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: Bridget Smith

This week's Agent Spotlight features Bridget Smith of JABberwocky Literary Agency.
Status: Closed to submissions. Check the agency website to find out when she opens to submissions. There is a tweet that she closed to catch up on queries.
About: “Bridget Smith joined JABberwocky as an agent in May 2019. She grew up in Connecticut and graduated from Brown University with a BA in anthropology in 2010. After graduation, she interned at Don Congdon Associates, worked at a secondhand bookstore, and read submissions for Tor.com. In 2011, she started as an assistant at Dunham Literary, and she remained there as an agent for nearly eight years.
In her spare time, she runs, plays Irish fiddle, and co-hosts the podcast Shipping & Handling with fellow agent Jennifer Udden of New Leaf Literary.” (Link)
About the Agency:
"JABberwocky Literary Agency, established in 1994 by Joshua Bilmes, is the world's leading agency for fantasy and science fiction, and our interests extend beyond these to many areas of trade fiction and non-fiction.” (Old Link)Web Presence:
JABberwocky website.
Twitter @bredalot.
ShipandHandling Podcast (Co-host)
#mswl on Twitter
What She's Looking For:
From the Agency Website:
"Middle grade fiction: I’m interested in middle grade in all genres. I love dry humor, complex emotions felt for the first time, kids who solve their own problems, and a voice that makes kids feel respected. I particularly love high-concept stories told in a literary style.
"Young adult fiction: I also work on all genres of YA. I have a soft spot for layered, emotional contemporary, preferably with more than an ounce of humor; sophisticated and unusual SFF; vivid, immersive historical fiction about lesser-known stories; and anything that blends or bends genre. I love books about teenagers having complicated feelings, girls who try hard but mess up, clever concepts handled in an unusual way, and a voice that makes me feel like I know the character personally.
"Science fiction and fantasy: I tend to prefer the more literary side of the genre: the first things that grab me are character and voice.
"Fantasy was one of my first loves, and I’m interested in a wide variety of novels. I particularly like stories where the characters drive the plot and the worldbuilding shapes the characters. I’m not particularly into grimdark or urban fantasy, but anything else is fair game."
"In science fiction, I’m particularly looking for anything that makes me feel like SHARDS OF HONOUR by Lois McMaster Bujold: intimately human on a galactic scope.
"Literary fiction: I tend to prefer literary fiction that includes elements of other genres or an interesting structure. I’m particularly interested in historical fiction about women, people of color, and LGBTQ people. Some non-client favorites include THE ESSEX SERPENT by Sarah Perry, POSSESSION by A.S. Byatt, FINGERSMITH by Sarah Waters, and THE GOLEM AND THE JINNI by Helene Wecker. I’m also interested in contemporary fiction with a speculative element and/or a strong plot (a la Alice Hoffman or Tana French)."
From an Interview (06/2013):
“I always want something with a fresh twist: a cool setting, an unusual point-of-view, a thoughtful inversion of the tropes. A clever premise spun into a heartfelt story will get me every time, as will characters that I’d enjoy reading even if there were no plot. However, you still need a plot, though. What I’m really looking for is something that I’ve never thought of! But for personal specifics: I’d love to see a ‘fantasy of manners’ in the vein of Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell or Shades of Milk and Honey, a heroine with a big voice from 1940s England à la Code Name Verity or The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, or something that makes the very earth feel magical, like The Raven Boys or Chime.” (Link)
Via Twitter (6-7/2013):
“I would love a MG fantasy with the clever whimsy of Eva Ibbotson. #MSWL” (Link)
“Irish fantasy. Not, like, leprechauns, but ancient, arcane & also domestic, tied to the land & the people, magic that overwhelms. #MSWL” (Link)
“I'd love historical fantasy. Not steampunk, but a historical society with magic. Esp. Regency/Edwardian England, France, Italy, more. #MSWL” (Link)
“I would love a magical realism novel (or a straight historical, that works too) set in a nautical New England town. #MSWL” (Link)
“I've said this before, but: YA that feels like a Bruce Springsteen song. Restlessness, energy, driving at night with the windows down. #MSWL” (Link)
From a YAtopia Feature (08/2012):
“I love a good, distinctive voice and lovable characters with an off-kilter charm. Girl friendships. Boy friendships. Romance that flows under the surface, especially if no one talks about it – until they do. Snarky, funny dialogue in a heartfelt narrative. Gorgeous and true lines I want to cut out and paste on my wall. Contemporary characters doing something big or unusual outside the realm of high school, like elite athletes or radio DJs. Worlds I can get lost in, and characters I want to get lost with.” (Link)
What She Isn't Looking For:
Short fiction (individual short stories, chapbooks, novellas), screenplays, poetry. Nonfiction of any kind. Picture books and chapter books. In adult fiction: romance, westerns, mysteries/thrillers.(Via email)Editorial Agent?
“I do indeed do editorial work with my clients. That quote encapsulates the agency's overall philosophy, but I personally enjoy working closely with writers to improve their manuscripts.” (via e-mail 8/2013)
Amelia Brunskill, Lisbeth Campbell, Samantha Cohoe, Lee Gjertsen Malone, Ellen Goodlett, Lana Wood Johnson, Emma Mills, Amanda Sellet, Christopher Swiedler, Tracy Townsend, Martine Fournier Watson, and more.Query Methods:
E-mail: Yes.
Snail-Mail: no.
Online-Form: No.
Submission Guidelines (always verify): Ms. Smith is currently closed to submissions.
E-mail: Include a query letter, the first five pages of your MS in the body of the e-mail. No attachments.
Query only one agent at the agency. Queries are read by all interested agents.
Please see the JABberwocky website and Ms. Smith’s bio for complete, up-to-date submission guidelines.
Response Times:
Worth Your Time:
Interview with Bridget Smith Best Agent at Amelia Brunskill (01/2018).
Bridget Smith: Agent's Perspective at Kite Tales (02/2016).
Agent Interview: Bridget Smith at Alexa Donne (01/2014).
7 Questions for Literary Agent Bridget Smith at Middle Grade Ninja (11/2013).
Query Questions with Bridget Smith at Michelle4Laughs (08/2013).
Literary Agent Interview: Bridget Smith of Dunham Literary at Guide to Literary Agents (06/2013).
First Five Frenzy with Agent Bridget Smith of Dunham Literary, Inc at Chasing the Crazies (08/2012).
Please see the JABberwocky website for additional contact and query information.
Profile Details:
Last Updated: 5/31/2020.
Agent Contacted for Review? Yes
Last Reviewed By Agent? 6/1/2020.
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/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.


Beth said...

Great spotlight! Thanks for the information.

Crystal Collier said...

I love that she is looking in a broad spectrum of genres. You can always tell a bit about an agent by their spread.

Natalie Aguirre said...

Thanks for the great spotlight. So glad to see Bridget likes fantasy. She sounds like a great agent.

Brenda said...

Always enjoy your agent spotlights, thanks for another great one.

Emily R. King said...

Sounds like a great agent! Thanks!

Terra said...

I enjoy stopping in and reading your agent profiles, although I write adult nonfiction.
I am giving away a book on my blog today.

Donna K. Weaver said...

Cool. I'm liking that I see more agents doing SciFi. I'm such a fan of the genre.

cleemckenzie said...

So great to find another agent your great blog! Love that she's open for MG fantasy. Hurray.

Anonymous said...

Bridget seems like a great agent. Thanks for sharing. I'll be sure to check the Dunham Literary website. I think we'll be hearing a lot more from Bridget in the future.

Carina Olsen said...

Awesome spotlight :) thank you for sharing. <3 I'm sure she's an awesome agent :)
Thank you for commenting on my WoW. <3
Love, Carina @ Carina's Books

Tyrean Martinson said...

Love the idea of a fantasy of manners - sounds delicious!

mshatch said...

Liked this. I think I've submitted to Bridget before.

Jocelyn Rish said...

Another great spotlight - thank you!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info. I don't think I've come across her before.

Ann Finkelstein said...

I'm always happy to hear about an agent who is not opposed to magic. Thanks, Casey!

Rachna Chhabria said...

Thanks for the info. This is my first port of call when I want to research agents. You are simply amazing.

Cynthia said...

"YA that feels like a Bruce Springsteen song..." says Bridget.

Just that one line evokes a number of images and ideas and feelings for me as a writer. The task is to get it down onto paper!

Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

I usually tend to avoid agent spotlights because I'm not ready to query yet. But soon I hope to do so. Maybe 2014 will be the year?


Kate Day said...

I like her penchant for science, archaeology and historical. I think she'd be a great match for my work. Thanks!