Upcoming Agent Spotlight Interviews & Guest Posts

  • Hillary Fazzari Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 4/22/2024
  • Miriam Cortinovis Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 5/6/2024
  • Jenniea Carter Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 5/8/2024
  • Caroline Trussell Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 5/20/2024
  • Jenna Satterthwaite Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 6/10/2024
  • Bethany Weaver Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 6/24/2024

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.

Agent Spotlight: Crystal Orazu Interview and Query Critique Giveaway

Today I’m thrilled to have agent Crystal Orazu here. She is a junior literary agent at Context Literary Agency.

Hi­ Crystal! Thanks so much for joining us.

About Crystal:

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

I started out doing an internship with a literary scout towards the end of college and from there I was sold on working in publishing in some capacity. I actually planned to continue learning by applying to the Columbia Publishing course, but, like many others found, the pandemic changed my plans. Everything going on in the world urged me to jump head first into the industry and I have not regretted making that pivot since!

About the Agency:

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

Context Literary Agency represents writers of fiction and non-fiction, from picture books up through adult novels. The agency works with a wide array of authors, providing them with extensive editorial feedback and tailored support throughout their careers. 

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 fiction. In terms of genre, I am interested in contemporary, romance, sci-fi, and fantasy. I am especially partial to narratives that explore the complexities of interpersonal relationships and writing that centers the experiences of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), LGBTQ+, and neurodivergent persons that brings joy and emphasizes subverting the status-quo.

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

I would like more stories that explore culture, identity, and mental health all intertwined within a coming-of-age narrative, especially from a first- or second-generation immigrant perspective. I’d love to see more adult characters questioning life and finding their footing like in LUSTER or THE WINDFALL.

I also want a narrative showing the sinister side of something always considered normal or sweet, in the same vein of WHEN WE WERE ANIMALS, or Peter Pan’s horrid character in LOST BOY (although it doesn’t need to be a retelling of an already existing fairytale). 

What She Isn’t Looking For:

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

I am not a good fit for anything that is heavily contingent on princesses or royalty/monarchical rule in general. Procedurals or anything historical set in United States, especially during slavery, is not ideal either.

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 goal is to represent and uplift authors whose stories allow readers to feel seen and heard in new and exciting ways. I love to work with writers whose work is simple, open, and honest featuring dynamic characters who explore new territory alongside the messy gray areas of life.

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?

Yes, I am an editorial agent and I take pleasure in being able to see my client’s work through as many rounds of edits as is necessary to get it to where it needs to be prior to submission.

Typically, we work from large scale developmental edits down to smaller line edits and once that process is complete, I like to go over the pitch and other expectations for the submission process especially if it is a writer’s first time on submission.

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?

Submissions should be emailed to querycrystal@contextlit.com 

Please send a query letter/short description, short bio, and the first 10 pages of text pasted into the body of the email. No attachments please.

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

As soon as I open a query I notice font size and formatting before I get down to reading anything. My tip for writers is to email the query to yourself to make sure the formatting is consistent and font size isn’t too tiny.

Response Time:

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

I can take up to six to eight weeks if I have a high volume of queries and up to two months or more once I have requested a full. 

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 published in smaller presses as long as they are querying new material. 

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 agents will continue to do what they’ve always done in terms of supporting and advocating on the part of their clients no matter how much the publishing landscape shifts over time.


13. Who are some of the authors you represent?

I represent Deena ElGenaidi, Sara Merten, and Leo D. Martinez.

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.

You may query me at querycrystal@contextlit.com and check out my MSWL page.

Thanks for sharing all your advice, Crystal.

­Crystal 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 October 9th. 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.








nashvillecats2 said...

Great post Natalie, also good advice from Crystal. Enjoyed the read.
Take care.

Shamaila J said...

What a great interview! That's a good tip about querying. I never thought about formatting. I will definitely test out emailing my query letter to myself. I would like to enter the critique giveaway: shamaila.siddique@gmail.com

Thank you for doing the giveaway!

Kathleea said...

I would love a critique!

Liz Hanson said...

I love the sound of the premises and vision for the books on your MSWL and would love a query critique, Crystal! lizhansonbooks@gmail.com

cleemckenzie said...

Editorial agents are the best!. Those queries are beastly to write, so I'm sure someone will benefit from her help.

Liz A. said...

Lots of good information.

Lisa K. said...

I enjoyed learning more about Crystal and I would love to be entered into the giveaway(s). You can reach me at lkoosis[at]outlook[dot]com.


I'd love to win the critique! I subscribe thru email and thru the widget on the side.
helloelizabethjames -at- gmail dot com

Lauren H. Dowdle said...

Good point about emailing the query to yourself first to check for formatting! Would love to enter the critique giveaway: lhdowdle@gmail.com

CS Patra said...

Lots of great information and definitely good point about checking the formatting. Would love to enter: broken.desire@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

I would love a critique and I have a fantasy book i am working on titled Angels, Witches and Demons it's about the supernatural. if I win contact me here bigredlips66@gmail.com