Upcoming Agent Spotlight Interviews & Guest Posts

  • Bethany Weaver Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 6/26/2024
  • Rebecca Williamson Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 7/8/2024
  • Sheila Fernley Agent Spotlight Interview, Critique Giveaway, and One-Hour Zoom Call on 7/29/2024
  • Erica McGrath Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 8/12/2024

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 Katelyn Uplinger here. She is a literary agent at D4EO Literary Agency.

Hi­ Katelyn! Thanks so much for joining us.

About Katelyn:

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

I’m a newer agent, but I’m not new to the industry. I got my start as a freelance editor with indie authors, small presses, and Big 5 imprints. Once I decided I wanted to be an agent I spent about two years as an intern and assistant at agencies like Inklings Literary Agency and Folio Literary Management while continuing to edit. I joined D4EO in 2018 and I’m happy to be here. Right now I’m spending a lot of time building my client list.

About the Agency:

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

Bob Diforio launched D4EO Literary Agency in 1989 after a long career at the New American Library (NAL), now an imprint of Penguin Random House. Today D4EO is a full-service literary agency representing authors of a very broad range of commercial fiction and non-fiction for children, young adults, and adults. 

Books represented by the agency have topped the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists, and agency authors have received awards that include the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense and the Nero Award, as well as nominations for the Hugo Award, among many other notable successes.

With over 1,500 published books under contract, the agency has launched the writing careers of more than two hundred authors.

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 YA and adult works. Genres I’m always looking for include science fiction and fantasy, romance, historical fiction and nonfiction, and horror. I do my best to keep my personal website up to date when it comes to what I’m looking for.

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

I love when historical crosses with other genres and I wish I got more historical fantasy and historical horror queries. I’m always looking for something creepy and fresh in historical and young adult. I’d also love to see more ancient history including the Stone Age like in the book Ivory and Bone by Julie Eshbaugh. In romance I’d love to see more romcoms whether in contemporary, historical, or something else.

What She Isn’t Looking For:

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

The majority of historical submissions I get are about WWI or WWII and I’ve gotten worn out on those. I like a good mystery included in a story, but I’m not the best choice for cozy mysteries, cop procedurals, or anything about the FBI, CIA, or terrorists. Military stories including military science fiction are also hard to sell me on.

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 like authors who are committed, professional, and open-minded when it comes to revisions. As an agent I want to build long-term relationships with my clients so I want authors willing to put in the time and who aren’t easily discouraged. When it comes to books I love books that speak to me personally and aren’t afraid to be bold. 

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 a very editorial agent. I usually take at least one editing round with my clients before going on submission. I send them an edit letter and make comments in Track Changes on the manuscript. We’ll take as many rounds of edits as a project needs before going on submission. My clients also have different revision processes which can change how we interact during revisions. Some bounce ideas off me and check in during revisions while others like to focus on edits with as little interruption as possible.

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?

I can be queried via my Query Manager form here: http://QueryMe.Online/1328 I do not accept queries via email. I like to see the first three chapters and comp titles with the query. Everything I want is listed on the form.

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

I don’t like queries that focus on the author and themes more than plot because it often leaves me unsure of what the book is about. I want to know exactly what the plot is. Other than that I’m always looking for eye-catching concepts and great writing.

Response Time:

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

I try to respond to queries within six weeks. Right now on average it takes me anywhere from one day to three weeks to respond, so response time varies. I do my best to get back to authors on full requests within three months but that can change depending on my schedule. Around the holidays my response times tend to take longer.

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 am open to representing self-published authors and authors form smaller presses. I’m looking to represent new books, not ones already published. I get a lot of queries on books that have already been published and I wish those authors would instead wait to send me the next one before publishing it. My advice is to query a new book and keep the letter professional without complaining about how hard self-publishing is or how much you didn’t like your small press.

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 agents will stay fundamentally the same despite the small changes that may happen. In the end we are here to help authors build their careers and be their allies and I think that will always be useful for authors.


13. Who are some of the authors you represent?

Anne Wagener, Alexandria Rogers, and Amy Wilson.

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.

Links and Contact Info:

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

Find my query form here: http://QueryMe.Online/1328
My personal website: www.katelynuplinger.com

Additional Advice:

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

Don’t be afraid to get feedback and critique on your writing. Learning to take critique is one of the best skills you’ll learn as an author. Some of the most polished submissions come to me from authors with multiple critique partners as well as authors who are great revisers. Remember no writer is perfect. Everyone had to work hard to get their writing to the level you see in their books. It’s normal to feel embarrassed or scared when getting feedback, but it’s all part of the process.

Thanks for sharing all your advice, Katelyn.

­Katelyn 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 6th.  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: 6/4/2020.
Agent Contacted for Review? No.
Last Reviewed By Agent? N/A.

Comment: 6/4/2020 update was just to confirm Ms. Uplinger is still an agent at her agency and open to submissions.

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.


nashvillecats2 said...

Katelyn certainly do seem to have a most interesting job Natalie. Great interview.


Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Having an editorial agent is a great plus for writers! Always nice to get feedback before submitting.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Definitely not looking for my genre, but hopefully a lot of historical writers note that she is looking for them.

Victoria Dixon said...

I hope Katelyn is interested in Asian-inspired historical horror, cause I want to query her. LOL Shared it here https://www.facebook.com/VictoriaLDixon and https://twitter.com/ronempress/status/1110215809421455363

I can be reached at victoria_dixon@msn.com

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Good interview. Even though I'm not presently writing what she is looking for, she sounds like a good agent. And I agree with Elizabeth Craig that an editorial agent is a plus.

Joanne R. Fritz said...

What a thorough interview, as always, Natalie. Thanks! Not my genre but still interesting to read her responses.

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

Great interview. Thanks, ladies. Wish I had something to submit.

Snuffalupagus said...

Great article! Really informed me on the difference an editorial agent can make.

Leela said...

I'm an email subscriber.

Chelly Writes said...

Great interview. Thanks for sharing.

Sherry Ellis said...

It's very important to get feedback and have your work critiqued. I'm very grateful for everyone who has done that for me. Thanks for the interview!

Rosi said...

Another interesting interview. I will pass on the query critique since I recently won one, which was very helpful! Thanks for the post.

nancywestbooks said...

Thank you so much for this terrific interview. The advice about editing is much appreciated!

Elizabeth Seckman said...

I love historicals. They're a bit harder to write, but then there is the research, so that is a bonus.

Mary Holm said...

Great interview. Katelyn sounds like an awesome agent.

mshatch said...

Excellent interview. I,too, love a good historical/fantasy mash up :)

Tonja Drecker said...

Historical fantasy is one of my favorites, so I hope more hit the market. Lovely interview!

Melissa said...

Great interview! I am adding Katelyn to my query list.

Angie Quantrell said...

Great interview! Thanks for keeping us in the loop!

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

Great post! I’d love to win a query critique, but my YA is far from being ready.

Jennifer Lane said...

I enjoyed the specificity of Katelyn's responses--writers can get a really good sense of what she's looking for. Great interview!

Unknown said...

A query critique is like gold! What an amazing opportunity to win one. Thank you, both Natalie and Katelyn, for offering such a great opportunity!