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: 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.


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!





Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Query letters written in character would be very disconcerting! Nice interview. :)

Anel said...

Great interview! Thank you. I will be querying Paula! ~Anel anel.ryan@yahoo.com

Brenda said...

Very nice interview, no need to enter me in the query. Happy MMGM to you

Shamaila J said...

I would like to enter the query critique giveaway. My email is shamaila.siddique@gmail.com

Laurie Smith Murphy said...

Thanks for your insight, Paula! I'd love a query critique!

Laurie Smith Murphy said...

Here's my email: lauriemurph@hotmail.com

Leela said...

I'm an email subscriber.

Liz A. said...

Now I want to find a lesbian heist...

Mewla Young said...

Fantastic interview! Thank you for sharing advice. I'd love your feedback on my query.

Jacqui said...

Best of luck on your endeavor. For a first interview, this went great!

Sandra Cox said...

Excellent interview. Paula, You sound very passionate about your work.
'Lo Natalie;)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for all the insights! My email for the giveaway - dawnelizee@gmail.com

Storm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stephanie Jones said...

It is so helpful to hear what any agent is looking for and how they're all different. I love the perspective of being able to help a child find what will be the right book for them

Stephanie Smith said...

Thank you, Paula, for the interview and insights. Thank you, Natalie, for all the fantastic content you provide.
I'd love to enter for the critique. I receive your emails and follow on Twitter. My email is Stephanieiswriting10@gmail.com

Alicia said...

Another insightful interview - thanks Natalie!

Sydney said...

Great interview! I'd like to enter the query critique giveaway. My email is sydney.w.liu@gmail.com. Thanks!

Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction said...

Congrats to Paula on getting her first sales! That has to be exciting!! (No need to enter me in the giveaway.)

Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

Karen K. said...

I like how specific Paula is about the types of fantasy she is interested in. Much appreciated! Please include me in the query critique giveaway

Cel said...

Interesting to hear from an agent with such vast experience in the literary world. Would be amazing to have her query feedback!