Vlieg at 2013 MWG Conference Notes (12/2012).
Interview with Pam van Hylckama Vlieg at Literary Rejections (2012).
Interview with Pamela Van Hylckama Vlieg at Dreams Can Be Reached (03/2012).
Small Presses and Querying (01/2013).
Freelance Developmental Editing (10/2012).
Why Did You Decide to Become an Agent? (05/2012).
Around the Web:
See the “Conferences” page on the Foreword Literary website for upcoming conferences and events.
Subscription to the Foreword Literary Newsletter can be found here.
Last updated: 5/23/13.
Last Reviewed By Agent? 2/7/13.
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.