Upcoming Agent Spotlight Interviews & Guest Posts

  • 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.

Literary Agent Interview: Morgan Hughes Interview and Query Critique Giveaway

Today I’m thrilled to have agent Morgan Hughes here. She is an associate agent at FinePrint Literary Management.

Hi­ Morgan! Thanks so much for joining us.

About Morgan:

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

I have only been an agent for a short time. I always knew I wanted to work in publishing, but it wasn’t until the pandemic when I really decided to go for it. I worked as an assistant and foreign rights manager for two years, where I learned and experienced so much (including two international book fairs, which was a major highlight!)

I joined FinePrint as an Associate Agent in July 2023, and I have since been lucky enough to sign my first client. I’m actively looking to expand my client list and meet as many industry professionals as possible!


About the Agency:

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

“FinePrint was launched in September 2007 as the merger of the Peter Rubie Literary Agency and the Imprint Agency. It offers representation and management for new and established writers. Our expertise covers book publishing and subsidiary rights (foreign translation, audio, TV, and film).”

What I love about FinePrint is that my clients not only have me in their corner, but the whole agency. Our VP, Lauren Bieker, and President/CEO, Peter Rubie, are both actively involved and are so encouraging to me and all clients at FinePrint.

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 actively seeking MG, YA, and Adult! I’m working across various genres, but mainly focusing on adventure/fantasy for younger audiences (including graphic novels!) and romance/romantasy in Adult. I would love to find a few darker stories as well in the YA/NA space (thriller, dark academia).

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

I love world-building, so I really want to see a unique fantasy with a world that is rich and intricate.

What She Isn’t Looking For:

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

I’m not a good fit for non-fiction. There are agents at FinePrint who are seeking non-fiction though, so I encourage you to check out the website to see if they might be a fit!

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 believe books can change the world. I hope to lift up underrepresented voices and help them find the space and opportunity to share their stories!

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 – it’s one of my favorite parts of the job! From big-picture ideas to the nitty-gritty line work, discussing ideas with clients really excites me, and I love tossing thoughts back and forth.

I’m currently working with my first client to get her book ready for submission, and we’ve had the best time with revisions. I gave her my initial notes and she ran with them, and I can’t wait to go out on submission. We’re almost there!

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?

I love seeing comps in query letters! They tell me a lot about what I might expect to see in their story and who might enjoy their book. If you feel the need to personalize your query (which is appreciated, but not always necessary), then tell me why you think I specifically might enjoy the book based on your research.

Whether you’re querying me, or any agent, please be sure to follow their specific guidelines. It ensures that your query makes it to the right place.

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

I don’t necessarily have specific dislikes in query letters / sample pages, but I think following a basic query letter format is your best bet. It’s always a risk to stray from the tried-and-true, and while it could pay off to do something unique, I encourage you to stick to a standard format.

There are tons of resources for querying authors, including those who share their successful query letters on their social media or blogs. If you’re struggling, I highly recommend reading some of these and looking at their format.

Response Time:

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

I have about a 4-6 week response time. I try to respond to everyone, even if it’s a pass, because I believe a confirmed “no” is better than waiting for an answer that might not come.

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?

Definitely! My advice to authors who have self-published or been published by smaller presses is to own the experience and accomplishment, but you should be upfront about it in your query letter. Self-publishing specifically teaches an author a lot about everything goes into publishing a book, but they are doing it all themselves. This is valuable experience, and it can demonstrate to an agent the amount of work you’re willing to put in.

That being said, you should be querying new, unpublished projects if you’re looking to sign with an agent. It’s rare to sell a previously published work, so keep that in mind if that is your goal.

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’m new at this, so I’m speaking from limited experience, but I think the basic job of an agent will remain the same. We all want to advocate for our clients, and while the scope of the role might change with the industry, the goal at the end of the day remains the same: share our clients’ stories with as many people as possible. I do think it’s great that there are options out there for people who want to pursue publishing their work without an agent. However, I value the agent-client relationship a great deal, and if the role does change, I will personally work to be the best partner for my clients under those new circumstances.


13. Who are some of the authors you represent?

Christie Curry is my first client! She’s written a lovely romance that I can’t wait to share with the world.

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.

None from me, but a few people recently recommended “The Shit No One Tells You About Writing” podcast to me, and I’ve been binging episodes! It’s packed full of helpful information and advice for writers querying in general.


Links and Contact Info:

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

Queries should be submitted to submissions@fineprintlit.com with “Dear Morgan” in the body of the email, along with the query letter, synopsis, and first 5 pages. Please no attachments or links!

Find me on the web:

FinePrint Website

@mohughes22 on Twitter (X)

Manuscript Wish List

Additional Advice:

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

Querying is brutal, and I respect anyone willing to put their work out there. It’s scary to open yourself up to criticism. Find a writing group or community who can relate and lift each other up! Having people in your corner can make all the difference.

Also—and I know it’s easier said than done—but patience is so important in this industry. Things move slowly, and timing really is (annoyingly) everything. Your perfect partner might be closed to queries right now, but in six months, they could be looking for your exact story! Don’t get too discouraged by the silence and keep practicing your craft.

Thanks for sharing all your advice, Morgan.

Giveaway Details

­Morgan 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 November 18th. If your email 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 follow me on Twitter or 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 email 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.

Upcoming Interviews, Guest Posts, and Blog Hops

Thursday, November 9th I’m participating in the Super Stocking Stuffer Giveaway Hop

Monday, November 13th I have an interview with debut author DaVaun Sanders and a giveaway of his MG fantasy Keynan Masters and the Peerless Magic Crew

Thursday, November 16th I’m participating in the In All Things Give Thanks Giveaway Hop

Monday, November 20th I have an interview with author Natalie Richards and a giveaway of her MG thriller 13 Secrets to Survival

Friday, December 1st I’m participating in the Holly Jolly Giveaway Hop

Wednesday, December 6th I have a guest post by debut author Dana VanderLugt and a giveaway of her MG historical Enemies in the Orchard

Thursday, December 7th I’m participating in the Let It Snow Giveaway Hop

Monday, December 11th I have an agent spotlight interview with Ashley Reisinger and a query critique giveaway

Hope to see you on Thursday!


Donna K. Weaver said...

Yeah. I'm not that much into nonfiction either. :D

Biz said...

Great interview. I'd love to query Morgan Hughes with my MG fantasy. Please enter me in the query contest: elizabethchestney@gmail.com
Thank you!

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Very smart to be able to pivot as an agent during their changing roles in publishing! Nice interview.

Cel said...

Books absolutely can and do change the world! I also love The Shit No One Tells You About Writing podcast, a daily listen for me!

Kate Larkindale said...

Always so nice to hear about querying from the other side of the trenches. Especially since I'm going to be diving back in there again soon.

kate said...

great interview! i tweeted about it here: https://twitter.com/authorkateozera/status/1721578538447311062

Andy N said...

FinePrint is an excellent name for Lit agency. Thanks for sharing your experience and insgith.

Carol Baldwin said...

Shared on FB and Twitter. I'd like to query with my graphic novel!

Liz A. said...

I don't really listen to podcasts, but I might have to make an exception for this one.

Anonymous said...

Great interview. I would love to enter the query giveaway. My email is shamaila.siddique@gmail.com

Nancy Garcia said...

Natalie, I am happy to hear about Morgan as a new agent who reps MG. Also, I read your interview published by The Mitten-SCBWI Michigan and it was great to hear about your career and background and changes and commitment and passion for the blog and helping others! The photos of the flower arrangements you made for your daughter's wedding the other day were nice too. By the way, as the sister of a retired attorney (state deputy AG) who used to cover the courthouse news beat and healthcare issues as a reporter after getting my masters in journalism at U-M, I related to some of what you mentioned about your old job! Thank you.

Tonja Drecker said...

All the best to Morgan!

Anonymous said...

Great interview! I would love a query critique! Thank you for all these interviews. Great way to get to know agents.

Nicole Newman said...

Enjoyed learning about Morgan's career journey. Would love to be considered for the query critique.

Rosi said...

Thanks for an informative and useful interview. I'll have to check out the podcast. Thanks for the post.

Elizabeth Seckman said...

Patience is a great piece of advice for writers!

Sherry Ellis said...

Graphic Novels for Middle-Grade readers are a big thing. Do publishers want author-illustrators for those, or do they match up authors with illustrators?

Rena Joy said...

These interviews are so helpful.

Anonymous said...

😍 Morgan sounds like a dream agent!

Ellen-Marie said...

Thank you for the interview!
I would love to enter the query critique!

Natalie Aguirre said...

I've seen publishers do it both ways, Sherry.

Thanks for your kind words, Nancy.

Kim said...

Thank you for introducing us to Morgan!

Christie Curry said...

She really, really is!!!

Jyo Salian said...

Insightful interview. I would love to get a chance at the critique giveaway. Email: jo.r.salian@gmail.com. Have also tweeted: https://twitter.com/JRSalian/status/1724772141227556866?t=z8FyKDE9C_eqGR-puWAmUA&s=19

Ann said...

I would love a query critique for my YA thriller that I’ve started querying to see if where it could be improved.

Kate Hyers & J.C. Smith said...

Loved this inside look at agenting. Would love an opportunity for a query critique! Email is hyerssmith@gmail.com.

Jennie J said...

Thank you for this great interview! Would love the query critique! My email is jjmarsh23@gmail.com.