Upcoming Agent Spotlight Interviews & Guest Posts

  • Roma Panganiban Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 4/12/2023
  • Jennifer Chen Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 4/24/2023
  • Ellen Goff Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 5/8/2023
  • Kristina Perez Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 5/17/2023
  • Natasha Mihell Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 5/22/2023
  • Karly Dizon Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 6/12/2023

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: Jennifer Herrington Interview and Query Critique Giveaway

Today I’m thrilled to have agent Jennifer Herrington here. She is an associate literary agent at Harvey Klinger Literary Agency.

Status: Open to submissions

Hi­ Jennifer! Thanks so much for joining us.

About Jennifer:

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

My publishing journey started out on the editorial side as an intern with Entangled Publishing. I mentored under fantastic editors and then worked as a production editor for Kensington Book Publishing's Lyrical Press for seven years. While I loved editing, I was always curious about agenting, so I applied for an internship at a NY agency. I fell in love with the agenting side after watching some talented agents during my internship. Inspired by their passion for their authors and the industry, I knew then that I wanted to pursue becoming a literary agent. I have been an associate agent at the Harvey Klinger Literary Agency since July 2020.

I am currently working on building my client list. I love taking part in events, meeting authors, and reading submissions. It's been fun getting to know editors and connecting with authors. As a new agent, I am always looking to gain more knowledge and experience. I am a sponge when I chat with other agents. I have a wonderful and supportive group of agents at Harvey Klinger Literary Agency. I also have a fantastic group of agent friends I met during the internship and so far through this process.  

About the Agency:

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

HARVEY KLINGER LITERARY AGENCY represents high quality writers of adult fiction, nonfiction, young adult and middle grade books.

With an eye for spotting talent, we pride ourselves on our strong editorial skills, unparalleled relations with all major publishers, and a unique collaborative work environment. We adopt a hands-on, personal approach with every author we take on, focusing not just on their books, but on their careers.

Compelling new ideas, well-crafted stories, and great writing always excite and inspire us. We are passionate about bringing both professionally successful and brand new voices to American and international book markets while aggressively selling film, TV and foreign rights for our clients, working with the top film and sub agents in the business.

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 am open to picture books, MG, YA, and select adult fiction, and I’m also looking for graphic novels in the kidlit genres. In fiction picture books, I like a solid commercial hook with a fresh and unique premise. I love to read sweet and whimsical, clever and thought-provoking, and I love to laugh. I am looking for new ways to look at things, events, and people in nonfiction picture books.

 In MG and YA, I am looking for contemporary, scary horror (not gore horror), a unique twist in fantasy, fresh paranormal, and mystery. I am looking mainly for romance and romantic comedy in adult fiction, and I am especially open to voices from marginalized backgrounds. 

I look for a strong writing voice and empathetic characters that I can fall in love with. I love being pulled into a submission where I can experience the emotional ups and downs that the characters are feeling. I am especially looking for stories that haven't been told or stories that have a fresh spin on things. I like bold protagonists, but I also love quiet protagonists. I also love the idea of an anti-hero. 

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

Right now, I’m really connecting with the kidlit submissions. There's something special about the characters and what they are experiencing at that time in their life. I'm looking for stories that make me feel strong emotions and stories that make me laugh.

I love reading about family dynamics, especially found families. The real issues that kids are facing are also high on my list. I am still looking for a clever sleuth in the MG or YA space (think Nancy Drew means Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego), a spooky (or scary!) MG or YA horror. I am looking for stories based on friendship (good and bad, including friend breakups) or the structure of families. As a romantic at heart, I also love first crushes and kisses.

What She Isn’t Looking For:

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

I am currently not a good fit for nonfiction (outside of picture books) or high fantasy in any age group. I also don't represent poems or short stories at this time. For adult, I don't accept anything political, westerns, erotica, inspirational, memoir, or any book that has been previously published.

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 am looking for authors that I connect with. I want to build a long-term relationship that is built on passion, trust, and collaboration. As an agent, my goal is to help build an author's career. I want to help make their dreams come true and assist them in navigating the publishing world. 

I want to feel passionate about the authors and their books. And bring great books that capture the minds and hearts of 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 an editorial agent, and I love to edit. There’s nothing better than digging into a story and finding little areas where we can strengthen the book. I'm definitely not afraid to take on a book that needs a little more editorial work, especially if I feel strongly connected with the author and the story.

Editing a book is truly a collaborative effort that requires an open line of communication between agent and author. I’m open and honest, and I want my authors to be too. I prefer to put a positive spin on things and work together to fix any issues. I want to help polish a book that the author loves and is proud of.

I generally start with big picture edit or developmental editing for a first-round pass, then potentially a second round of developmental edits. We work through a copyedit and then a proofread. I will sometimes complete a second proofread to ensure the copy is as clean as possible because I am neurotic about typos.

I am completely transparent with the author about the submission process and share the pitch, query, and a list of the editors that I feel are a good fit for our book.

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 ensure that you query me through my Query Manager page. I don't accept queries via my email. I don't always have time to email authors and redirect their queries to my Query Manager. I ask for a query, synopsis, and the first five pages. There are also questions that tell me a little more about your book and about who you are as an author.

I love a well-structured, well-written query letter that shows me that an author has clearly done their research on not only the format but on the details. There are some great online resources to help authors write solid query letters.

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

Please don't send me a generic dear agent instead of my name. Feel free to address it to Jenn or Jennifer, or if you'd prefer Miss Herrington. I love a personal query that showcases your voice, but please don't make the query stalkerish or obscene. Remember, this is your first opportunity to grab my attention. A good query can make up for a not-so-good synopsis.

As for the first pages, please review the formatting when you paste. I often receive pages that are just a block of text without any spacing. It's challenging to read. Also, please include the book's opening and not five random pages through the book that may showcase something. I want to see your opening and the setup before I decide if I want to read more.

And, if it only says five pages, please only include five pages. I have often seen 10 or 15 or even 50 pages. It's important to know if you can follow the guidelines.

Response Time:

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

I try really hard to reply to all queries within a month, but sometimes I fall behind. It can take six to eight weeks for a query reply, but I respond to every query that comes to my Query Manager.

As for requests, it really depends. Agenting is the juggling of many tasks. While my goal is to respond within ten to twelve weeks, I sometimes take longer than I anticipated. I try to reach out to the author to let them know that there's been a delay and I haven't forgotten about them. Every query and every request is important to me, and I want to make sure that I give each my undivided attention.

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 authors who have self-published or have been published by smaller presses, but I do not represent books that have already been previously published. I think it's crucial that every author that goes the self-publishing route must ensure that their book is the very best it can be. There are many books that haven't gone through extensive editing or even proofreading, and it really shows in the reviews. Whether the book is self-published, published by a smaller press, or published by a bigger press, every book that's released should be the best it can be.

I am always looking for a strong voice and an engaging story, so it doesn't matter if the author is self-published, published by a smaller press, or a debut author. It is important to know that one challenge is that editors want to how the previous books have sold. If the sales numbers aren't strong, it can be challenging to convince a publisher to take on their next book. Sometimes our hands are tied even when we love a book.

Be passionate, hone your skills, and educate yourself the best you can on all of your options.  

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?

An agent's role has always been about being the author's best advocate and helping them with career planning in any way that we can. I think the role is even more important now. With new opportunities such as self-publishing, hybrid authors, and more small publishers, an agent can help authors navigate their options and make their best possible publishing career choices.


13. Who are some of the authors you represent?

I represent Elnora Gunter, Nisha Tuli, and Elizabeth A. Seibert. I also co-agent Amanda Badillo with Analieze Cervantes.

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.

Writers can submit a query, synopsis, and the first 5-pages to my Query Manager: https://querymanager.com/query/JenniferHerrington. Please note that I do not accept queries via email at this time.

Please check out my website, where I try to keep things up to date. I can also be found on Twitter and on Instagram,

Update on 2/16/2023
Manuscript Wish List
Publisher's Marketplace

Additional Advice:

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

If you love writing, then don't give up. Keep honing your craft and keep learning. Believe in yourself. Try to surround yourself with a strong support system such as other writer friends, a critique partner or a critique group, and search for the agent that fits what you are looking for. Do your research on all industry professionals, and don't be afraid to ask questions.

Thanks for sharing all your advice, Jennifer.

­Jennifer 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 April 3rd.  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.

Last updated: 2/160/2022
Agent Contacted for Review: Yes
Last reviewed by agent: 2/20/2022

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.


Ann Finkelstein said...

Natalie, thanks for the interview with Jennifer Herrington. She's fantastic, and the person who wins this is lucky indeed. (I recently had a query critiqued by Jenn, so please don't enter me in your competition.)

Daljit Writes said...

What an amazing opportunity! I've tweeted about this competition on my Twitter account. Would love to be given an entry!

Daljit Writes said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mshatch said...

Another excellent interview, Natalie. Thank you both!

Liz A. said...

Very informative.

ken ohl said...

this looks so intriguing

Greg Pattridge said...

Thanks for the great interview. Jennifer's advice was spot on and helpful.

Melissa Miles said...

Great interview! It's always exciting to see new agents actively building a list. Thank you!

DonnellySports said...

Great insight! I'd love a query critique from an agent whose wishlist fits so closely with my WIP!


Tonja Drecker said...

Enjoyed this interview. These are always wonderful to read

Jayme Inman said...

I love hearing about new agents with so much enthusiasm and energy. She sounds great! I will tweet this link. :)

Judith L. Roth said...

Great interview. Thanks, Natalie!

lkrichmanauthor said...

Thank you for this interview - some great advice!

Unknown said...

Great interview. It's always fun and useful to get some 'behind the scenes' info. Not sure if I'm eligible to enter for query critique as I have a query in progress with Jennifer at the moment, but if I'm allowed to enter, I would really appreciate getting some feedback.

Unknown said...

I got an error on my comment (18/03 @ 10:56 am), and it came up as unknown even though it says I'm logged in. E-mail is Alethea.Lyons@gmail.com if needed.

SPetalik said...

Nice Interview. :)
Tweeted @Spetalik

Rachel L said...

Always great to see what agents are looking for! Love the giveaways.

nashvillecats2 said...

Great interview Natalie , albeit late reading it.
Take care.

Liza said...

Thanks, Natalie, for the interview and thanks, Jenn for sharing your insight.

Sandra Cox said...

Another fascinating interview, Natalie. I always enjoy the agent interviews and the different perspectives from that of an author.
Jennifer, enjoyed the insights and responses.
Have a great one.

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

You make being an agent sound so interesting. Enjoyed the interview.

Unknown said...

Every interview you share is so helpful, I really appreciate it!

Fundy Blue said...

I enjoyed Jennifer's interview, Natalie. It's insightful to see the publishing industry through the eyes of a literary agent.

Shanah Salter said...

Great interview, I have shared on Twitter and would love to be considered for a query critique.

K Kumai said...

Thanks so much for this interview! I would love to be considered for a query critique!

Leslie Timlin :) said...

I loved reading about her passion for her work and her genuine desire to help writers make a career of their own passion. I would love to be considered for a query critique! :)

Katie Robles said...

An agent who loves to edit sounds like a gem. :)

K.B. said...

It would be truly an honor to get the opinion of a specialist. Thank you for giving us such an opportunity!

Amy said...

Thanks so much for letting us know about so many great agents. amythernstrom@yahoo.com

Sarah said...

Thank you for this interview! These are so helpful.

Elizabeth Brookman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Elizabeth Brookman said...

Oops sorry, didn't mean to remove comment! Just tried to change my profile pic, ha ha. Commenting again to say thank you for the interview and opportunity.

Unknown said...

so fun! I would love to throw my hat in for this! Thanks!

Unknown said...

Such insightful help! Jenn is at the top of my list for when I start querying again (soon!) :) I would love to be entered into this critique contest. I also mentioned it on my Twitter @ElizMillerWood

Unknown said...

Email is ElizabethMillerWood@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

Such a helpful post! Thank you for the opportunity! dawnelizee@gmail.com

Barbara Kimmel said...

Thank you for another valuable and insightful interview! I would love the opportunity for a query critique.