Upcoming Agent Spotlight Interviews & Guest Posts

  • Sarah Fink Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 9/12/2022
  • Jazmia Young Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 9/21/2022

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: Abigail Frank Interview and Query Critique Giveaway

Today I’m thrilled to have agent Abigail Frank here. She is an associate literary agent at Sanford J. Greenburger Associates.

Hi­ Abigail! Thanks so much for joining us.

 About Abigail:

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

I worked a couple of different jobs in my first years after college, but always knew that I ultimately wanted a career in books. So, in 2017, I moved to New York for a summer internship at Writers House and started at Greenburger Associates right after.

About the Agency:

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

Greenburger is a mid-sized agency that represents all genres of books (no screenplays though!). We are hands-on with our clients, making sure everyone’s best work reaches the right editors, and handling the other rights to clients’ projects – audio, film, foreign, etc. It’s honestly such a great team. I can’t recommend my colleagues highly enough! Check us out at our website: www.greenburger.com

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 anything for young readers – board books to YA – and take on adult projects very selectively. I am always most drawn to fresh narrative structures, strong voices, and memorable characters.

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

Right now, I’m especially excited to work on funny, smart chapter books and contemporary YA romance.

What She Isn’t Looking For:

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

I’m not particularly looking for high fantasy or science fiction, at the moment, or anything that feels like traditional crime 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 wanted to be an agent because I am committed to advocating for artists, and that still motivates me! Especially for artists whose perspectives commercial publishing has long excluded. I want to help my clients navigate the publishing world so they can create books that they are proud of, and so that they can build lasting careers. Part editing, part business managing, part cheerleading. And ultimately, I care deeply about creating enlightening and inspiring and fun stories for all young readers.

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. The process depends on the project, of course, but I usually start with larger, overall notes and, once the big pieces are in place, move to small, in-line edits. I never want to be just assigning tasks – the process of developing a project is very much a collaborative one. The artist knows their work best, so my job is to help them make that work the strongest it can be.

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 me (afrank@sjga.com) your query letter with your full manuscript attached or pasted into the body of your email. If you’re a visual artist, I like to see links to online portfolios, if available. I’m not a stickler for format, but I care about seeing a brief description of the work and a brief bio.

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

I much prefer shorter query letters. That said, I receive a lot of queries without bios. I know that people are excited to share their projects (I’m excited to read them!) but I work closely with my authors so what I often find most valuable in query letters is the author/illustrator bio.

Response Time:

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

Truly the one thing that I dislike about my job is that I haven’t figured out a way to respond to every query! I am so grateful that people send me their work, and I adore looking through all of it, but I just am unable to respond personally to each one. But I also don’t want to leave people hanging. So, my general timeline is: I will get back to you within 4-6 weeks if I think your work might be a good fit for my list. And I prefer people just send me their full manuscripts, though if they send partials, the same timeline applies.

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?

Yes, for sure. I just recommend that they include their publishing history in their query letter.

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 it is just that much more important that an agent can pair a project with the right editor and publishing team. Having someone who really understands your vision, who can be passionate in their championing of your work, is just so important, and will continue to be so amidst all the changes mentioned here.

Clients:

13. Who are some of the authors you represent?

My most recent sales include a hilarious debut YA novel by Cristina Fernandez and stunning picture books by Pam Fong.

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.

I try to keep my manuscript wish list up to date. Check it out! https://www.manuscriptwishlist.com/mswl-post/abigail-frank/

Links and Contact Info:

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

afrank@sjga.com

www.greenburger.com

Additional Advice:

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

Just the usual – read (including titles that have come out recently), research the agents you’re submitting to as much as possible (e.g. reading interviews like this one!), and, if you can, work on developing a community of writers so that you have people who can read your work before you start querying. Otherwise -- and I know this can be frustrating – keep in mind that this is a subjective industry and that your work can have incredible value even if agents aren’t jumping at it right away. Happy writing!

Thanks for sharing all your advice, Abigail.

­Abigail is generously offering a query critique to one lucky winner. To enter, all you need to do is be a follower (via the follower gadget, email, or bloglovin’ on the right sidebar) and leave a comment through February 27th.  If your e-mail is not on your Google Profile, you must leave it in the comments to enter the 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.

 

62 comments:

Susan Johnston Taylor said...

I'm working on a chapter book series, so I'm excited to find more agents interested in chapter books. Thanks for sharing your insights, Abigail!

Eileen Mayo said...

What a great interview! Thanks for sharing all your information and advice.

nashvillecats2 said...

Wonderful interview Natalie a pleasure to read.

Take care.
Yvonne.

Elizabeth Mueller said...

Natalie, you hold great interviews! Thank you!

Liz A. said...

It's always interesting to see what each agent prefers.

Ilona Bray said...

I love hearing behind-the-scenes insights from agents, thanks!

Jane Baskwill said...

Great interview Natalie. Abigail provided lots of useful information.

Matt Gallagher said...

Thank you Natalie and Abigail! These were great insights.

Lisa V Karmel said...

Thank you Abigail for all the insightful information! And thank you Natalie for the post!

Lisa V Karmel said...

I tweeted this interview.

Ella said...

Great interview! Thank you!

Ann Finkelstein said...

I met Abigail a couple years ago in NJ. So nice to see the interview here, Natalie.

Kiley said...

Thank you for the interview!

orchardka@gmail.com

Natalie Cohn said...

Thank you for the information about you and your agency.

miriam said...

Great interview, Natalie! And thanks for offering the query critique, Abigail!

miriam said...

Just posted about the giveaway on Twitter. https://twitter.com/miriam_spitzer/status/1359854080840118276

Mary Beth Rice said...

Thank you for your advice and insights! rmbrice6@gmail.com

Michael Karg said...

Thanks Natalie and Abigail- The magic of collaboration shines through!

Montresor said...

Another solid interview, Natalie!

Laya said...

What a very thoughtful and informative interview! Thanks, Natalie and Abigail! lasword (at) rcn (dot)com

Yolanda Ridge said...

Thanks for the interview and the opportunity to win a query critique!

Danielle H. said...

Thank you for the interview and chance to have my picture book query critiqued. I'm finally ready to begin submissions and this would be so beneficial to me. I shared on tumblr: https://yesreaderwriterpoetmusician.tumblr.com/post/642848522315628544/agent-spotlight-abigail-frank-interview-and-query

Heather Stigall said...

Great interview! I had lunch and participated in a round table with Abigail at a conference a few years ago & she was lovely. She's enthusiastic about agenting & knows her stuff! I happily tweeted.

Rachelle Burk said...

Thanks for the great interview and chance to win a critique! Rachelleburk@gmail.com

Manju Howard said...

Hi Abigail, Thanks for sharing. I appreciate that you're "drawn to fresh narrative structures." Many writing communities and editors on Twitter have been discussing a need to write each story without simply focusing on the "rules" on PB structure and word counts. (manjuhoward(at)gmail.com)

Becca B said...

I love the title of Christina Fernandez’s new book (PM)—she sounds like a great agent a s I’d love a query critique rebecca.birkin @vcfa.edu

Tyrean Martinson said...

Natalie - thanks for introducing us to Abigail!

Anna said...

Super interview. Thank you!

Callie said...

Wonderful interview! Thank you both!!

Judith L. Roth said...

Thanks for the introduction to the luminous artwork of Pam Fong!

Elizabeth Curry said...

Thanks for the great post!

Fundy Blue said...

Abigail sounds like a wonderful agent: warm, open, knowledgeable, clear about what she wants, and a good advocate. Thanks for another great interview, Natalie! Enjoy your weekend!

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

What a great interview. I've bookmarked it,because I do have a chapter book I'd like to submit. I also bookmarked the website. I won't try to enter for the free read, because as you know I'm in transistion now, getting ready to move to Portugal. Once there, I'll follow up on it. But I want to thank you for these interviews, Natalie. A reader/writer learns so much.

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

And yes, I agree with earlier comments: she sounds like a terrific agent.

Eleanor said...

What a great interview! Abigail looks like a wonderful agent.

Christine said...

I loved reading this interview! I agree, Abigail sounds great!

Michelle OHara Levin said...

Thanks for making time for this interview, both of you. Abigail, you sound like a fantastic, fun agent.

Mer said...

I've had Ms. Franks on my agent list since I read an earlier interview about her editorial style. I'm curious if she reps nonfiction as well as fiction?

Natalie Aguirre said...

She does, but it looks like she has specific tastes. If you click on the link in her interview to her manuscript wish list, you can read more about.

Tammy Layman Hall said...

Happy Valentine's Day - thank you for the wonderful interview.

Rosi said...

Another terrific interview. Thanks so much. I will pass on the giveaway.

Caren Shiloh said...

Yet another GREAT interview Natalie, and I'm excited to submit one of my PB mss to you, Abigail! I love Pam Fong's beautiful work, and I can't wait to see ONCE UPON A FOREST when it comes out next year. Please accept this comment as an entry for the query critique giveaway, and I've also posted this Literary Rambles interview on my FB page Caren Creates Children's Books. Thanks so much!

@melissa_trempe said...

Thank you for a wonderful interview and query critique giveaway! I tweeted a link to the interview as well!

Katie Brandyberry said...

Abigail is definitely on my list! Thanks for the great interview with her!

Katie.brandyberry@gmail.com

Amy Leskowski said...

Great post! Thank you for this interview! I also tweeted about it.
amyleskowski@gmail.com

Amy said...

What a wonderful interview! Thanks for sharing and for the critique opportunity. seeamywrite@gmail.com

Gennie G said...

Wow! Great interview! Abigail seems lovely!

Writer.gorback@gmail.com

MWolpin said...

Always good to read about agents, especially when agent and champion are paired in the same sentence. Thanks for the interview.

Shanah Salter said...

Great interview! So nice to hear of an agent interested in chapter books :) I have shared this on twitter.

SPetalik said...

Cool! :) It's nice to find an agent who represents chapter books.

(I tweeted this)

Stephanie Owen said...

Thank you for the opportunity to win a critique! owens@wsd3.org

JEN Garrett said...

I recently queried Abigail before seeing this opportunity for a query critique. No matter! If I win, I'll just pick a different MS, and Abigail can tell me whether my query stinks. :)
I mentioned this giveaway on my blog.

Angie Quantrell said...

Great interview! Thanks for introducing us to Abigail! yay!

I will tweet this post as well, Natalie. :)

Kim said...

Great interview! I like the advice at the end there as well. Though it's quite hard to find some writer friends with the same interests.

CJ Penko said...

Loved the interview! Thanks for sharing!

Unknown said...

I love interviews! They really help you get to know the agent a little bit better. Thank you so much Abigail and Natalie!

Unknown said...

I don't think my email showed up in my comment.

Lindseyf2402@yahoo.com. Sharing on twitter now!

Michael Wayne said...

Great interview. These are really helpful for queries.

Lynn Rogalsky said...

Insightful interview, I learned much. Thank you for the manuscript critique giveaway opp! lynn@lynnrogalsky.com

1flexymomma said...

I was so excited to see that Ms. Frank is interested in funny chapter books AND fresh narrative structure - that is exactly the type of series I'm working on. I would love the chance for a critique of my query letter before I submit it. Ann-Marie. (azylstra.stayback@gmail.com) ps. I'm tweeting about this for an additional entry.

Sara Leach said...

Thank you for such an interesting interview and for the critique giveaway opportunity. (sara@leachfamily.ca)

kimlajevardi.com said...

Great interview!