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Upcoming Agent Spotlights and Query Critique Giveaways

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Agent Spotlight: Hannah Bowman

This week's Agent Spotlight features Hannah Bowman of Liza Dawson Associates.

Status: Open to submissions.

hannah-bowmanAbout: “Hannah joined the agency in 2011. She has a B.A. from Cornell University, summa cum laude in English and magna cum laude in Mathematics. While a student, she spent four summers working in particle physics at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, before eventually deciding her true interest was books. Before joining Liza Dawson Associates, Hannah interned briefly with agent Weronika Janczuk, now of Lynn C. Franklin Associates.

“In her free time, she writes her own fiction (mostly science fiction and fantasy) and plays the organ.

“Hannah specializes in commercial fiction, especially science fiction and fantasy, women's fiction, cozy mysteries, romance and young adult. Hannah is also interested in nonfiction, particularly in the areas of mathematics, science and spirituality.” (Link)

About the Agency:

"We are a full-service, highly selective literary agency based in New York City. Every day we draw on our expertise as former publishers to ensure that the material we submit stands out. We’re fascinated by how books and ideas spread, and so we’re deeply involved in all aspects of maximizing a book’s life in the marketplace – including the digital, film and licensing worlds.

“We’ve helped journalists and academics discover the nonfiction book they're truly excited to write – and that mainstream publishers are eager to acquire. We’ve re-built careers and we’ve launched first-time novelists. Many of our titles are award winners. We’ve had great success in the international market. Last year, three of our titles were on the New York Times bestseller list, for a total of seventy-two weeks. Our goal is to build long-lasting careers.” (Link)

Web Presence:

Liza Dawson Associates website.

Twitter @hannahnpbowman.

Tumblr.

QueryTracker.

What She's Looking For:

Genres / Specialties:

“Hannah specializes in commercial fiction, especially science fiction and fantasy, women's fiction, cozy mysteries, romance and young adult. Hannah is also interested in nonfiction, particularly in the areas of mathematics, science and spirituality.” (Link)

From an Interview (08/2012):

“I’m always a fan of epic, secondworld, and historical fantasy. Some of my favorite authors are Katherine Kurtz and David Eddings. Urban fantasy tends to be a harder sell for me, although I’d be very happy to take on the right project—something in the Jim Butcher or Kevin Hearne style.

“In science fiction, my tastes are very classic. I love stories set in space. I love science fiction that plays with big ideas, and that isn’t too dark. I’m probably not the right agent for anything post-apocalyptic or cyber/biopunk. I’d love to find some good military SF. My favorite SF authors include Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein, and Lois McMaster Bujold.

“I’m willing to look at all types of YA. My tastes tend toward speculative, of course, but I’m also interested in contemporaries. Right now on my list, I have YA fantasy, paranormal, contemporary, near-future thriller—and I’m always looking for a true YA sci-fi (think Beth Revis’ Across the Universe).” (Link)

From an Interview (03/2012):

“I see a lot of similar stories in YA: not-well-fleshed-out dystopians, fantasy where the main character discovers they're really the prince/princess of a secret world, etc. I'd love to see more YA secondworld/high fantasy, YA contemporaries a la John Green, and true YA science fiction. On the adult side, there's nothing I'm sick of, but I would love to see more funny, high-concept women's fiction and upmarket romances with a strong sense of place (whether contemporary, historical, or fantastical).” (Link)

What She Isn't Looking For:

“I'm not the right agent for memoirs.”

“I'm a hard sell on thrillers, unless they're offbeat, and on anything that could be described as ‘hard-boiled.’ I'm also likely not the right agent for a literary fiction project.” (Link)

Agenting Philosophy:

“In general, I’m a very hands-on agent. I love to edit, and I edit every client’s work before it goes on submission. I also try to keep in close contact with authors, although of course there are times when one needs to communicate more and times when one needs to communicate less. I look for authors who are looking for a partner for their entire career, not for an agent who will sell one book quickly and then back off.” (Link)

Clients:

There are lists of client titles on the agency website.

Ms. Bowman’s clients include: Dianna E. Anderson, Melinda Braun, Pierce Brown, Rosamund Hodge, Kameron Hurley, Shallee McArthur, Lisa Ann O'Kane, Brian Staveley, among others.

Query Methods:

E-mail: Yes (preferred).

Snail-Mail: Yes.

Online-Form: No.

Submission Guidelines (always verify):

Send a query letter only by e-mail, or by snail-mail with SASE.

See the Liza Dawson Associates website for complete, up-to-date submission guidelines.  

Query Tips:

“The key things for me when I’m reading a query are: 1. Who’s the main character, and why is he or she interesting/appealing?; 2. What’s the plot, and how will it surprise me and take my breath away?; 3. What’s the setting, and what interesting elements of it make it seem real? If I see a compelling, three-dimensional character in a well-realized setting (whether it’s realistic or speculative) with a page-turning story to tell...I’m hooked.” (Link)

For additional tips, please read the interviews linked below.

Response Times:

Ms. Bowman’s response time for queries is one month; if you have not heard from her within this timeframe, resend your query (link).

Stats on the web show Ms. Bowman responding to most queries within hours to a few weeks and requested material within a week to a month. 

What's the Buzz?

Hannah Bowman joined Liza Dawson Associates in 2011 and has since sold to Del Rey/Random House, Balzer & Bray/HarperCollins, HarperTeen Impulse, Strange Chemistry, Jericho Books/Hachette, Tor, and more. Her clients seem very happy with her representation and conference-goers report  positively on her workshops.

I recommend following her Tumblr and Twitter for further insight and great writing advice. She’s found at least one client through Twitter.

Worth Your Time:

Interviews:

Agent-Author Chat: Hannah Bowman and Shallee McArthur at Mother. Write. (Repeat.) (02/2013).

Interview with Literary Agent Hannah Bowman at Stacey O’Neale’s site (08/2012).

YA/MG Agent Series: Hannah Bowman of Liza Dawson at Michelle Krys’ site (04/2012).

Interview with Hannah Bowman, Agent at Liza Dawson Literary at Five Scribes (03/2012.

December Mystery Agent, Hannah Bowman with mini interview at Operation Awesome (12/2011).

Interactive Interview with an Agent: Hannah Bowman at Mother. Write. (Repeat). (10/2011).

Around the Web:

Check out the agency's FAQ page.

Liza Dawson Associates at P&E ($, AAR).

Liza Dawson Associates thread at AbsoluteWrite.

Hannah Bowman in the 2013 Guide to Literary Agents via Google Books.

Storymakers Conference Notes on one of Ms. Bowman’s workshops at Lit and Scribbles (05/2013).

Elevator Pitching Your Book with Advice from Ms. Bowman, Twitter recap at Storify (08/2012).

An Interview with Lisa Ann Chickos (A QueryTracker Success Story) (07/2012).

An Interview with Melinda Braun (A QueryTracker Success Story) (11/2011).

Contact:

Please see the Liza Dawson Associates website for additional contact and query information.

Profile Details:

Last Updated: 8/29/13.

Last Reviewed By Agent? 8/29/13.

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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/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.

11 comments:

  1. Awesome spotlight, Casey. I'm excited Hannah likes high fantasy.

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  2. Nice info you are providing. I like the way you have presented it. Lots of information.

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  3. Thanks for so much information. Great post.

    Nas

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  4. I'll be keeping Hannah in mind for when I've finished revising my scifi. Thanks!

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  5. Great post! We need more information like this. Thank you for sharing.

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  6. It's amazing how much info you gather for these posts. Incredibly valuable!

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  7. I love these agent spotlight Casey. I am going to add Hannah to my list of agents when I start querying at the end of this year.

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  8. Great information. Your Spotlights are always wonderful and this one was no exception.

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  9. Great spotlight. I'm glad to know about this agent.

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  10. Hi Casey, Just wanted to let you know that Hannah Bowman is 100% class. She requested a full on my first MS. She wrote me a detailed response explaining her critique and her reasons for passing. I revised a lot based on her feedback and even though I ultimately shelved that MS, it garnered several more requests after revisions than it had previously. I've also taken her feedback to heart in writing my new MS. Her work with me was a real gift--she went way above and beyond.

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    1. Thank you for the feedback, Ali. This is so wonderful to hear! Perhaps she'll take you on for your new MS when you've finished. Fingers crossed.

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