Queries

Query Instructions

Note: If you’ve not used QueryTracker before, check it out; it’s a great resource for writers.

  • If you prefer to query over email, paste your query letter and the first ten pages of your manuscript to me at weronika(at)d4eo(dot)com, and include the word QUERY in your subject line. I will respond personally only if I request your manuscript.

Query Status: I have read and responded, where applicable, to queries submitted by e-mail through 11/14/2018.

How I Read Submissions

I jump straight into your ten pages, and backtrack to your query. I am looking for distinct voices, beautiful writing, intriguing concepts, and works that leave a flutter in the heart—ah, this is new, and different, and exciting; my gut instinct here has never betrayed me.

I am also eager to build relationships with writers whose manuscripts may not be quite there but could use the editorial support of an agent (though, of course, I urge all writers to query with the best, and to find support via QueryTracker, other online writing communities, and talented critique partners).

What I Want to Represent (#MSWL)

I am not, and have never been, a single-genre reader. I am eager only for the best-told stories, building out a list of talented novelists and writers in these genres:

  • young adult
  • fantasy & sci-fi
  • literary fiction
  • commercial fiction
  • women’s fiction
  • romance
  • crime, mystery & thrillers
  • memoir
  • non-fiction (innovative ideas & research; projects with a potential for social & cultural impact, etc.)

Human nature fascinates me, and I am drawn to stories that share the rawness and truth of what is and what is possible.

I love beautiful writers, worlds, characters; smart, quirky and genre-bending stories. I love underdogs, and stories about characters that rise above limitations. I love romance, whether genre- or element-wise, that is visceral in its rawness. I love dark contours, intense in their immediacy, and world-building that catches your breath with its precision and distinctness.

I am very much a reader that likes to be challenged, and expanded; very carefully constructed projects, which reveal a writer’s capacities, are most often those that awaken my heart and mind. I would prefer to work with writers eager to grow in their skill as novelists and build long-term, sustainable careers.

If you’re not sure whether you fit the categories, submit a query—it certainly cannot hurt, and I have taken risks on writers before that I did not anticipate loving.

I will not consider middle grade, children’s, or picture books, nor am I the right agent for illustrators or graphic novels.

See genre-specific notes here.

Note, however, that my disposition is generally, If I could have anything, I would have [fill in the blank], but I’ll also consider anything and everything, as there are things you cannot put in boxes.

  • young adult
    • some favorite novelists: Edith Pattou, John Green, A.S. King, Laini Taylor, Alison Croggon, Jandy Nelson, Markus Zusak, Kristin Cashore, Swati Avasthi
    • wishlist: a literary sci-fi; anything within the science fantasy vein; v. distinct, raw male voices; a contemporary that engages a contemporary issue (i.e., bioethical questions, etc.)
  • fantasy & sci-fi
    • some favorite novelists: J.R.R. Tolkien, Patrick Rothfuss, George R.R. Martin, Robert Jackson Bennett, Frank Herbert, N.K. Jemisin
    • wishlist: a literary sci-fi; a near-future sci-fi; an epic fantasy with genre-bending world-building; anything within the science fantasy vein
  • literary fiction
    • some favorite novelists: Anthony Doerr, Flannery O’Connor, Haruki Murakami, Mark Haddon, Khaled Hosseini, Betty Smith, Toni Morrison
    • wishlist: a novel that can make me cry; a historical based in Poland or Eastern Europe; a novel featuring a healthy marriage; a novel about a character with intellectual or emotional gifting (i.e., empath, high IQ, etc.)
  • commercial fiction
    • some favorite novelists: Kathryn Stockett, Margaret Atwood
    • wishlist: a novel that critiques something of contemporary culture
  • women’s fiction
    • some favorite novelists: Jodi Picoult, Nora Roberts
    • wishlist: a novel in 1st person, with a distinct, raw voice; a novel featuring an immigrant character
  • romance
    • some favorite novelists: Graemie Simsion, Rainbow Rowell, Nicholas Sparks, Diana Gabaldon
    • wishlist: a v. smart romance, with smart humor
  • crime, mystery & thrillers
    • some favorite novelists: Gillian Flynn, John Grisham, James Patterson, Liane Moriarty, Laura Lippman
    • wishlist: a female-driven literary thriller; a v. smart thriller or crime novel relying on intellectual-type puzzles or characters, a la Sherlock Holmes with Benedict Cumberbatch or Elementary
  • memoir
    • some favorite memoirs: The Glass CastleBraving the Wilderness
  • non-fiction
    • some favorite writers: Sue Johnson, Brené Brown, Mary Eberstadt, Steven D. Levitt/Stephen J. Dubner, Rod Dreher, Donald Maass, Christopher Dawson, Charles Taylor
    • wishlist: writers with academic backgrounds or personal and professional experiences that can give rise to projects with real potential to shape the cultural, social, and political mindset on the most urgent questions, along with projects that demonstrate real creativity, innovation, depth of intelligence, and a rigorous commitment to research and advancing discourse

I am also someone who loves projects (books and films alike) such as the Oceans trilogy, the Bourne series, the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series, and Downtown Abbey, among others funny, intense, and able to invest your heart in the lives of its characters.

Agenting Philosophy

Where I and my clients agree it is necessary and good, I am a heavily editorial agent, with much experience and background in structural editorial work. This means close work on the manuscript, to prepare it, as well as marketing, teaching you the nature of the field, and placing you well for growth and success.

Six years in non-profit work that involved the organizational and logistical work for grassroots academic conferences, as well as extended work with university students and faculty departments, shaped in me a preference for local and community-based outreach, as well as out-of-the-box thinking about marketing that propels a recognition of names and a trust in product quality.

My task is also to be the expert in contracts, with the support of the agency and its multi-decade experience in high-quality negotiations; the sale of translation rights, where applicable; and working on additional dimensions rights- and platform-wise. As the publishing industry evolves and adapts to the creation and use of different platforms and media forms, it is vital for agents to be a step ahead of the industry, grasping changes, responding with innovation and creativity, and fighting to help create standards and precedents that prefer a model that respects writers who can help capture and grow lifelong commitments among readers.

Beyond this, I agent very personally: in transparency, my task is to set you up for a writing career–ideally, one in which writing full-time or part-time becomes easy and reasonable, and earns back the necessary profit.

I am also of the mind that, where there is something personally shared, we’ll love and do our mutual work with greater joy and freedom. It is not rare, and much preferred, for this work to become friendship.

Interviews

Please always refer to this page for most up-to-date information regarding queries and interests, etc.

Recent Interviews:

Archived Interviews:

Most of the content in these still applies, even if agency or submissions-related information has changed.