Upcoming Agent Spotlight Interviews & Guest Posts

  • Natalie Lakosil & Tracie Badua Guest Post & Freddie vs. The Family Curse & Query Critique Giveaway on 5/23/2022
  • Mary Moore & Ema Watanabe Cohen Guest Post & The Lost Ryū & Query Critique Giveaway on 6/1/2022
  • Chelsea Hensley Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 6/6/2022
  • Kayla Cichella Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 6/13/2022

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.


Today I’m thrilled to have agent Kerstin Wolf here. She is a literary agent at D4EO Literary Agency.

Hi­ Kerstin! Thanks so much for joining us.

About Kerstin:

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

I officially became an agent in early 2019. While I am a newer agent, I’m not that new to the industry. Prior to becoming an agent, I worked as a freelance editor. I also interned/assisted for about three and a half years at a number of literary agencies, publishers, and arts journals. Eight internships later, and I’m finally an agent! It’s taken me a lot of work and time to get to where I am now, so I’m thrilled to finally build my own client list. My main focus at the moment is to expand my client list and prepare my current clients’ works for submission.

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, 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 MG, YA, and adult novels! Genres that I always love to see for MG include fantasy, science fiction, mystery, and horror. Genres that I’m interested in YA include fantasy, science fiction, horror, and contemporary romance. If you would like more details on what I’m interested in, I’d recommend checking out my website and #MSWL!

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

Dragons and demons! I’d love to see some dragons and demons! Give me all the fantastical and unique creatures! I’m also a sucker for strong world building. I want to be completely immersed in this world you’ve created! Of course, bonus points are awarded for delicious food in the manuscript.

What She Isn’t Looking For:

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

I’m not really looking for contemporary realistic fiction in MG. I’m also not a good fit for historical fiction in MG or YA if there are no magical elements.

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?

My views are all about the best interests of the author and their long-term career. I want to build long-term relationships with my authors and help them have enjoyable and fruitful careers. I value hard work, but I also realize that writing can be difficult. I don’t want my authors to be so stressed that they can’t enjoy the little things.
Growth is also important. I want to help my authors grow and improve their craft. They need to be able to take critique well and be open-minded to revisions. I love working with authors on new ideas for future manuscripts. The more ideas they have brewing, the better!
As for my philosophy with books, I want to feel it deep in my bones. I want to soar with hope and die of laughter. I want to feel my heart being torn from my chest when the protagonist is betrayed or when a character is killed. I want to feel every little bit of it.

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 definitely an editorial agent! I’m almost always editing something or discussing new possibilities and ideas. When I go through and edit a manuscript for the first time, I always mark it up using Track Changes and include a short edit letter at the end of the manuscript discussing the main issues. A phone call is then arranged to discuss possible changes and to toss ideas around. After that point though, the process changes depending on the author and the manuscript.

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?

Authors should query me through my QueryManager form: http://QueryMe.Online/kerstinwolf
I do not accept queries through email, mail, or the contact form on my website.
With your query letter, please include the first ten pages of your manuscript and the comparative titles. Really, everything that I’d like to see is listed in the form.

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

I always recommend that query letters focus more on the plot and main characters than what readers should get or feel from the manuscript. If I’m unsure of what the book is about or don’t know who the main characters are, then I’m not as likely to request more. Also, please know a handful of comparative titles for your manuscript. If you can’t list a single comparative title, then it appears to me as though you don’t read within the genre you’re writing in.
As for personalization, all you need to do is have my name in the greeting. It is preferable that you spell my name correctly. More personalization than this will definitely make you stand out, but it doesn’t ultimately make it or break it for me.

Response Time:

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

It all depends! My response time can vary from an hour later to months later. It really just depends on what’s going on at the moment. When I’m editing multiple manuscripts, my response time tends to get slower. You will always receive a response back from me though! I always notify authors of my decision.

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?

Of course! My only piece of advice would be to query a manuscript that has never before been published.

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?

Everything is always changing. I’m sure my job will look very different twenty years from now, but I do believe that the primary role of agents will stay the same. True agents will always stand for authors’ best interests and be their allies.


13. Who are some of the authors you represent?

I currently represent the extraordinary Lynn Jung and the brilliant Brandy Howell! Both are currently working on YA fantasy novels that are going to knock your socks off!

I also represent Zoe Hana Mikuta and Sim Kern as well. Zoe has her YA debut called GEARBREAKERS coming out in 2021. Sim also has a novella coming out in September, 2020 called DEPART, DEPART!.

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.

If you can believe it, this is actually my first agent interview! I’m so thankful to have been given this opportunity by Literary Rambles!

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

Personal Website: https://kerstinwolfagent.com/
Twitter: @Kerstin_Wolf

Additional Advice:

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

Keep writing. Every single word you write is a step in the right direction. Every word is progress.

Thanks for sharing all your advice, Kerstin.

­Kerstin 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 June 29th.  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.

Last Updated: 6/10/2020.
Agent Contacted for Review? Yes.
Last Reviewed By Agent? 6/102/2020.

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.


  1. Science fiction! Very cool. And that's a lot of published books by the agency.

  2. Kerstin sure has lots of experiences. As a 'newbie' agent, she brings lots to the table. My students have always loved sci-fi and fantasy stories the most. :)

  3. Great interview! And so nice to have an agent talk about writer stress and avoiding it!

  4. Thanks for sharing your info, Kerstin. I'll definitely be in touch when my next thriller is done. Which looks like 2022. Hmm...

  5. Very cool! I love the part about building a long-term relationship with represented authors.

  6. I would love to be entered for the query critique contest! Thank you for such a great interview!

  7. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts! And I love this line: "Every word is progress." My mantra, seriously.

    (Also, note: I did mention this on Twitter: https://twitter.com/KatyLapierre/status/1138132572523905025)

  8. YAYYYY. I Can't wait to see the books you will sell. Congrats!

  9. I love so many things about this interview. Your search for MG titles, your editorial skillset, and the way you put an author's health first.
    I'd love an opportunity for a query critique. Thank you for offering such a gift to the community.

  10. Excellent interview! Dragons and demons sound like fun. Maybe they'll be a new trend.

  11. Demons! I hardly ever see agents mention these any more. Great interview! I've Tweeted thisinterview too :)

  12. I love this advice! I am always interested in learning more information about how to best pitch a fantasy series to agents. Thank you for taking the time to educate writers through this interview, and for your generous offer to critique someone’s query letter!

  13. This is so helpful, and really straightforward. Thank you!

  14. This is so helpful, and really straightforward. Thank you!

  15. Sharing -- it's important to research the agents you want to query, and to follow the directions (I've been told that not following the directions is the quickest route to the "no" pile).

  16. Thanks for the insight! I really appreciate the energy you put into your work, from making it as an agent, to being an involved editorial agent, to always responding to queries. THANK YOU for that part especially :) I would love the opportunity for a query critique. I tweeted this too.

  17. Love this interview! I'll definitely query her! And would love a crit. I'm a follower on Twitter!


  18. This is such a wonderful interview and opportunity that I shared it on Twitter. It's so delightful to be introduced to such an encouraging and hard working agent. I've added her to my query list for my latest novel and would love a query critique!

  19. Great interview - thanks for taking the time. I'd love to be considered for a query critique.

  20. Great interview. Thanks for sharing.

  21. Great interview and congrats on your first one!! My email is danasayles17@gmail.com for the query critique!

  22. Great interview! I really enjoyed reading the specifics you like in your query letters.

  23. Very helpful information! Thanks!

    1. It didn't seem to save my email address: hrblanchard8@gmail.com. :)

  24. Great interview! Please enter me in the query critique contest.

  25. Great interview! I love the demons and dragons part (they're usually just the bad "thing" the protagonist has to kill, but they deserve to be the main character). I would love a query critique, thank you for the giveaway! a.chernaeva@gmail.com

  26. Nice interview. Lots of good information.

  27. What an interesting interview. I enjoyed learning more about Kerstin and what she looks for when deciding to work with an author. I won't enter the query critique this time, as I don't need one at the moment- but what a generous giveaway. :)

  28. Fantastic interview. This sort of insight is so valuable. Thank you!

  29. Great interview! And as a total magic/scifi fan, I'm keeping her in mind for the future.

  30. Very glad I came upon this interview. Kerstin seems to be very enthusiastic and motivated. Those characteristics, I think, are very important for newer agents to find success.

    She genuinely seems to love books as well. I appreciated the line "I want to feel it deep in my bones." The best books, imo, are the ones that make us live and feel another's experiences.

    I am currently preparing a query for my latest project and would love to be entered into the critique giveaway. My author email address is gregsonmj@gmail.com

  31. I love that you mention you enjoy a good description of food in a book. Lol. In a little biased though because i always include a food scene in my books because...well food. Great interview!

  32. Great interview! Kerstin sounds very dedicated and passionate as an agent, which is great to see.

  33. Excellent interview. I may have something for Kerstin...Let's hope she likes it!

  34. Thanks for posting such a wonderful interview. Your passion for your work is really motivating, Kerstin! And I totally agree that food descriptions in books are a plus! :-)

    I would love to be entered in the critique giveaway, please and thanks. My author email is verobee23@gmail.com.

  35. Love interviews like this! So nice of Kerstin to offer a critique!

  36. Great interview. On your agency's website, it says, "If you query one and receive a query rejection, you may choose to query another agent at the query level only." Since I am new and am rapidly improving my query, I would like to submit a better query to a new agent--I really like D4EO. Would this be frowned upon? Twitter: @PhilYff

  37. Excited to enter and great interview-- I Tweeted to my followers 😁

  38. Such a good interview - loved seeing Kerstin's take on what it needs to feel like reading a book. #WriterGoals. And a great giveaway too! Tweeted this to my followers!

  39. great interview, and THANK YOU to you and Kerstin! Always love seeing more details on what an agent is looking for. Shared the contest via twitter (rcvaughan0)

  40. Very helpful! Thank you for the interview. I'd also like to enter the contest :)

  41. Thanks so much for this interview and to Kerstin for imparting her knowledge! Not to mention this fantastic giveaway! I've shared this post on both my Facebook and Twitter feeds.

  42. Sounds great. Thanks for the opportunity.

  43. Love that your focus is on a long term career with your authors. I would definitely like to enter the contest! C.barkerr13@yahoo.com

  44. Great interview, and fantastic of you and Kerstin to offer the query critique!

  45. I just starting sending out a query for my YA fantasy and would love Kerstin's feedback. author@kathrynjankowskibooks.com

  46. At first I was skeptical about programs like Query Tracker, but they really are the best way to query. I'm really glad she uses it. I've struck out so far, but perhaps she'll like my next project!

  47. I really enjoyed reading this! I am preparing to send my MG Sci-Fi to Kerstin. I would live for a manuscript critique! It's really rad when agents do things like this! ljtheatrics@gmail.com

  48. Yay, an agent who reps YA horror! ;D

  49. Great interview! Kerstin sounds like an agent you'd want on your corner. Sharing this on twitter, too.

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  51. Such an awesome interview. I especially loved the part about building relationships with authors. I've shared this interview on twitter and would love a query critique.

  52. This comment has been removed by the author.

  53. I love Kerstin's eclectic tastes in literature, and I share them both as a reader and a writer. That, and her commitment as an editorial agent, would make her a wonderful person to work with. Not to mention the query critique giveaway! I posted a link to the interview on my Facebook author page, J. Lee Strickland

  54. I cannot wait to query her! I have followed her on Twitter for awhile, and she seems so incredibly passionate about what she does. I admire that she has learned about so many different facets of the literary world, which is such a huge asset for an author to have in an agent. YA fantasy query will be coming her way!

  55. Great interview! It's a relief to hear that getting the name right is enough personalization for some agents.😅

  56. Great interview Kerstin, and thank you for offering to provide feedback on a query. Such insights are invaluable to a budding author. Please count me in. johno@johnodurant.com

  57. Great interview! I'm planning to query Kerstin myself, but maybe I'll wait to see if I get that query critique first!

  58. What great information to have for an agent who was already on my query list! anna.Langford@hotmail.com

  59. What a nurturing, positive professional. Such a delight. I plan to query! Posted contest on my author facebook, too!https://www.facebook.com/fairymiddlin/

  60. Oh man this would be an awesome thing to win. Love how Kerstin thinks about things.

  61. Thank you for the interview Kerstin--and the insight!

  62. Thanks Kerstin for doing this!