Reminder: New literary agents (with this spotlight featuring Quressa Robinson of D4EO Literary) are golden opportunities for new writers because each one is a literary agent who is likely building his or her client list.
About Quressa: Quressa Robinson joined the D4EO Literary Agency in 2016 and is actively building her client list. Quressa was an acquiring editor at St. Martin’s Press, where she edited both fiction and nonfiction. Her acquisitions include Certain Dark Things (a Publishers Weekly Fall Announcement Top 10 Pick and October B&N Staff Pick) and The Beautiful Ones—both by Locus, World Fantasy, Sunburst, and Aurora Award-nominated author Silvia Moreno-Garcia; Spells of Blood and Kin (which received a starred PW review) by Claire Humphrey; and The Atlas of Forgotten Places by Jenny D. Williams, among others.
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She is seeking: Science fiction/fantasy (including speculative/magical realism), nonfiction (celebrity, pop culture, pop science), upmarket and commercial women’s fiction, historical fiction, family sagas, contemporary young adult, and science fiction/fantasy young adult crossover. “I am particularly interested in OwnVoices and inclusive narratives. Genre bending is also great, i.e. epic fantasy romance or upmarket fantasy.”
How to submit: Send all queries to email@example.com. Include the first fifty pages of your novel or full proposal and sample chapters as a Word attachment. If the submission is a simultaneous submission, please indicate that in your query. E-mail queries only.
Paul Lucas came to Janklow & Nesbit in 2007 not as an agent, but as a paralegal who’d been working in the corporate division of a large law firm. A longtime book lover, he soon gave up legal texts for queried manuscripts, officially donning the agent hat at Janklow in 2011.
“I love projects that incorporate fantasy or make the fantastic seem possible, like Karen Russell’s Swamplandia,” Lucas says. “[Another favorite is] Ian McGuire’s book The North Water, which is about the whaling industry, insurance fraud and sociopathy. I adore any project that makes my pulse beat faster, which happens both with fiction and nonfiction.”
No matter what you’re writing—fiction or nonfiction, books for adults or children—you need a literary agent to get the best book deal possible from a traditional publisher. Guide to Literary Agents 2017 is your essential resource for finding that literary agent and getting a contract with one of the country’s top publishers. Along with listing information for more than 1,000 agents who represent writers and their books, this updated edition of GLA includes:
- A one-year subscription to the literary agent content on WritersMarket.com.
- The secrets of query-writing success: Learn 5 common mistakes that make an agent stop reading—and how to avoid them.
- “New Agent Spotlights”: Get targeted profiles of literary reps who are actively building their client lists right now.
- Informative articles on writing a synopsis, pitching your work online, utilizing writing peers, and much more.
“I would love more nonfiction, especially a transformative history or biography (but not memoir!). I’m always looking for a wide range of fiction. If the writing is wonderful and the book tells a story, it could be for me.”
Paul is actively looking for upmarket commercial fiction, specifically historical, thrillers, science fiction, and fantasy. on the literary side, he likes reading narratives about immigration ostracization, class, family, and race. For nonfiction, he is drawn to narratives, learning about new things, and the occasional humor project.
“Don’t disguise your autobiography as a novel—your life probably isn’t unique enough … to justify it. Go out and learn about other people and things.”
“Always get feedback from unrelated third parties, like writing groups or professional writers, rather than close friends or family.”
“Understand that patience is an important virtue in the publishing world.”
“Practice! It’s frustrating to [have to] learn different styles of pitching, but you need to tailor the pitch to the specific medium. If it’s an email, keep the agent’s esoteric wish list/criterion in mind. In person, have a one-, three- or five-minute version ready, depending on the conference or opportunity.”
HOW TO QUERY:
For fiction submissions: send an informative cover letter, a brief synopsis, and the first ten pages. If you are sending an email submission, include the sample pages in the body of the email below your query.
For nonfiction submissions: send an informative cover letter, a full outline, and the first ten pages of the manuscript. If you are sending an email submission, please include the sample pages in the body of the email below your query.
Address your submission to Paul. Include your email address or a return envelope with sufficient postage if you would like your material sent back to you.
Janklow & Nesbit Associates
285 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10017
For email submissions, send your material to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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