Upcoming Agent Spotlight Interviews & Guest Posts

  • 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 6/26/2024

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: Hillary Fazzari Interview and Query Critique Giveaway

Today I’m thrilled to have agent Hillary Fazzari here. She’s a literary agent at Bradford Literary Agency.

Status: Hillary anticipates opening to YA and adult queries on May 1st. Please check the agency website to find out when she reopens to these submissions.

Hi­ Hillary! Thanks so much for joining us.

About Hillary:

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

Hi Natalie, thank you so much for having me! I started agenting in fall of 2023 but have been in the publishing world for a lot longer than that.  I actually started out working at Scholastic before moving into the agenting side of publishing where, starting in 2018, I begun working as a reader and editor at several literary agencies before moving into being Laura Bradford’s assistant and editor at Bradford Literary, which has been a great home for me and a great place for me to start my own list!

About the Agency:

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

The Bradford Literary Agency is a boutique agency that offers a full range of representation services to both published and pre-published authors. Our mission is to form true partnerships with our clients and build long-term relationships that extend from the first draft through the length of an author’s career.  And we’re really well established in the industry.  Our agency was founded by Laura in 2001 and has repped many, many authors since, including bestsellers, award winners, and more! In addition, we’re a very editorially focused agency, which we find to be one of the best ways to help authors build strong, sustainable careers. In the current market, having an editorially focused agency is often SUPER helpful!  The market is swamped with great, potential material right now, pretty much in all of the areas I work, so having an agent in your corner who’s not just about making sales but is also about helping you with the rest of the writing/editing process can be pretty major.  And we at Bradford as a whole believe that the best author-agent relationships *should* extend beyond sales, so we’re also partners, advisors, careful listeners, troubleshooters, editors, and advocates of our clients.

 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 material, though in adult at the moment I’m only looking for rom-coms (and rom-com adjacent stuff), romantasy, and SFF with a heavy romantic bend.

In MG and YA, I am open to all genres.  I love commercial voices, big ideas, and standout premises that make you go “Whoa, that is cool!”  But most of all, I’m looking for stories that are written to showcase a protagonist’s agenda.  Which is not to say that other types of stories can’t be fabulous, but since I work with the commercial market, there are often parameters outside of my control limiting what I can sell into it, and at this point (usually) in order for me to feel that I have a strong enough chance of selling a project, what I need to see is a protagonist who enters the first chapter with a goal that will ultimately cause the rest of the plotline to happen.

Strong romantic plots or subplots in YA in particular but also in MG are a good way to hook me, as are unique settings and consumable ideas.  I love flashy premises:  contemporary stories set in glittering worlds (both domestically and abroad), political intrigue, embassy stories, spies, assassins, heists, well-built but accessible magic systems, genre mixing, adventure, excitement, and of course lots of feel-good romance and other types of important relationships. I 100% adore squad goal friendships and I’m always here for stories featuring family dynamics in voice-y, important, or charming ways.

Some books that are very indicative of my taste are:

Anything by Rick Riordan or the Rick Riordan Presents line

Loveboat, Taipei by Abigail Hing Wen

Tweet Cute by Emma Lord

The Chronicles of Egg by Geoff Rodkey

A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown

The Great Greene Heist by Varian Johnson

The Embassy Row series by Ally Carter

Yes No Maybe So by Becky Albertalli and Aisha Saeed

You can find out more about my tastes at my Manuscript Wishlist page: https://www.manuscriptwishlist.com/mswl-post/hillary-fazzari

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

Absolutely!! Middle-grade is really rough right now from a market perspective, but I’d still love to see a big, incredibly accessible new middle-grade series that can do the same thing for this current generation of kids that the Percy Jackson series did a decade ago (and that Harry Potter did a decade before that): aka create a world and a fandom that can really make kids feel seen and full of agency, and that’s just fun, full of high stakes, and/or magical things.  Essentially, I’m looking for something that’s not derivative of the other two but can be a whole new world that has the same level of accessibility and makes kids really, really want to be a part of it—a world that showcases how diverse our own world is and has a setting and characters that just cling onto the imagination and can become part of the cultural resonance surrounding a whole generation of readers.

I’d also love to see some romantasy with crisp worldbuilding that feels accessible, can draw on key trope-y, fun elements of the subgenre, but is still different from what I’ve seen before:  essentially what Divine Rivals was when it came out—this fresh take on a big romance set against a well-developed but new-feeling, highly accessible fantasy world.  And I’m really, really eager to see more romantasy set in non-Western worlds starring BIPOC characters and all BIPOC casts (which, incidentally, is something I’d love to see in all other genres as well!)

I’m always on the lookout for high stakes, glitzy romance that feels fresh.  I’d love to rep a story starring a tennis player and a book that includes martial arts, especially, again, if it’s glitzy, fun, and high octane.  And of course, simply winning a tournament or big match doesn’t have to be the character’s main goal:  they could be the daughter of the president, caught up in an adventure (and also playing tennis) or a fantasy spy who just happens to be really good at martial arts.

Black joy books are something I’m *always* looking for!  And queer, disabled, LGBTIA+, and neurodivergent voices are all very, very welcome!!

Overall, I’d say I prefer fun books to issues books; though at the same time I do also want books with strong character arcs and emotional depth, so I’m looking for substance that is embedded in fun—for emotion that’s part of something that overall feels cathartic.  And I want books with concise, easy to conceptualize pitches that feel fresh, fun, and timely (and usually easy to sum up in one-sentence since that tends to be what works well right now on the commercial market).

I’m always happy to look at projects that can do this and utilize settings such as international schools, music/film venues and/or training companies or production studios that aren’t American, language immersion programs, and more.  And I’m a big fan of Asian dramas (pretty much all genres, though especially historical and rom-com) and UK period pieces and would love to see some more of the flavor of some of the international shows I’m a fan of drawn into American publishing.  

What She Isn’t Looking For:

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

I am not able to, at this point, take on graphic novel scripts unless an artist is already attached, and I’m not the right person for anything picture book at the moment (though I’m happy to look at MG with illustrations:  stuff like the How To Train Your Dragon books for instance).  In terms of specific things that usually don’t catch me:  I’m not the right person for a story where the dog dies; I don’t often love terminal illness or cancer books; and I prefer happy endings to sad or nebulous ones.  It’s going to be hard to sell me on a book set in the 70s, 80s, 90s, or early 2000s—I usually prefer fully contemporary stories or else more deeply historical work.  And I’m never looking for stories that feel colonialist, that “fix” a character with a disability, or are centered on issues as the biggest part of the character’s journey.  Which is not to say I don’t love characters working through trauma—because I do!  It’s just a balance there for me usually.

I’m also rarely on the lookout for literary, literary-leaning, or upmarket YA or adult work, though I’m happy to look at more literary leaning material in middle-grade.

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?

It’s very important for me to be an agent who uplifts and amplifies voices that have marginalized, whether I personally rep those authors or not, but in terms of my own clients, I want to be the sort of person who is a good partner, not just in editing their work and selling it but also in terms of helping them career plan and navigate the weirdness that can be the traditional book market.  I am very editorial, so I work hard with prepping stories for sub, and I’m very data driven, so I want to use that knowledge and capacity to help my clients career plan in ways that will help them reach where they want to be with their careers.  My own personal philosophy is to support not push, so I’m going to prioritize my clients’ well-beings, which means I fully acknowledge that I work for them and not the other way around.  And I don’t ever want my clients to feel weird or uncomfortable about coming to me with whatever is on their minds!

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 very much an editorial agent.  I was an editor for years before I moved into agenting, so I do very substantial edits with clients as needed and am never afraid of really breaking things down into their parts to ensure a story can ultimately be its best version.  I’m also always happy to just talk ideas with my clients and am delighted at whatever point in the process they want to bring me in:  brainstorming, outlining, writing, rewriting, editing—I’m happy to be there for all of it!

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 take queries through QueryManager, and you can reach my QueryManager submissions’ page here: https://querymanager.com/query/3240

In terms of what I need:  I ask for a query letter, a synopsis, and the first chapter of the project.

I’m absolutely not picky about the salutation, whether you spell my name right, or anything else!  And I’m always very open to authors updating queries after they’ve sent them to me, so if you query me and then need to update something, please, please feel free to!  I look at queries with updated pitches or updated first chapters all the time.

And I also don’t need queries to be perfect!  What I’m really looking for is whether at the heart of each project there’s a pitch that shows me I’d be a good partner for the author at this point in their career. Some projects I love but feel need more revisions than I can commit to at a given time (because even though I’m very editorial, I’m also only human), so I do sometimes ask for R&Rs, and I’m always very open to authors re-querying me if their books have undergone pretty significant revisions since the last time I’d seen them.

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

I don’t have any specific dislikes; I’m not a picky person in that sense.  Though the thing to keep in mind is that my agency (and I) usually only ask for the first chapter, so that first chapter is carrying a heavy load.  It’s really the one thing, in addition to the pitch, that needs to draw me into the story.  Though, again, it doesn’t have to be perfect!!! I usually need concept, emotion, and catchiness over just simple perfection.

Response Time:

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

I aim for responses to queries in 8-10 weeks, and I try to respond to full manuscripts I’ve requested within 8-10 weeks more, though the reality is, it can sometimes take longer.  When I’m open to queries I often get 1000-1500 a month, which when paginated out at about 10-12 pages of material per query equals a monthly query volume approximately the length of around 60 three-hundred-page books.  And I do request a fair amount of fulls at the moment, which means it can take me time to get through everything.  So if you’ve not heard from me and you think you should have, I’m never upset by a nudge!  I might not respond immediately, but I will have tabulated the nudge for sure!  And I always appreciate getting them.  QueryManager is a great system, but occasionally things can get buried in it, so a nudge might draw right back up something the system really buried for me.

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?

Absolutely!! I rep both authors who have been self-published before and who have been published by smaller presses.  And I also rep hybrid authors who self-publish some books themselves and have others I sell for them traditionally.  I don’t have different advice for them, except that it is helpful to know if you’ve self-published or small press published before because this becomes part of the fabric that makes up what potential audiences, future sales, and resales can look like.  And for career planning purposes, again, just being ready to talk about your big picture ideas for your career with potential agents can also be very helpful.

Clients:

12. Who are some of the authors you represent?

Riv Begun, K. M. Watts

Interviews and Guest Posts:

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

My Manuscript Wishlist page: https://www.manuscriptwishlist.com/mswl-post/hillary-fazzari

All of my #MSWL tweets in one place: https://mswishlist.com/agent/HillaryFazzari

Links and Contact Info:

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

I take queries through QueryManager at: https://querymanager.com/query/3240

Sometimes I run special query sessions usually for specific pitch events that I’m participating in on social media, and I do sometimes do these when I’m technically closed to all other types of queries, so it’s always a good idea to check my agency page and my Twitter to see if I have any special query forms pinned anywhere since sometimes the links for those are different than my main QueryManager link.

My agency page: https://bradfordlit.com/hillary-fazzari-agent

My Twitter:  https://twitter.com/hillaryfazzari

Additional Advice:

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

This one gets thrown around a lot, but reading a lot and really being familiar with where your story would sit on the market can be really helpful.  I go for stuff that’s market hot and also for stuff that I just love, so it’s not like your book has to be exactly like the rest of the market.  But reading what’s newly releasing in the categories you’re writing in (or writing adjacent to) can be super helpful in terms of keeping up of with the market, even if what you decide to do is ultimately subvert or challenge some element of it.

Thanks for sharing all your advice, Hillary.

Giveaway Details

­Hillary 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 4th. 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

Wednesday, May 1st I have an interview with author Stacy Stokes and a giveaway of her YA speculative thriller The Darkness Rises and my IWSG post

Monday, May 6th I have an agent spotlight interview with Miriam Cortinovis and a query critique giveaway

Wednesday, May 8th I have an agent spotlight interview with Jenniea Carter and a query critique giveaway

Monday, May 13th I have a guest post by debut author Sandy Green and a giveaway of her MG novel in verse Ghost Writers: The Haunting of Lake Lucy

Wednesday, May 15th I have a guest post by Rose Atkinson-Carter, a freelance writer for Reedsy

Thursday, May 16th I’m participating in the Moms Rock Giveaway Hop

Monday, May 20th I have an agent spotlight interview with Caroline Trussell and a query critique giveaway

Tuesday, June 1st I’m participating in the Berry Good Giveaway Hop

Wednesday, June 2nd I have an interview with author June Hur and a giveaway of her YA historical mystery A Crane Among Wolves and my IWSG post

I hope to see you on Wednesday, May 1st!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rain Drop on Roses Giveaway Hop


Happy Tuesday Everyone! Today I'm excited to participate in the Rain Drop on Roses Giveaway Hop hosted by MamatheFox. I hope you're having a good spring. Did you see the eclipse? I live near the path where you could see the eclipse at 100%. It was about 96% here and still amazing. Plus I got to see it from the comfort of my home instead of battling all the traffic coming home like I did during the last full eclipse.

Book of Your Choice or Amazon Gift Card 

I am offering a book of your choice that is $20 or less on Amazon. I’m looking forward to seeing what books everyone is looking forward to reading. If you don’t have a book you want, you can win a $10 Amazon Gift Card.

Giveaway Details

To enter, all you need to do is be a follower of my blog (via the follower gadget, email, or bloglovin’ on the right sidebar) and leave a comment by April 30th telling me whether you want a book, and if so, which one, or the Amazon gift card and your email address. Be sure to include your email address.

If you mention this contest on Twitter, Facebook, or other social media sites and/or follow me on Twitter, mention this in the comments and I'll give you an extra entry for each. You must be 13 years old or older to enter. The book giveaway is U.S. only and the Amazon gift card giveaway is International.

Upcoming Interviews, Guest Posts, and Blog Hops

Monday, April 22nd I have an agent spotlight interview with Hillary Fazzari and a query critique giveaway

Wednesday, May 1st I have an interview with author Stacy Stokes and a giveaway of her YA speculative thriller The Darkness Rises and my IWSG post

Monday, May 6th I have an agent spotlight interview with Miriam Cortinovis and a query critique giveaway

Wednesday, May 8th I have an agent spotlight interview with Jenniea Carter and a query critique giveaway

Monday, May 13th I have a guest post by debut author Sandy Green and a giveaway of her MG novel in verse Ghost Writers: The Haunting of Lake Lucy

Wednesday, May 15th I have a guest post by Rose Atkinson-Carter, a freelance writer for Reedsy

Monday, May 20th I have an agent spotlight interview with Caroline Trussell and a query critique giveaway

I hope to see you on Monday!

And here are all the other blogs participating in this blog hop:

MamatheFox and all participating blogs are not held responsible for sponsors who fail to fulfill their prize obligations.

Book Review and Giveaway: Finally Heard by Kelly Yang

Happy Monday Everyone! Today I’m thrilled to share a review of Kelly Yang’s MG contemporary Finally Heard. I’m a huge fan of Kelly Yang’s Front Desk series and her Finally Seen series, which this is a sequel to. Kelly has been an amazing writer since she was a kid and immigrated to the U.S. from China as a middle grader. If you read her author notes at the end of her novels, you’ll learn what an incredible life Kelly has had.

I had hoped to have Kelly here for an interview, but she couldn’t do one given her busy schedule. However, she helped me obtain a book for a giveaway from her publisher. And thanks to her publisher for an ARC of Finally Heard for an honest review.

Here’s a blurb of Finally Heard from Goodreads:

 

From the New York Times bestselling author of Front Desk comes the sequel to Finally Seen in which Lina struggles to separate fact from fiction on social media.

When ten-year-old Lina Gao sees her mom’s video on social media take off, she’s captivated by the potential to be seen and heard! Maybe online she can finally find the confidence she craves. Whereas in real life she’s growing so fast, she feels like microwave popcorn, bursting out of her skin!

With the help of her two best friends, Carla and Finn, and her little sister, Millie, Lina sets off to go viral. Except there’s a lot more to social media than Lina ever imagined,

1. Seeing inside her classmates’ lives! Is she really the only person on the planet who doesn’t have a walk-in closet?
2. Group chats! Disappearing videos! Will anyone comment? What’s that emoji mean?
3. A bazillion stories about what to eat, wear, and put on her face . Could they all be telling the truth? Everyone sounds so sure of what they’re saying!

As Lina descends deeper and deeper into social media, it will take all her strength to break free from the likes and find the courage to be her authentic self in this fast-paced world.

Follower News

Before I get to my review, I have Follower News to share. Follower Sandy Grubb’s MG contemporary Just Like Click was recently released. Here’s a blurb: Eleven-year-old Nick Townley steps off the comic book pages he creates and ventures into the night as an undercover superhero to save his home and his father’s job, which would be a lot easier if he had actual superpowers. When three new kids discover his identity and want to join him, Nick vows to stay undercover…until he realizes even a superhero needs friends. And here are a few links: sandygrubb.com X and IG: @sandygrubb

 

Yvonne Osborne has an adult release Let Evening Come. Here’s a blurb: Let Evening Come is the love story between an Indigenous son displaced from his ancestral home on the Tar Sands of Canada and a motherless farm girl from Michigan who struggles to overcome loss while navigating the pitfalls of young adulthood. Together they combat suspicion and bigotry on both sides of the border and the cultural differences that separate them. And here’s a few links:
Amazon Website Barnes & Noble

 


Finally Heard Review

Finally Heard is a sequel to Finally Seen. While you may enjoy this sequel more if you read Finally Seen first where Lina immigrates to the United States as a middle grader, this can be read as a standalone. Like Kelly’s other books, it’s a riveting story that I had a hard time putting down. I devoured it in a few sittings. Here are a few things I loved about the story:

  1. ·      In Finally Heard, Lina deals with problems with social media that many middle graders will relate to.
  2. ·      I loved the relationship between Lina and her grandmother. Even though her grandma lives in China, Lina has been able to remain close to her.
  3. ·       I really enjoyed how this story highlights what it’s like to immigrate here as a middle grader and how Lina’s whole family is coping with their new life here. We learn how her mom, who is starting an online business, gets entrapped in social media too.
  4. ·       Lina is a very compelling character, as are her younger sister Millie and her friends, Finn and Carla.
  5. ·       I LOVED the last lines of the book. Those lines are for adults as well as middle graders. I’ve read them many times during a big personal challenge I faced a few weeks ago, and they helped me get through it.

I can’t recommend this and Kelly Yang’s other books enough. They’re all fantastic!

About Kelly:

 

Kelly immigrated to America when she was 6 years old and grew up in Southern California, where she and her parents worked in three different motels. She overcame poverty to go to college at the age of 13 and law school at the age of 17. She is a graduate of UC Berkeley, where she majored in Political Science, and Harvard Law School. After law school, she gave up law to pursue her passion of writing and teaching children writing. She is the founder of The Kelly Yang Project (kellyyang.edu.hk), a leading writing and debating program for kids in Asia. As a writing teacher for 13 years, Kelly helped thousands of children find their voice and become better writers and more powerful speakers. Before turning to fiction, she was also a columnist for the South China Morning Post for many years. Her writing has been published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Atlantic. She is the Honorary Chair of the American Library Association for National Library Week. She has three children and lives in Los Angeles.  

 Kelly is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of FINALLY SEEN, NEW FROM HERE, the FRONT DESK series ("One of the 30 Most Influential Children's Books Of All Time" -BookRiot), including FRONT DESK, THREE KEYS, and ROOM TO DREAM, KEY PLAYER, and TOP STORY, YES WE WILL, and young adult novels PARACHUTES and PRIVATE LABEL. FRONT DESK is Kelly's award-winning middle grade debut novel about a 10 year old Chinese American immigrant girl who manages the front desk of a motel while her parents clean the rooms. FRONT DESK was awarded the 2019 Asian Pacific American Award for Literature, the Parents' Choice Gold Medal, was the 2019 Global Read Aloud, and was named an Amazon Best Book of the Year, a Washington Post Best Book of the Year, a Kirkus Best Book of the Year, a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year, a NPR Best Book of the Year, and a Publisher's Weekly Best Book of the Year.

You can learn more about Kelly at https://www.kellyyang.com/.

Giveaway Details

Kelly’s publisher is generously offering a hardback of Finally Heard for a giveaway. To enter, all you need to do is be a follower of my blog (via the follower gadget, email, or bloglovin’ on the right sidebar) and leave a comment by April 27th. If your email is not on your Google Profile, you must leave it in the comments to enter the contest. Please be sure I have your email address.

If you mention this contest on Twitter, Facebook, or your blog and/or follow me on Twitter, mention this in the comments and I'll give you an extra entry for each. You must be 13 years old or older to enter. This book giveaway is U.S.

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday is hosted by Greg Pattridge. You can find the participating blogs on his blog.

Upcoming Interviews, Guest Posts, and Blog Hops

Tomorrow, April 16th I’m participating in the Rain Drop on Roses Giveaway Hop

Monday, April 22nd I have an agent spotlight interview with Hillary Fazzari and a query critique giveaway

Wednesday, May 1st I have an interview with author Stacy Stokes and a giveaway of her YA speculative thriller The Darkness Rises and my IWSG post

Monday, May 6th I have an agent spotlight interview with Miriam Cortinovis and a query critique giveaway

Wednesday, May 8th I have an agent spotlight interview with Jenniea Carter and a query critique giveaway

Monday, May 13th I have a guest post by debut author Sandy Green and a giveaway of her MG novel in verse Ghost Writers: The Haunting of Lake Lucy

Wednesday, May 15th I have a guest post by Rose Atkinson-Carter, a freelance writer for Reedsy

Monday, May 20th I have an agent spotlight interview with Caroline Trussell and a query critique giveaway

I hope to see you tomorrow!

 

 

 

Literary Agent Interview: Paula Weiman Interview and Query Critique Giveaway

Today I’m thrilled to have agent Paula Weiman here. They’re a literary agent at ASH Literary.

Hi­ Paula! Thanks so much for joining us.

About Paula:

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

My first experiences in the publishing industry were literary agency internships. After building my career as a bookseller, an editor in educational publishing, and a literary scout, I decided that I wanted to return to a more creative role where I could work directly with authors and really fight for the stories I’m passionate about. I’ve been an agent since October 2023, and in these past few months my priority has been signing new clients and expanding my roster. Things have been moving fast and I’ve already made a few deals, although they haven’t been announced yet.

About the Agency:

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

One of the main reasons I was excited to join ASH Literary is its mission statement of representing primarily marginalized creators. It’s great to be part of an agency that not only believes in the importance of sharing these underrepresented stories, but also has experience in advocating for marginalized authors and illustrators. We’re a small team with a very collaborative environment, which allows us to offer a lot of care and attention to each client.

What They’re 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 middle grade, young adult, and crossover adult fantasy. In middle grade, I’m looking for literary stories about grief and voice-driven adventure stories. For YA, I’m looking for rom-coms where the romance intersects with a deeper social issue, suspense and thrillers where the protagonist is focused on fighting injustice in their community, and fantasy stories that provide a new perspective on the tropes that typically make up the fantasy canon.

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

I would love to see a story about child labor rights or student activism. Pitches that include the keywords “lesbian heist” always pique my interest. I’m actively seeking work by writers of color.

What They Aren’t Looking For:

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

I’m not the right fit for science fiction, fantasy with animal protagonists, retellings based on the Disney version of fairytales, or D&D-inspired fantasy worlds.

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?

The reason I got into publishing comes back to work I did as a children’s bookseller. I loved being able to talk to a child and come up with tailored recommendations, then watch their face light up when they held a book where they felt their experiences were represented on the page for the first time. My role as an agent is to find books that will inspire that feeling in readers and then fight for them to reach as many of those children as possible.

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. I send clients an edit letter to begin a structural edit shortly after signing them, and we go through additional rounds of structural edits or light line edits if necessary. I was trained to be very precise with copyediting so I always include a quick round of copyediting to ensure the manuscript is clean before we submit it to editors.

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?

The best way to query me is through my QueryManager page. Make sure to include the first three chapters with the query. Sometimes I only receive the first chapter and it’s not enough for me to get a sense of the story.

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

I dislike query letters written in character. I also dislike when writers list a referral from someone I don’t actually know; it’s never a mark against someone to leave the referral field blank but referrals are for personal recommendations from industry colleagues.

Response Time:

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

I aspire to respond to all queries within a month, and to all requested full manuscripts within six months.

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, and I represent a client who self-published their debut novel before querying. Self-published and small press authors will have better luck querying an unpublished standalone or the unpublished first book in a new series.

Clients:

12. Who are some of the authors you represent?

Adina Glickman, Janeen Hayat, Juniper Klein, Kate Porter

Interviews and Guest Posts:

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

This is the first interview I’ve done as an agent. However, I’m participating in some upcoming writers conferences, including taking virtual pitches at the Pittsburgh Writing Workshop: https://pittsburghwritingworkshop.com/presenters-instructors/

Links and Contact Info:

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

My QueryManager link is: https://querymanager.com/query/paulaashliterary

To get a more in-depth sense of my taste, you can check out my profile on the ASH Literary website (https://ashliterary.com/#paulawishlist) or on MSWL (https://www.manuscriptwishlist.com/mswl-post/paula-weiman/).

Additional Advice:

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

It’s so important for writers to find a writing community. I always recommend finding a critique group if you don’t have one yet because those are your peers, your colleagues, the people who will have advice because they’re going through the same querying or submission or editorial processes as you. Those are the people who will celebrate your wins and will help you keep perspective through the difficult moments. There are a lot of great resources to find critique partners online if you don’t already know any writers.

Thanks for sharing all your advice, Paula.

Giveaway Details

­Paula 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 27th. 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

Monday, April 15th I have a review and giveaway of Finally Heard by Kelly Yang

Tuesday, April 16th I’m participating in the Rain Drop on Roses Giveaway Hop

Monday, April 22nd I have an agent spotlight interview with Hillary Fazzari and a query critique giveaway

Wednesday, May 1st I have an interview with author Stacy Stokes and a giveaway of her YA speculative thriller The Darkness Rises and my IWSG post

Monday, May 6th I have an agent spotlight interview with Miriam Cortinovis and a query critique giveaway

Wednesday, May 8th I have an agent spotlight interview with Jenniea Carter and a query critique giveaway

Monday, May 13th I have a guest post by debut author Sandy Green and a giveaway of her MG novel in verse Ghost Writers: The Haunting of Lake Lucy

Wednesday, May 15th I have a guest post by Rose Atkinson-Carter, a freelance writer for Reedsy

Monday, May 20th I have an agent spotlight interview with Caroline Trussell and a query critique giveaway

I hope to see you on Monday!