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.

Agent Interview: Jennifer Unter and Query Critique Giveaway

Today I’m thrilled to have agent Jennifer Unter here. She is the founder of and a literary agent at The Unter Agency.

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.

Jennifer Lee Photography

After working in editorial at a publishing house, I thought that being the author’s advocate outside of a house was more appealing to me. I love the negotiation part of being an agent (I’m also a lawyer) and finding talent. I’ve been an agent for over 2 decades! As for what I’ve been doing, I mostly represent children’s titles, but I also work in the adult space.

About the Agency:

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

We are a small boutique, full-service agency that handles all aspects of the publishing business from domestic to film to foreign rights. We want to handle an author’s writing career, not just a one-off project.

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 all ages of children’s books: picture books, MG and YA. I don’t have any particular genres – I look for books that move me and ones for which I see a space in the market.

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

I would love to see a middle grade boy’s adventure series.

What She Isn’t Looking For:

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

I’m pretty full-up on picture books these days, but could be convinced by the right project.

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 want to work with authors who do the work that it takes to be a success – both editorially and promotion-wise.

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 go through manuscripts as many times as needed to get it “right” before going out with it, so yes, I am an editorial agent.

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? 

Email is fine and a knowledge of what kinds of books I do is helpful to see with the query.

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

Letters that say “dear sir” or are sent to multiple agents!

Response Time:

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

I try to get back to authors within a month if I have asked for pages.

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 if the books have been a success, sales-wise.

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?

Agents have to adapt to the changes in publishing business just as publishers and authors do. However, even if the venue by which authors are getting published is changing, authors still need an advocate to steer them in the right direction, so I don’t see agents roles changing that much. 


 13. Who are some of the authors you represent?

 See my website: www.theunteragency.com

 Interviews and Guest Posts:

 14. Please share the links to any interviews, guest posts, and podcasts you think would be helpful to writers interested in querying you.

 Also on my website!

7/11/2022: See her Agent/Author interview with Melissa Dassoril on agent/author teamwork 

 Links and Contact Info:

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

 See website!

 Additional Advice:

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

 Join writing groups and go to conferences – having that community will help in so many ways as you move forward in your writing career.

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 May 21st. 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.



Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Dear sir - that's bad! Do your homework, people.

Computer Tutor said...

Nice to meet you!

ptnozell said...

Thank you both for the insightful information & query critique giveaway. I tweeted about the opportunity @ptntweets

Liz A. said...

Lots of good information.

Angie B. said...

Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Great interview. Thank you for this. Would love to be entered in the contest. vetmama@sonic.net

Barbara Kimmel said...

Yes, I would love to be entered for a query critique! Thank you.

Brenda said...

Great interview, have a lovely week, Natalie.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the interview. Would love to be entered in the contest! sallyawalk@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the inside scoop!
I posted on my Twitter feed too!

Ann Finkelstein said...

Another great interview!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful interview. Thank you both!

feecaro said...

Thank you for this interview with Jennifer Unter! I would love to be included in the query critique contest.

Rosi said...

Thanks for another informative interview. I always learn from your posts.

Sarah Meade said...

Thanks for the interview and giveaway chance!

Kathleen Blasi said...

Thank you for the interview; it's nice to discover agents who represent the broad range of kidlit. Thanks for the critique opportunity!

Annie McGee said...

Interesting & helpful interview, thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

I appreciate!

Anonymous said...

Not entering contest but thanks for interview!

Eileen said...

Thank you for the interview! Shared it on FB & Twitter. Would love to enter the contest! eileen@wilkinusa.com

Tonja Drecker said...

Wonderful interview! (no contest for me :) )

S.A. Turnbull said...

Great interview. Thanks so much for sharing! Would love to enter the contest. I also tweeted about the opportunity via @thesaturnbull

Mary said...

Great hearing about Jennifer Unter Agency. I love the historical fiction YA she represents. Please enter me in the contest.

Erica Duarte said...

I love Literary Rambles! Always so informative. It was great learning about Jennifer Unter. Please enter me in the contest. ericaj.duarte@gmail.com

Deb Buschman said...

Thank you Jennifer for offering a critique. I would like to be considered. I have tweeted this post.

S. Lee said...

Another great interview, thank you!

Anonymous said...

Thank you Jennifer and Literary Rambles! I would love to be in include me in your query critique contest. ksw2@aol.com

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for sharing. True, lawyer negotiation skills will come in handy.

Id like to be added to the raffle please - Jasmineifang@gmail.com

J. Leonard Samulak said...

This interview wins the "short & sweet" award. LOL. She represents such a wide range of clients (btw - my kids love Shark & Bot)!

Elizabeth James said...

Truly appreciate this interview and would love to be entered to win! I follow you via email and your blog widget!

helloelizabethjames -at- gmail dot com

Suze said...

Good afternoon! Thank you for posting this interview. I have signed up to follow you by email with username countess and would love to be included in the giveaway.

Kerry Hansen said...

Thank you for this opportunity. I follow Literary Rambles and mentioned this contest on Twitter @Kerry_L_Hansen.
Email: kerryhansen@outlook.com

Jennifer P. said...

Thank you for sharing your insights and offering up a critique opportunity!

Judy Mc said...

I loved this interview, and I think the world of her. Thanks, Natalie! Did she mention if she will be appearing at any upcoming writing conferences or hosting any webinars soon?

Natalie Aguirre said...

No, she hasn't mentioned that to me. If you follow her on social media, you could find out where she's appearing.

Laurie Elmquist, author said...

I enjoyed reading this review. Thank you for the opportunity.

Anonymous said...

Great interview! Thank you. I love that Jennifer is looking for MG boys adventure series!

Julie K Rubini said...

Great interview, thank you!

Aryn said...

Thanks for the update on what she is looking for.

Kate said...

Thanks for the insightful interview!

Colleen said...

Reading your interview just now is serendipitous: I was researching Jennifer since I discovered she appreciates PB biographies. I love Literary Rambles and your interviews. Please enter me in the critique contest. Colleenfogart#14

Anonymous said...

I'm new to your website and am amazed! I've already bookmarked it and will visit often! Please enter me in this contest.

Jessica Terpstra

Martin Porter said...

Another great interview - very insightful.
Please enter me in the giveaway. martinleeporter@gmail.com

Leela said...

I'm an email subscriber.

Karen K. said...

Thanks for another informative interview and a chance for a query critique. kkobylar@att.net

Angela said...

Thank you for this great interview! I loved hearing how Jennifer loves to negotiate - what a great trait for an agent. Also would love the chance to win a query critique 🤞