Upcoming Agent Spotlight Interviews & Guest Posts

  • Kelly Dyksterhouse Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 12/12/2022
  • Savannah Brooks Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 12/19/2022

Agent Spotlight & Agent Spotlight Updates

  • All Agent Spotlights & Interviews have been updated as of 7/15/2020, and many have been reviewed by the agents. Look for them to be fully updated in 2023.

AGENT SPOTLIGHT INTERVIEW WITH LAUREN SPIELLER and QUERY CRITIQUE GIVEAWAY

Today I’m thrilled to have agent Lauren Spieller here. She is an assistant literary agent at TriadaUS Literary Agency.

Update: As of October 2020, Lauren was promoted to a literary agent.

FYI, I’m taking over the agent spotlights from Casey. I will be providing all the same information we’ve shared in the past in an interview format. In addition, one lucky commenter will win a query critique from the agent being interviewed.

Status: Open to submissions.

Hi¬ Lauren! Thanks so much for joining us.

About Lauren:

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


I joined TriadaUS in July 2016, having worked in children’s scouting and as a freelance editor, and it’s been a wonderful first few months! My focus has been on building my client list, so I spend most of my time reading submissions, meeting with editors, and pitching projects! In fact, my first sale was finally announced earlier this month—a YA Fantasy entitled The Weight of Worlds by Laura E. Weymouth, which sold at auction to Harper Teen and has already been picked up by publishers in France and the UK. I’ve wanted to tell the world about Laura’s gorgeous novel since December, so it’s fabulous for both of us to finally get to talk about it!

About the Agency:

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

TriadaUS is a close-knit agency lead by Uwe Stender. We support one another’s clients every step of the way, from the moment we first consider a project, through contract negotiations, all the way to publication and beyond. This means clients not only get my full attention, they’re getting the attention of all TriadaUS’ agents. We’re also eager to pursue film and foreign rights, and so we work closely with subagents abroad and in Hollywood. Our clients work hard on their books, so we work hard for our clients!

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 all genres of Middle Grade and Young Adult fiction, and select Adult projects (thrillers, non fic w/ a platform, diverse romcom, and SFF). At the end of the day, I’m looking for a strong hook, a killer voice, and a story that can stand the test of time. If your book fits that description, I’d love to see It! For my full wishlist, you can check out the TriadaUS website (www.triadaus.com), ManuscriptWishlist.com, or my tweets tagged with #MSWL!
4. Is there anything you would be especially excited to seeing in the genres you are interested in?

I’d love to find a fun, heartfelt Middle Grade with a touch (or more!) of magic, a YA romcom with a fabulous voice, and upper YA/crossover Fantasy. I’m also always on the hunt for underrepresented voices, so I welcome those projects in absolutely any age category or genre.
What She Isn’t Looking For:

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

I’m not a good fit for dystopian fiction right now, not because I don’t enjoy it (I do!), but because it’s very difficult to sell. I’m also not looking for paranormal romance or women's fiction.
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?

I need to love a book with all my heart, and I want to work with authors who are hardworking, compassionate, and committed to writing the best stories possible.

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?

I am, though what that means differs depending on the manuscript. Sometimes that means brainstorming the way to address a specific problem in the manuscript—slow pacing, clunky dialogue, an unbelievable plot point—while other times it means line editing. Ultimately the book belongs to my client, however, so they have the final word on revision.

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?

Please send a query letter and the first ten pages of the manuscript with the word QUERY in the email’s subject line, along with the age category and genre (ex: QUERY YA Fantasy) to lauren@triadaus.com.

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

It’s frustrating when authors don’t include pages, or when they lead with a long explanation for why they wrote the book, or with a lengthy biography. It’s always best to let the book speak for itself. That means telling me why you’re querying me (short and sweet is best), what your book is and how long it is (YA Fantasy? 80k words? Check!), giving me a 1-2 paragraph summary of the premise (not a full synopsis!), and then a quick bio and signature. That’s it!

Response Time:

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

It’s our policy at TriadaUS to respond to queries within two weeks, so I do my best to do just that! Manuscripts take longer, though I try to respond within 2 months.

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?

Absolutely, as long as their new work has not yet been published. My advice is to make sure your new manuscript is very strong, and that they have their existing contracts at hand in case the agent has questions about their existing commitments.

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?

I think agents need to wear a lot of hats: editorial, sales, branding—you name it. For me, it all comes together in one package: advocate. I’m going to do my best to provide whatever each individual client needs, be in a bulldog when it comes to contracts, a editor when it comes to revisions, or a cheerleader when it comes to their very first sale. That’s my job, and I love it!

Interviews and Guest Posts:

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

Here’s a sampling:
-Literary Rambles: http://www.literaryrambles.com/2018/09/agent-lauren-spieller-and-laura.html
-Writer’s Digest: http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/guide-to-literary-agents/lauren-spieller
-Manuscript Wishlist: http://www.manuscriptwishlist.com/mswl-post/lauren-spieller/
-First Five Frenzy: https://chasingthecrazies.wordpress.com/2016/10/28/first-five-frenzy-with-lauren-spieller-of-triada-us-literary-agency/
-Michelle4Laughs’ blog: http://www.michelle4laughs.com/2016/07/query-questions-with-lauren-spieller.html
-Valerie Cole’s blog: http://valeriefm80.blogspot.com/2017/01/agents-like-us-lauren-spieller.html

Update as of 3/4/2022
Writing and Ilustrating: Intro, Part 1, Part 2

Additional Advice:

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

The best advice I can give is to build your writing community. Publishing is a hard business, and we all need someone to rely on, someone to hold our hand when things are tough, and to celebrate when things are going our way. Find your community, and cherish it.

Thanks for sharing all your advice, Lauren.

Lauren 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 May 13th. 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: 6/2/2020.
Agent Contacted for Review? Yes.
Last Reviewed By Agent? 6/2/2020


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.

95 comments:

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

I enjoyed this thorough interview. Enjoyed all the links for learning more about Lauren, too. I don't have anything in the MG or YA category right now, so I can't take advantage of her query contest, but she sounds like a terrific agent. Thanks for these informative posts, Natalie.

Frank Murphy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Frank Murphy said...

Love being a regular reader here now! This is a great site! As a PB writer, I'm excited to know more about Lauren's love of picture books. But I feel confident I'll find out soon - I'm happy she is attending the NJ SCBWI June gig!! Thank you, Natalie!! And Lauren too - for being generous w/ her time & knowledge!

Rachna Chhabria said...

Lauren sounds wonderful, would love to have her in my corner as my agent, cheering for me. Please Natalie, add me for the query critique giveaway.

Patchi said...

In case I haven't told you, I'm really enjoying the interview format. And Lauren sounds like a great agent :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the interview! It's always helpful to hear directly from agents!

whispering words said...

I love these interviews - so so helpful :)

abnormalalien said...

I keep hearing that dystopian YA is hard to sell right now. I guess that makes sense; the market has a lot of really good and recent material already. But it must kind of stink for those writing it.

M Pax said...

I agree a community is needed. It's about impossible to publish alone.

Mary Holm said...

Thanks for the excellent interview, Natalie. Lauren sounds like a fantastic agent. I hope to have a polished manuscript to query her with very soon. Meanwhile, please enter me in the contest. I will also be tweeting about this interview.

Michelle OHara Levin said...

Thanks for this great interview! Lauren, I love that your sum your role up in the word "advocate." Perfect.

Liz Steinglass said...

It's a pleasure to meet Laura. Thanks for the interview!

Kathy Halsey said...

Insightful interview with Laura, and TriadaUS looks like the type of agency I'd like. Enter me in the contest. I'll be tweeting @infowoman1 and posting on FB as Kathy Halsey. TY both.

Sue Heavenrich said...

Great interview, and thanks for your passion in advocating for writers who want to create the best stories, Lauren.

Unknown said...

Great interview! I've tweeted about the contest. monicachess26(@)gmail.com

Judith L. Roth said...

What a lovely agent! I'd love to win a query critique from her.

Anonymous said...

PB query critique would be wonderful. Thanks much.

Unknown said...

Would love this, Audraspicks@gmail.com

Erin Pearson said...

Thank you for the informative interview!

Rachel Levine said...

Great interview. I'm going to be querying anyway, but a query critique is always welcome.

Jarm Del Boccio said...

I've enjoyed the interview, Lauren. All the best to you! Jarm@me.com

Greg Pattridge said...

Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts, Lauren. Your devotion is infectious!

Sherri said...

Would love to win the query critique. I have a contemporary MG with sprinkles of magic, so Lauren sounds like a dream agent for me. Glad I found this place!

Bethany13 said...

great interview! (bethany.hensel@gmail.com)

abhinavnbhat said...

Very informative. Love this interview series. Please sign me up for the query critique at abhinavnbhat@gmail.com

Stephanie Faris said...

I have two writer friends who have Uwe Stender as an agent, and I've heard a lot of great things about their agency. I definitely recommend people query them!

Kirsti Call said...

Thanks for a great interview!

Unknown said...

I'd love to win a query critique from Lauren! danette.byatt@gmail.com Thank you!

K. said...

Thanks for the great interview! :)

BrandyM. said...

Great interview! Triada is well respected and on my list. I'd love a critique! Thanks for the insight.

Jocelyn Rish said...

I remember Lauren from when she was a fellow Pitch Wars contestant several years ago and was giving others fabulous query advice. So thrilled to see she's found her calling as an agent!

Melissa Miles said...

Great interview! I'd love to have her opinion on a query. Thanks for the opportunity.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

I enjoyed reading your interview! Thank you for all of the great tips. I retweeted this link on Twitter. 😀

Julie Abe said...

Thank you for the interview, Lauren and Natalie!

Sara Codair said...

I don't see the follow button...maybe I already am following? Anyways, this was a great interview. Thank you!

Cipher said...

Great interview! Thanks1

An American in Florence said...

Thanks so much for another wonderful interview! kimberde@gmail

Angie Dickinson said...

Thanks for another informative interview!
Angiedickinson06@gmail.com

Rebecca E. Bailey said...

I appreciate Lauren's advice about building a writing community! Thank you for entering me twice for a critique; I mentioned this contest on my blog. profrbailey@aol.com Thanks!

Chrys Fey said...

Considering I'm querying two picture books, this was good information for me right now. Thanks! :)

Unknown said...

I sent Lauren a query today:> Wouldn't it be funny to win a query critique from her on that one?! Literary Rambles is one awesome blog!!

Freda L. said...

Thank you for the advice and the hope!

Marilyn said...

Great interview! I love your blog and have recommended Literary Rambles to many writers in my critique group!

David McMullin said...

I've seen Lauren's name pop up a few times lately. It's great to get to know her better. Thank you for the interview.

Stacey Corrigan said...

Great interview. Thanks for the tips and links. My email address is ournorthbay@gmail.com. I have added this post to my Facebook Page too. Thanks.

Vanessa said...

Great interview! Laura is on my query list, and i know my project might be something she's interested in.

My emailis vepeay@gmail.com

Bound said...

I love agent interviews, thank you both for taking the time to answer questions we writers always have! =)

Unknown said...

I'm so excited for Laura Weymouth, so congrats to both of you! Thanks for a terrific interview and the insight :)
jacy@jacymerrill.com

Brekke said...

This is awesome! Thanks for keeping these interviews going :D
Will be tweeting it (@BrekkeWrites)
Brekkewrites@gmail.com

Elisa Stryker said...

Such a great interview! I'm going to tweet about this soon @elisa_stryker
elisastryker@gmail.com

Unknown said...

Awesome! Will be tweeting @carmackcaroline ccarmack333@gmail.com

Unknown said...

Awesome interview! Thank you to the both of you. I already follow Lauren on twitter and plan to query her in the near future. My email: athornton352@yahoo.com

Unknown said...

Great advice Lauren. Thank you.
@RebeccaSheraton

Bish Denham said...

Congratulations on your first sale, Lauren! May there be many more. I've tweeted about the query critique.

cleemckenzie said...

I appreciated the interview a lot! Congrats to you, Lauren. So exciting.

Unknown said...

Great article and thanks for the query critique giveaway!!!

Patricia A Miller said...

Enjoyed the interview and the opportunity to win a critique! My email is: patriciamillerbooks@yahoo.com

JEN Garrett said...

I love the thought of an agent being my advocate.
Shared on twitter and Facebook

(I think my Google profile is connected to my email, but just in case...) lexicalcreations@gmail.com

Gabi said...

Thanks for sharing this insightful interview and the opportunity to win a query critique. I shared on Twitter.

ChristinaTWise said...

Great interview and so helpful to read when I'm trying to research agents to query. My email is Christina@jbwpro.com

Karen Lange said...

It's nice to meet Lauren. Love the advice about building your writing community. I agree, it's such a big help in so many ways.

Thanks for hosting, Natalie. Appreciate your time and effort. I'll pass on the giveaway. Have a good week!

Unknown said...

Thanks for this detailed interview. I'm in the process of polishing ing my MG novel and would just love a query critique!

Joanne R. Fritz said...

Such helpful advice. Thank you! And thanks, Natalie, for continuing the tradition.

Angela said...

Thanks for the interview, Lauren! Reading about an agent's approach is always enlightening.

kate said...

I don't see where to follow, but I'll comment...

Thanks for the insights. Great interview, Lauren and Natalie!

Nick Wilford said...

Great interview. An advocate for authors - I like that!

Jemi Fraser said...

Good interview!
(I don't write in these genres, so don't enter me :) )

Leah Schanke said...

I enjoyed reading about the collaborative approach at the TriadaUS Literary Agency. I've tweeted about this interview/giveaway - @LeahSchanke. Thank you!

Leah Schanke said...

I enjoyed reading about the collaborative approach at the TriadaUS Literary Agency. I've tweeted about this interview/giveaway - @LeahSchanke. Thank you!

Tamara Narayan said...

Sounds like an excellent agent to work with. Congrats on your first sale!

Carol Riggs said...

Great interview--it's always helpful to read these on your blog when I'm researching agents. It's interesting about dystopian not selling; good to know. I like the fact that Lauren has an editing background; that's sure to come in handy as an agent, and a good quality to have! :o)

Unknown said...

Congratulations on The Weight of Worlds! Great interview - thanks for the querying tips!

Tyrean Martinson said...

Great tips for querying!

Unknown said...

What a great interview! Thank you for the tips and for the great agent highlight. She seems like someone I would love working with. It would be great to participate in the Query Critique Contest.

P.S.: I mentioned this Query Critique on my Twitter for the Contest (@MoniqueMihali14)

:)

Ashley C said...

What a great opportunity, and a great article! I'd love to be entered in the Query Critique Contest.

Thanks!
Ashley

Unknown said...

Thanks for the informative interview and for the opportunity to enter the query critique contest.

caroline yu said...

Thank you for sharing these insightful interviews! I posted the link to this contest on facebook and would love to be entered. My email is c dot roberts dot yu at gmail dot com.

Unknown said...

Thanks for the great interview and I would love a query critique!

Nicole said...

Awesome interview, thanks for the tips Lauren. I have a YA fantasy manuscript that may be up your alley and would love a query critique, if possible. My email is nhlowrey@gmail.com

Sara Dorsch said...

Great interview. Always interesting to gain insight into the publishing world.

Megan Leger said...

Very informative interview. Thanks to Lauren for the tips.

Shanah Salter said...

Great interview! I would love to win a query critique from Lauren. shanah dot salter at gmail dot com
thank you!

Shanah Salter said...

have tweeted the interview :)

Ilona Bray said...

It's very helpful that Lauren is so specific about what she likes and doesn't, thanks!

Sarah P said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sarah P said...

I've been querying this week and found this interview as I researched agents. A query critique would be a valuable prize! Thank you for your archives of info.
(My email: sarahannpaulkATgmailDOTcom)

Unknown said...

Thanks for this interview! Very helpful!

rena traxel said...

Thanks. rjtraxel@gmail.com

M.E. Tudor said...

I'm very excited about this query giveaway. I have a new YA/New Adult novel that is almost finished and I would love a chance to query her if she's interested in a story with about lesbian and FTM trans drama/love story.

P.D. Pabst said...

Oh I'd love Lauren to help with my query for my new MG Fantasy. She's helped me a few years ago with pitches and a query and I like her style! I mentioned this query opportunity on my blog, twitter and my Facebook author page.

Children's Book Author said...

I'm working on picture books and a YA fantasy, but it's hard to find an agent who reps both! Thanks for sharing your expertise.

Unknown said...

Great interview Lauren and Natalie! I have written a YA Paranormal Romance, but maybe Lauren will find the "concept and voice really special." After all, every product of art is subjective. My email is: mariahrose.coa@gmail.com

Emma Little said...

Great to get the inside story. I would love to have my story 'The Master Glider Maker' critiqued. Thank you! Emma Little elittle@westnet.com.au

Megan Whitaker said...

She seems to like a little of everything except dystopian-my feelings exactly. My email is: meganew@frontier.com
Thanks for the thorough interview!