Upcoming Agent Spotlight Interviews & Guest Posts

  • Hillary Fazzari Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 4/22/2024
  • Miriam Cortinovis Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 5/6/2024
  • Jenniea Carter Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 5/8/2024
  • 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 6/24/2024

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.


Today I’m thrilled to have agent Kristy Hunter here. She is an associate literary agent at The Knight Agency.

FYI as of April 2021, Kristy was promoted to an agent.

Status: Open to submissions.

Hi­ Kristy! Thanks so much for joining us.

About Kristy:

1. Tell us how you became an agent, how long you’ve been one, and what you’ve been doing as an agent.

I graduated from undergrad and knew I wanted to get involved in the publishing industry—I just wasn’t sure how. I attended the Columbia Publishing Course and fell in love with the industry and New York. Upon completing the course, I interned in Bloomsbury Children’s Books’ editorial department before working in publicity at Grove/Atlantic and Random House Children’s Books. There is something so rewarding about acting as a book’s publicist and being an advocate for an incredibly special project. Still, I was eager to get back to the creative process I experienced on the editorial side of things. I’ve now been with The Knight Agency for six years and love being a champion for my clients and their work, and I’m grateful for the additional perspective I can bring to their careers thanks to my previous publishing experience.

About the Agency:

2. Share a bit about your agency and what it offers to its authors.

Since 1996 The Knight Agency (TKA) has focused on comprehensive client services and hands-on management to guide countless writers from query letter to published book, in the process developing a powerhouse roster of bestselling authors.

Our team has placed well over 2,000 titles across the entire spectrum of New York publishers, as well as at independent houses throughout the country. Though we have represented clients in virtually all genres, our areas of fiction expertise include women’s, romance, young adult, middle grade, literary, mystery, fantasy, and science fiction, as well as multicultural and inspirational/religious fiction.

The agency focuses on a broad range of client services, addressing all aspects of our clients’ careers. TKA agents bring their extensive experience and knowledge of subsidiary rights management in the areas of foreign, motion picture and television, audio, merchandising, and electronic rights. Additionally, our marketing and publicity department offers wide-ranging support in the areas of book promotion and branding.

In the continually evolving world of publishing, TKA remains committed to providing cutting-edge services and scouting for fresh, unique voices to bring to the forefront. Yet what truly sets us apart are the lasting relationships between our authors and our team; ultimately, for us, it’s all about people. 

What She’s Looking For:

3. What age groups do you represent—picture books, MG, and/or YA? What genres do you represent and what are you looking for in submissions for these genres?

I represent upmarket/ book club fiction, commercial fiction (with an emphasis on what would be considered beach reads and/or rom-coms), Young Adult and Middle Grade (no picture books). For YA and MG, I am open to all genres including, but not limited to contemporary, historical, fantasy, mystery, speculative, and horror. For submissions, it all comes down to voice and concept, but I particularly love projects that put a fresh spin on a much-loved trope and/or leave me looking at the world through a different lens.

Update on 3/29/2023

I’m actively building my list and searching for projects that surprise me with their uniqueness. I often find that it’s the story I least expect that pulls me in and doesn’t let go. It all comes down to the voice and a strong hook!

• I’m always looking for OwnVoices projects and projects featuring a diverse cast of characters across all genres.

In adult fiction, Im looking for:

• High concept women’s fiction such as ELEANOR OLIPHANT IS COMPLETELY FINE by Gail Honeyman and THE HUSBAND’S SECRET by Liane Moriarty. As well, as stories that are literary but with commercial appeal such as LITTLE FIRES EVERYWHERE by Celeste Ng and LILY AND THE OCTOPUS by Steven Rowley. I especially love projects that capture the complicated nature of family.

• Rom-coms set in wonderful urban settings such as THE HATING GAME by Sally Thorne and CRAZY RICH ASIANS by Kevin Kwan

• Mainstream titles with hints of magic like THE TIME TRAVELER’S WIFE by Audrey Niffenegger and THE NIGHT CIRCUS by Erin Morgenstern.

In YA fiction, Im looking for:

• Fantasy projects that allow me to be transported in a way that feels new and fresh. I’d especially love to find a contemporary fantasy with a wonderful atmospheric setting. I also wouldn’t say no to paranormal…but it would truly have to be something I haven’t seen before

• Magical realism

• Historical projects that are serious in nature like CODE NAME VERITY by Elizabeth Wein, as well as those that are more playful like THE GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO VICE AND VIRTUE by Mackenzi Lee. I especially love historical mysteries and projects set in the Victorian and Regency periods.

• Cotemporary YA stories that are fun and unique, and overall present the perfect escape—even if they address larger issues. THINK DUMPLIN’ by Julie Murphy, TO ALL THE BOYS I LOVED BEFORE by Jenny Han and WHEN WE COLLIDED by Emery Lord.

• Thrillers and mysteries—either contemporary or historical. My favorites include LITTLE MONSTERS by Kara Thomas and WE WERE LIARS by E. Lockhart.

In MG fiction, Im looking for:

• Contemporary projects in the vein of THE FIRST RULE OF PUNK by Celia Pérez, WHERE THE WATERMELONS GROW by Cindy Baldwin, and WISH by Barbara O’Connor (I’m a sucker for a pet!).

• Quirky mysteries that could be part of a larger series and stories involving shifting friend groups

• Light fantasy and magical realism such as THE GIRL WHO DRANK THE MOON by Kelly Barnhill and A SNICKER OF MAGIC by Natalie Lloyd (From the agency website)  

4.  Is there anything you would be especially excited to seeing in the genres you are interested in?

Right now, I’d really love to see more adult fiction that straddles the line between commercial and upmarket fiction, especially those by BIPOC writers. I’m always interested in stories that explore complicated truths or that feature family dynamics, long held secrets, and/or female friendships. I’d also love to see more rom-coms and beach reads with exciting new hooks.

For YA and MG, I’m open to all genres, but I’m especially looking for high concept contemporary projects, fun, witty rom-coms, atmospheric fantasy (really all fantasy), as well as horror with fantastical elements and historical projects with a modern sensibility. I’d especially love to see more ownvoices projects in my inbox, as well as stories that explore a unique perspective. For me, it really comes down to a fabulous voice and a fresh concept—give me those two things, and I’ll be eager for more!

What She Isn’t Looking For:

5. What types of submissions are you not interested in?

This is always a difficult question because with the right voice, anything has the potential to hook me. That said, I’m not the right agent for projects that present suicide in a thoughtless or glamorized manner, especially when it comes to YA.

Agent Philosophy:

6. What is your philosophy as an agent both in terms of the authors you want to work with and the books you want to represent?

Like many agents and editors, I see books as such an important part of everyday life. Whether they provide entertainment, shape someone’s outlook, or transport readers to worlds beyond their imagination, books really are invaluable to society. I hope to continue to represent books that do all this and more. I’m looking for authors who recognize that, in some ways, they’ve been given a great responsibility, but who also greet the task with as much enthusiasm as I do. I feel very lucky to be working in such an incredible industry and I like partnering with authors who feel the same way.

Editorial Agent:

7. Are you an editorial agent? If so, what is your process like when you’re working with your authors before submitting to editors?

When it comes to editing, I’m hands-on. But the process varies greatly from project to project. It’s not unusual for projects to need several rounds of edits before they’re ready to go out on submissions (we want the project to be in the best shape possible before introducing it to editors!). That said, I never edit a project just for the sake of editing—or so that I can have my ‘stamp’ on it. When I offer on a project, I’m always very upfront about any edits that may be needed. I see the author/agent relationship as a collaborative one and, because of that, I want to be sure I’m the right person to help the author fully realize their vision.

Query Methods and Submission Guidelines: (Always verify before submitting)

8. How should authors query you and what do you want to see with the query letter?

The Knight Agency uses Query Manager. Interested writers can query me using the submission form found here: https://querymanager.com/query/Kristy_Hunter_TKA

For queries, it’s important that I know the main character(s), the stakes, the genre and the word count. More details on how to create a strong query letter can be found our website here: https://knightagency.net/query-letter-tips/

9.  Do you have any specific dislikes in query letters or the first pages submitted to you?

Query letters should be compelling, short and sweet—no need to have every single character and plot point explained. Our website has some great tips for writing strong query letters (http://knightagency.net/query-letter-tips/ ).

I have no specific dislikes, but I do really appreciate writers who take the time to follow the submission guidelines. It demonstrates a clear interest in wanting to partner with me, and I personally feel it starts the potential relationship off on the right foot.

Response Time:

10. What’s your response time to queries and requests for more pages of a manuscript?

For queries, I typically respond within one to two weeks. Response times for requested material typically fall between 2-4 months. With Covid-19, my response times have been a little bit longer, but writers are always free to follow up if they have not heard from me within these timeframes. I’m happy to provide an update or reconfirm that the material is still in my queue.

Self-Published and Small Press Authors:

11. Are you open to representing authors who have self-published or been published by smaller presses? What advice do you have for them if they want to try to find an agent to represent them?

I’m open to authors being self-published or published by a smaller press. Sometimes I see queries for the second (or third) book in a self-published series. This is a hard sell for agents because publishers are typically looking to represent the full series. I’d encourage writers to think about how they’d like to see the series published as a whole before making any decisions with the first title.

12. With all the changes in publishing—self-publishing, hybrid authors, more small publishers—do you see the role of agents changing at all? Why?

Agents act as partners to their clients. They offer support and provide critical insight to help their authors navigate the tricky waters of creating a successful writing career. As the publishing landscape changes, what ‘navigating a successful career’ looks like may change (and has changed), but at its core, the agent’s role has by and large remained the same. Hybrid author or not, your agent is there to help guide you and your career as you strive to reach your goals.


13. Who are some of the authors you represent?

Kelly Powell (Songs from the Deep, Magic Dark and Strange), Loriel Ryon (Into the Tall, Tall Grass), Liselle Sambury (Blood Like Magic).

Interviews and Guest Posts:

14. Please share the links to any interviews and guest posts you think would be helpful to writers interested in querying you.


Update on 3/29/2023
Podcast at the Manuscript Academy (Date unknown)
Podcast at Middle Grade Ninja (04/2020)

Links and Contact Info:

15. Please share how writers should contact you to submit a query and your links on the Web.

@KristySHunter on Twitter and Instagram

To submit a query to me, use the Query Manager form found here: https://querymanager.com/query/Kristy_Hunter_TKA

Update on 3/29/2023

Query Tracker

Additional Advice:

16. Is there any other advice you’d like to share with aspiring authors that we haven’t covered?

In the words of Stephen King, “If you don’t have the time to read, you don’t have the time (or tools) to write. Simple as that.” There’s no better way to put it. When I’m pitched at a conference or receive a query, I know immediately who’s familiar with the genre they’re working in—and it’s always an avid reader. I can’t stress how important it is to read in order to succeed at writing.

Thanks for sharing all your advice, Kristy.

­Kristy is generously offering a query critique to one lucky winner. To enter, all you need to do is be a follower (just click the follower button if you're not a follower) and leave a comment through April 8th. If your e-mail is not on your Google Profile, you must leave it in the comments to enter either contest. If you do not want to enter the contest, that's okay. Just let me know in the comments.

If you mention this contest on Twitter, Facebook, or your blog, mention this in the comments and I'll give you an extra entry. This is an international giveaway.

Profile Details:
Last updated: 3/29/2023.
Agent Contacted For Review? Yes.
Last Reviewed By Agent? 3/29/2023

Have any experience with this agent? See something that needs updating? Please leave a comment or e-mail me at natalieiaguirre7@gmail.com

Note: These agent profiles and interviews presently focus on agents who accept children's fiction. Please take the time to verify anything you might use here before querying an agent. The information found here is subject to change.


Cipher said...

Thanks for the great interview and critique!

Bish Denham said...

Thanks for this interview, Kristy! It has inspired me to work on a query. I have tweeted about the give-away.

Michelle Mason said...

Thanks for the interview! These are so helpful during the agent search process.

Beverley Baird said...

Great advice Kristy. Lovely interview.

mshatch said...

Excellent interview and information :) Thanks Kristy!

Erin Parisien said...

I love getting insight into different agents and their views. Great interview! :)

Chrys Fey said...

An agent interview. How neat. And informative. :)

M Pax said...

Hi Natalie!

Sounds like a fantastic agent!

Unknown said...

I'm so happy I stumbled upon this article! What a great opportunity. Kristy sounds like an amazing agent, and there are quite a few aspects from her wish list that my MG manuscript meets (sibling relationship, fantasy, the difficulties of middles school and friendship). Can't wait to query (though I will wait to see if I win the query critique first). Fingers crossed! :)

-Brooke Urban (aka Anne L)

Unknown said...

Oh, and my email is burbaniak03(at)gmail.com

Writerdeeva said...

I read a lot of agent spotlights and Kristy's personality shines through! She seems like a nice person to work with. I wish her much success in the years ahead.

Mary Holm said...

Thanks for the great interview, Natalie. Kristy sounds like she'd be an awesome agent to work with. I'll be tweeting about this contest.

Unknown said...

Thank you for this post!

Eric Steinberg said...

Thanks for another great interview and to Kristy for the critique opportunity. (I tweeted: https://twitter.com/ericgsteinberg/status/844895780154593282

Judith L. Roth said...

Thanks for the interview and the chance for a query critique. Sounds like a great agent.

Chelly Writes said...

Great interview. I shared via tweet. https://twitter.com/ChellyPike/status/844935498879684609

Unknown said...

Thanks for the interview and query critique! I've retweeted from my twitter @meangelad

Rachna Chhabria said...

Wonderful interview with Kristy. I have a MG book I'll query her with!

zellarelli said...

Another excellent interview. Thanks!

Unknown said...

Great interview! Thanks Natalie, for asking such insightful questions. I've mentioned the contest on Twitter. Monicachess26(@)gmail(.)com

Gifford MacShane said...

Excellent interview! Thanks so much for introducing Kristy. Shared via Twitter @giffmacshane

L. Ditton said...

Thank you, Natalie and Kristy, for this helpful interview!

L. Ditton said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
L. Ditton said...

My email is laurieditton@gmail.com

matthew said...

Another great article. I'd love to get a query critique. My email is zchingz@hotmail.com. I mentioned the contest on my Twitter here: https://twitter.com/MatthewMartinz/status/845132928036220928

Unknown said...

I enjoyed the interview! Bloomsbury Children’s Books’, Grove/Atlantic, and Random House Children’s Books sound like great places to gain experience. Have a great weekend, Natalie!

mary said...

Thanks for all the info and the opportunity!

Rachel Levine said...

thanks for the contest. Interesting interview.

Shelly Steig said...

I love these agent interviews and always label them, then file them. Thanks for letting us get to know agents and what they want! Thewritephrase@gmail.com

DMS said...

Very interesting interview. I always love to find out more about the publishing world. Great advice about reading! So important. Thanks for sharing. :)

Angie Dickinson said...

Great interview! I'd love a query critique.

K. said...

Thanks so much for the interview! It was very helpful! :)

Taffy said...

Thanks for this post! I enjoy learning more about agents I could possibly query.

Taffy said...

I twitted this post!

whispering words said...

Count me in :) dancing_dragon747(at)hotmail.com

Raina Xin said...

Thanks for the giveaway! I shared it on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/xinraina/status/846727812333527040

My email is xinraina@gmail.com

Julie Abe said...

Thank you for the chance at this critique!

Ruth Schiffmann said...

These interviews are so helpful. Thanks Kristy and Natalie! And thanks for the contest.

Unknown said...

Love your interviews, would love to win a critique! AudrasPicks@gmail.com

Theresa Milstein said...

Kristy is a perfect agent for two of my projects. I have a YA with a strong sibling relationship, and I have a MG that sounds like it fits too.
I'll share this post on Twitter. I'd love to win a critique! tmilstein at gmail.com

Megan Cason said...

I enjoy reading the agent interviews. There is always more you would learn from the agency website!

Unknown said...

Thank you for sharing your insights.

Unknown said...

Fortuitous timing! I'm just starting to research agents interested in YA, specifically dystopian post-apocalyptic and really enjoyed reading this. Thanks for the leg up!

Laurie Zaleski said...

Very informative interview. Thanks for your generous giveaway!

Gabrielle Slivoski said...

Excellent interview and information! Thank you for the amazing opportunity! My email is gabrielleslivoski(at)gmail(dot)com

Rebecca E. Bailey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rebecca E. Bailey said...

Very interesting interview. Thank you so much--and thank you for entering me in the query critique giveaway. Just in case, my email address is profrbailey@aol.com.

Unknown said...

Very informative - thanks so much. I'd be so appreciative of a query critique.