Monday, March 6, 2017

Agentopia: Lauren Spieller and Catherine Cho

Welcome to the March edition of Agentopia! As a spring treat, we have two amazing agents in the spotlight this month. 

First we have Lauren Spieller from TriadaUS Literary Agency.

About Lauren:

Literary Agent Assistant Lauren Spieller comes to TriadaUS with a background in literary scouting and editorial consulting. She has a sharp editorial eye, and is passionate about author advocacy. Lauren is seeking Middle Grade and Young Adult fiction, as well as select Adult fiction and non-fiction. Whatever the age category or genre, Lauren is passionate about finding diverse and underrepresented voices.

In YA, she’d love to find authentic teen voices in any and all genres. She is especially fond of fantasy, magical realism, and space operas; contemporary stories with a hook; and anything with a feminist bent. A few favorites include Dumplin’, Scorpio Races, An Ember in the Ashes, OCD Love Story, Six of Crows, The Raven Boys, and Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda.

What is currently on your wish list?

I'm dying to see more character-driven middle grade. Some of my favorites include The Thing About Jellyfish, Rooftoppers, and Wonder. I'd also love a Middle Grade version of Dumplin'. In YA, I'm looking for diverse Contemporary, such as When Dimple Met Rishi, and ensemble cast Contemporary Fantasy like The Raven Boys.

What's a personal turn-off in a query which is guaranteed to get the author rejected?

Not including pages. Always follow guidelines!

Do you google authors who query you and if yes, what are you looking for?

Sometimes. When I do, I'm looking for a website and Twitter account, so that I can get a sense of their personality and their writing community. But neither are necessary-I just want wonderful books!

To submit to Lauren send a query letter and your first ten pages with the word QUERY in the email’s subject line, along with the age category and genre (ex: QUERY YA Fantasy).
Twitter: @laurenspieller

Don't forget to check out Lauren's official Manuscript wishlist

Next up is Catherine Cho from Curtis Brown.

About Catherine:

Catherine joined Curtis Brown in Spring 2015 to work with Jonny Geller on his incredible list of fiction and non-fiction.

Originally from the U.S, Catherine studied English literature at New York University. After graduating, she took a detour in corporate law and decided to move to Asia. She lived in Hong Kong for several years and received a J.D. from the University of Hong Kong. She spent a year at a lobbying firm in Washington D.C. before realizing that she would rather lobby for something she believed in and moved to the book world. Catherine worked as a literary assistant and Contracts Manager for Folio Literary Management in New York and then moved to London.
When looking for books to represent, Catherine is drawn to atmospheric settings and great storytelling. She loves books that transport you – stories with magical realism and speculative elements (time travel or high concept). She is drawn to historical fiction, and she also enjoys science fiction and fantasy (Robin Hobb, Justin Cronin) and she would love to find novels that transcend genre, like Kazuo Ishiguro, David Mitchell or Margaret Atwood. 

What is currently on your wish list?

I would love to find something with magical realism or sci-fi elements. I would love to find fantasy with a strong female heroine, Tamora Pierce or Victoria Aveyard. And always, I’m looking for a strong love story, like Rainbow Rowell or Jenny Han.

What's a personal turn-off in a query which is guaranteed to get the author rejected?

First impressions do matter, so any cover letters that begin with Dear Sir or Madam, or any glaring typos in the cover letter, usually mean that an author hasn’t been very careful, and it’s usually a red flag for me.

Do you google authors and if yes, what are you looking for?

In terms of authors who submit to me, I don’t tend to google them. I rely on the cover letter and the writing material.
For prospective authors who write online or who have been published in journals, I do spend time looking through online publications so that I can reach out.

To submit to Catherine, email a cover letter, synopsis, and the first 10,000 words in the body of the email to:

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