CURRENT GIVEAWAY CONTESTS

Here are my current Giveaway Contests

Quressa Robinson Query Critique through November 11th
DARK MIGHTY THINGS through November 25th
Gratitude Giveaway Hop through November 30th

Upcoming Agent Spotlights and Query Critique Giveaways

Elizabeth Bewley Agent Spotlight Interview on 1/10/18
Molly O'Neill Agent Spotlight Interview on 1/22/18

AGENT SPOTLIGHT INTERVIEW WITH LORIN OBERWEGER AND QUERY CRITIQUE GIVEAWAY

Today I’m thrilled to have agent Lorin Oberweger here. She is a literary agent at Adams Literary.

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 Lorin! Thanks so much for joining us.

Thanks for having me! 

About Lorin:

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

Well, I’ve been an independent book editor for about twenty-five years, in addition to putting on workshops geared for intermediate and advanced writers and serving as a fiction instructor as well. 

So, helping writers achieve success has been the thrust of my professional life for a long time. Eventually, it felt to me that as an agent I could offer an additional length of bridge between writers and publishing success. I could offer them the investment of time and effort that signifies an investment in their work—and in their longterm success. It just felt like such a natural extension of everything I’ve done, professionally and creatively, to date.

I’ve only been at it for about six months now, and I’m allowing myself to go slow, build a thoughtful list of clients and projects. So, right now, my agent work is still in the nascent stage, but I hope to go out with some recently revised client works in the next few weeks or so! Stay tuned for more.

About the Agency:

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

Now in its thirteenth year, Adams Literary is a full-service boutique agency catering exclusively to authors of picture books, middle grade, and young adult fiction. From the website: “While we like to think of ourselves as matchmakers—connecting authors and artists with editors and publishers, and young readers with unforgettable books—our first priority is to ensure our clients have the peace of mind to concentrate on their characters, not their contracts.” 

I think that sums things up beautifully. What the agency offers is a sense of collaboration and family paired with incredible business acumen. I feel so fortunate to be a client of the agency AND to grow a career under the mentorship of such awesome, brilliant 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 primarily middle grade and young adult, as I don’t feel quite as savvy about picture books. In terms of what I’m looking for, I’m open to any genre, really, though slightly more excited about contemporary, literary, magical realism, mystery, and horror/dark suspense.

That said, I’m open to falling in love with just about anything!


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

I think for me it has less to do with genre and more to do with character development, plot, and theme. I love characters who demonstrate some level of agency right away. I love to experience a world that I wouldn’t have an opportunity to experience outside of the pages of the book. I love a story that has something to SAY without being preachy.

I’m absolutely for books that feature characters of all races, ethnicities, genders, sexual persuasions, and abilities. Not because publishing is seeking those books but because books can serve as lifelines to readers out there, and the more kids and teens (and even adults) who find themselves reflected on the page, who feel as though they’re being seen and acknowledged, the better. 

What She Isn’t Looking For:

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

High fantasy and science fiction works that offer familiar genre tropes; passive protagonists who define themselves almost solely through their weaknesses/character deficiencies; books that condescend to younger readers; books that are written in a style that feels overly dispassionate and objective. I like an intimate and juicy narrative. I don’t want to feel as though I’m observing characters from a distance of miles.

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’d love for my clients to be as passionate about craft as I am, to be unafraid to dig in and challenge themselves and their projects to great heights. I love a good “mensch,” of course, and for me, someone who exhibits intellectual ambition AND generosity of spirit: well, that’s just the best.

In terms of books I want to represent, I’m attracted to the idiosyncratic/quirky works, the stories that might otherwise slip through the cracks. Most of all, though a great story about a worthy character engaged in a quest of critical importance (with urgent public and/or private stakes) is what it’s about for me.

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?

With decades of editorial work under my belt, the answer is a resounding YEP. I haven’t been at it long enough to have a routine process, but I can tell you that I’m a thorough editor who tends to have great ambitions for a client’s story, so chances are there will be a pretty thorough revision process before submission. Not in all cases, of course, but probably I’d be a nightmare to any lazybones writers out there. 😃

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?

Writers can query through the submissions portal at adamsliterary.com. We ask for the entire work with submissions, so expect to send that with some kind of synopsis and query, per the website’s instructions.

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

I don’t respond that well to queries that editorialize about the work being submitted. I’d rather spend time reading about the characters, world, and story than the writer’s opinion of his or her own work.

Also, writers who send queries aimed at other agents, who spell my name wrong or refer to me as “Mr.,” or who come at me in a defensive or defeatist manner are not doing themselves any great favors. I tend to give everyone the benefit of the doubt, but a professional and considerate query certainly rises to the top.

Response Time:

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

As mentioned, Adams Lit really skips that process and goes right to whole manuscript submission, which can slow response time.

I’m still getting up to speed/putting an efficient system in place, so I’m a little slow right now. It may be four or five months before I reply to works that really interest me. Less time, of course, for those I know are passes.

That said, I will reply to all submissions, so silence from me means I’m dancing as fast as I can and shouldn’t be construed as a rejection.

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 absolutely interested in those authors, but I probably wouldn’t be interested in trying to sell a story that has already been self-published or which has been out with a small press prior to submission (with reverted rights, etc.). Other works by those authors? Most definitely.

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 the role of agent is principally the same, but, of course, a good agent will be aware of what’s going on in the industry and try to serve her clients across different formats and publishing platforms, as needed.

I’m with Adams Literary because I believe in traditional publishing and want to help guide clients to traditional publishing success. But if a client of mine has reason to pursue hybrid success, I feel capable of pointing them to the resources they need to do so.

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.

Folks can find a few articles on my woefully unfinished personal website: http://lorinoberweger.com/tips/ and on my business blog: http://free-expressions.com/write-line/
Also:

In addition, we’ve added some tips for writers on the Adams Literary site—a checklist for writers planning to submit. Here’s hoping that’s of help, too!

Links and Contact Info:

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

Please submit through the portal at adamsliterary.com

In terms of other links, I’m easily found on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram—the benefit of having a pretty distinctive name!

 Additional Advice:

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

When you feel like giving up, don’t. So many authors I know succeeded after what felt like a painful and protracted stage of “almost there.” Inevitably, GIANT breakthroughs come at that point for authors who keep the faith and keep working to improve. Keep at it.

Thanks for sharing all your advice, Lorin.

­Lorin 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 27th.  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.

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. 

48 comments:

  1. Fun interview. Love this: I’d love for my clients to be as passionate about craft as I am, to be unafraid to dig in and challenge themselves and their projects to great heights.

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  2. I like that Adams Lit wants to look at the whole manuscript! I've tweeted about the query critique.

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  3. Thanks for this interview. I've been waiting to see Lorin featured. Glad to know she's still responding to all queries, (there's still hope!) I'll pass on the critique since she already has my query.

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  4. Such a great interview :) I love hearing exactly what an agent is looking for, as well as the query pet peeves!

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  5. Great to hear about another awesome agent. (Hehe alliteration.) I remember reading a lot of "preachy" novels as a teen. I'm also glad the trend seems to have shifted toward subtlety in message. It's easier to take to heart, especially when you're prone to being a bit of a rebel!

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  6. Congratulations on your new turn as an agent.
    Since you're edited for so many years, you've probably seen a lot of similar stories, so I imagine new and fresh really stands out now.

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    1. It really does! What's tough for writers to know is how often the same ideas/conventions repeat themselves in queries--much more than are represented by actual published novels. The more singular the protagonist, setting, story goals, and stakes, the better. - LO

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  7. I found your blog as I was researching agents. I've been querying all week and a query critique would be a wonderful prize!
    sarahannpaulkATgmailDOTcom

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  8. This is such an informative blog post. I love the way Adams Literary works. I've also tweeted this interview. Thank you for sharing!

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  9. Nice to read about you and what you're looking for Lorin! I'd love a query critique and have shared the post on twitter. My email is nhlowrey@gmail.com

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  10. great interview! I would love a query critique and have shared this post on twitter. my email is shanah dot salter at gmail dot com

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  11. I could really use the query critique. I'm sharing this post on Twitter, too. molloymatkins at gmail

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  12. Thanks for the info about this agent! I'm interested in the critique and have shared on Twitter :)

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  13. Great interview! Nice to meet you Lorin. Don't put me in for the critique.

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  14. Thanks for sharing, Lorin. Very informative.

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  15. Awesome interview, and thanks for the giveaway!

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  16. Great interview, Natalie! Thanks for sharing with us, Lorin. Please enter me in the giveaway. I'll tweeting this post.

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  17. Lots of good tips in this interview as we learn more about Lorin and Adams! I'd love to win! infowoman@sbcglobal.net

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  19. Another great interview. Thanks Natalie and Lorin. Especially glad to hear she responds to all submissions. (Still holding onto hope over here.)

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  20. I love that agents have a submissions portal now. It makes things so much easier for everyone!

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  21. Great interview! An editor with extensive editorial experience is what every author needs, I think. I also tweeted the post and I'd love the chance to win a critique. mcwilfo@gmail.com

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  22. Would love to win monicachess26(@)gmail.com

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  23. Great to meet you, Lorin! Thanks for the interview and for a chance to get a query critique. I also blogged about this post: profrbailey@aol.com!

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  24. Thanks for the interview! I passed it along on twitter @meAngelaD

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  25. Lots of great advice here!I've shared the post on twitter and am definitely interested in a query critique.
    Angiedickinson06@gmail.com

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  26. Really enjoyed your interview, Lorin. Your experinece is impressive and I'd love your insight on my work.

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  27. Such a great opportunity. Thank you Lorin for the interview and the critique.

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  28. Thank you for sharing your time & thoughts, Lorin & Natalie.

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  29. Great interview. Nice to read what Lorin is looking for. Please include me in the query critique giveaway.

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  30. What a great opportunity to get a query critique. Adams Literary is already on my query list :)

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  31. Thanks, Lorin, for the great advice. I'd love a query critique. :) sjsubity at gmail.com

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  32. Appreciate the interview and advice! Nice to meet Lorin and learn more about how the industry works.

    I'll pass on the giveaway this time. Have a great weekend! :)

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  33. Hey! I love this website, and I love that I know this person too! Yea! She may seem like just an agent but really she is a being of the Upper Air that has conveniently wrapped herself in her Lorin disguise to help out word-spankers who need a little more attention to craft. Whoever wins the contest is lucky beyond measure.

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  34. Thanks so much for the great interview! :) I'd love to win a query critique!

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  35. This was a very thorough interview. Thank you!

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  36. Thanks for this informative interview. I've shared links to my writer friends.

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  37. Wonderful, practical advice. Lorin, thank you for the encouragement to "keep at it"! I've also shared this post via my Facebook page. emmacfox16@gmail.com

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  38. Great interview. Tweeted. https://twitter.com/METudor

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  39. Great interview!
    And I don't have a query that would interest her, so I'll pass on the giveaway.

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  40. Thanks for this interview! I've been curious about Lorin, and I think this answered all of my questions.

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  41. Sounds like a solid choice for my next book!

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  42. I'd love a query critique from Lorin.
    My email address is yepearson@gmail.com

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  43. Enter me please! I commented about the contest on facebook and my email is c.roberts.yu@gmail.com

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  44. Thanks for the full introduction to Lorin. I'm going to tweet your post and it will also go up on my Facebook page. Great interview! (Crossing my fingers and toes.)

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