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Kristy Hunter & Author Loriel Ryon Guest Post & Query Critique Giveaway on 4/20/20

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Agent Spotlight: Josh Getzler

This week's Agent Spotlight features Josh Getzler of Hannigan, Salky, Getzler Agency.

Status: Open to submissions.

JoshBW-300x297About: “Josh left Harcourt in 1993 to get an MBA from Columbia Business School. After Business School, Josh spent 11 years owning and operating a minor league baseball team (the Staten Island Yankees). He left baseball in late 2006 and rejoined the book world on the agent side. Josh worked at Writers House until November 2009, building a list of adult novelists, YA and middle grade authors, and the occasional nonfiction writer; then joined Russell and Volkening. In May 2011 he partnered with Carrie Hannigan and Jesseca Salky, and has been actively and happily running his list.

“Josh represents more than 40 authors, including Geoff Rodkey (THE CHRONICLES OF EGG series from Putnam Children’s Books), Sam Thomas (THE MIDWIFE’S TALE—Minotaur), Cali Yost (TWEAK IT!—Center Street), EJ Copperman/Jeff Cohen (THE HAUNTED GUEST HOUSE series from Berkley Prime Crime, and Dana Cameron (SEVEN KINDS OF HELL—47 North).

“For more information on Josh’s most recent sales, please see his Publishers Marketplace profile. Josh also tweets under @jgetzler, and is the Tuesday blogger on Hey, There’s a Dead Guy in the Living Room.” (Link)

About the Agency:

“HSG Agency is a full-service literary agency founded in May 2011.

“Carrie Hannigan, Jesseca Salky, and Josh Getzler met at the venerable literary agency Russell & Volkening, Inc. where they were mentored by the inimitable Tim Seldes. They have operated as a dynamic team on behalf of all of the authors on their varied lists and among them have more than thirty years experience in various sectors of book publishing.

“They see forming HSG, in this changing world of publishing, as an opportunity to bridge the traditional agency model with a more progressive mode of representing authors, using creative methods to keep abreast of the new avenues to distribute content.

“They primarily pursue traditional publishing opportunities for their clients, while considering alternative methods of publication and distribution that reflect the growing digital marketplace and new means of sale and publicity for books. They work with each individual client to develop a strategy appropriate to the genre, style and goals of the author.” (Link)

Web Presence:

HSG Agency website.

Publisher’s Marketplace page.

Twitter @jgetzler.

Hey, There’s a Dead Guy in the Living Room (Tuesdays).

AAR Profile.

HSG Agency Tumblr.

HSG Agency Facebook.



WeBook profile.

What He's Looking For:

Genres / Specialties:

General Fiction, Mystery, Suspense/Thriller, History, Sports, Historical Novels (especially mysteries), Middle Grade and Young Adult fiction (Link).

Additional genres listed on his AAR profile.

From His Website Bio (as of 10/2013):

“Josh is particularly into foreign and historical fiction; both women’s fiction (your Downton Abbey/Philippa Gregory Mashups), straight ahead historical fiction (think Wolf Hall or The Road to Wellville); and thrillers and mysteries (The Alienist, say; or Donna Leon or Arianna Franklin). He’d LOVE a strong French Revolution novel. So send in your ruthless doges and impious cardinals…and your farmhouse cozies! (He does love cozies…) Give him atmosphere, let him learn something about another time or another place (or both), and kill off nasty Uncle Mortimer in the process—Josh will be yours!

“Josh has also been taking on a significant amount of middle grade and YA: mysteries and adventure stories, strong contemporary girl books, and well thought-out retellings of classics.

“In nonfiction, he’s interested in increasing his list in history, business, and political thought–but not screeds.” (Link)

Via Twitter (6-10/2013):

“#MSWL Would like a cop procedural in Eastern Europe--Donna Leon in Budapest, say...with serious atmosphere.” (Link)

“French Rev novel w/Badass fem protag; Thriller in 19-teens Eur; MG Girl Wonder, YA thriller that reads like YA, w/girl. #MSWL” (Link).

“MG with sweetness and wit (not necessarily snarky). #MSWL” (Link).

“Also this RT: An MG or YA historical set in Ancient Israel. #MSWL” (Link).

From an Interview (12/2009):

“…I’m looking for a voice that will make me put down my coffee and make an exclamation point on the paper. That could be a unique or fun subject, a compelling voice, or a character that comes alive right away. You have five pages max to make that first impression, and the good ones do it in less than that!” (Link)

What He Isn't Looking For:

African-American Literature, Christian Literature, Comix, Graphic Novels, Poetry, Puzzles, Games, Romance, Science-fiction, Fantasy, Western, Arts, Cinema, Photography, Cooking, Food, Wine, Crafts, Hobbies, DIY, Health, Diet, Home, Garden, Mind, Body, Spirit, Nature, Ecology, Relationships, Family, Religion, Spirituality, Inspiration, Science, Technology, Technical, How-To, Textbooks, True crime, Picture Books, Early Readers, Dramatic Works. (Link)

Editorial Agent?

“While I will gladly take a clean novel in a heartbeat, I typically am a VERY hands-on editor before submitting. I’ve worked on projects for YEARS before submitting them, and I’ve sent a couple out with very few tweaks.” (Link)


There are pages of client titles on the agency website.

Mr. Getzler’s clients include: Osahon Akpata, Authoress, Frankie Bailey, Ph.D, Sheila Webster Boneham, Ph.D., Dr. Otis Brawley, A.B. Bourne, Krishnadev Calamur, Dana Cameron, Jeff Cohen, James Crowley, Lolly Daskal, David Deutsch, Asha Dornfest, Jack Dougherty, Victoria Dougherty, Gerald Elias, Lisa Falco, Paul Goldberg, Keir Graff, Traci Hall, Lauren Hennessy, Steve Hermanos, Steve Hockensmith, Linda Hull, Whitney Johnson, Christine Koh, Toni LoTempio, Mary McCoy, Beth Anne Miller, Todd Moss, Jennifer O'Connell, Karen Odden, Karen Olson, Brian O'Reilly, James Phelan, Elaine Powell, Geoff Rodkey, Tania Roxborogh, Linda Sands, Samuel Thomas, Ph.D., Helen Wan, Cali Yost, among others.

Query Methods:

E-mail: Yes (only).

Snail-Mail: No.

Online-Form: No.

Submission Guidelines (always verify):

Query only one agent at the agency.

“Please send a query letter and the first five pages of your manuscript (within the email – no attachments please!) to the appropriate agent for your book. If you were referred to us, please mention it in the first line of your query.”

See the HSG Agency website for complete, up-to-date submission guidelines.  

Query Tips:

See this interview with Mr. Getzler at Operation Awesome, and this interview at Cats, Books, and… More Cats!

Response Times:

“We generally respond to queries within 4-6 weeks, although we do get behind occasionally.” (Link)

Stats on the web show a response range of days to several months for both queries and requested material, most getting a response within 3-6 weeks.

What's the Buzz?

Josh Getzler is an established agent with a good list of clients and sales. He specializes in mysteries, thrillers, and historical fiction but represents other genres, including young adult and middle grade. Picture book queries should be sent to his colleague Carrie Hannigan.

Keep up with Mr. Getzler on Twitter and Tuesdays at Hey, There’s a Dead Guy in the Living Room.

Worth Your Time:


Agent Q&A Part One: Revisions at Operation Awesome (01/2013).

Agent Q&A Part Two: Querying at Operation Awesome (01/2013).

Agent Q&A Part Three: Marketing & Publicity at Operation Awesome (01/2013).
Agent Chat #7: Josh Getzler at Write On (09/2011).

Literary Agent Josh Getzler – In Rocco’s Hot Seat (Part 1) at Cats, Books, and… More Cats (07/2011).   

Literary Agent Josh Getzler – In Rocco’s Hot Seat (Part 2) at Cats, Books, and… More Cats (07/2011).   

Agent Interview: Josh Getzler of Russell & Volkening at Elissa Cruz’s blog (04/2010).

Agent Advice: Josh Getzler of Russell & Volkening, Inc. at Guide to Literary Agents (12/2009).

Blog Stuff:

Mr. Getzler’s posts are categorized here on the Hey, There’s a Dead Guy in the Living Room blog. Selected posts include:

The Query Guideline Story (08/2013).

What I Do (06/2013).

The Modifier Zone Redux (02/2013).

2012: An Agent’s Year (01/2013).

Around the Web:

Hannigan Salky Getzler Agency thread at AbsoluteWrite.

Josh Getzler at Preditors and Editors.

Hannigan Salky Getzler Agency at Preditors and Editors.

Mr. Getzler and HSG in the 2014 Guide to Literary Agents via Google Books.

An Interview with E.M. Powell - A QueryTracker Success Story- (04/2012).

Secret Agent Unveiled: Josh Getzler at Miss Snark’s First Victim – read the contest entries that month for his comments (03/2009).


Please see the HSG Agency website for additional contact and query information.

Profile Details:

Last Updated: 10/24/13.

Last Reviewed By Agent? 10/24/13.


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/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.


  1. Great post, thanks for sharing! I only wish my novel was ready to be submitted, but alas...

  2. I always like your agent spotlights - very helpful and informative!

  3. Love these spotlights- thank you for all of the great info!

  4. Thanks for all the information.

  5. Nice learning more about Mr. Getzler.

  6. Great post! I love that he owned and managed a baseball team. :)

  7. Great post. Thanks for sharing all these wonderful information.

  8. I love that you share this. So many people are unsure where to look for agents and such when they are starting out. :)