Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Weronika Janczuk of The Janczuk Literary Agency

Screen Shot 2019-12-09 at 10.06.28 AM.pngWeronika Janczuk is a literary agent with The Janczuk Literary Agency (formerly with D4E0 Literary).

Weronika (pronounced like Veronica) broke into publishing in 2009, through a high school workshop that placed me with former young adult editor Brian Farrey at Flux (now North Star), a small imprint in Minnesota, where she pulled, from the slush pile, the lovely Out of the Blue by Holly Schindler, which received a starred review in Booklist. She then moved on to intern with Kathleen Anderson at Anderson Literary Management, Jenny Bent at The Bent Agency, and Mary Kole, formerly with the Andrea Brown Literary Agency. From 2010-2011, as an undergraduate at NYU, she worked with Bob Diforio and sold an array of projects. Weronika’s parents immigrated from Poland to Canada, where she was born. “I grew up in the Twin Cities of Minnesota; and now I reside in New York City, NY. I studied at New York University’s Gallatin School, where I finished a self-designed degree in the philosophy of the human person. I love Earl Grey tea and lattes, Sudoku, rivers, and pierogi with blueberries. I am also a writer, as are many other agents and editors. I queried my first project when I was 13, and have never queried again, tinkering in silence, perfecting craft, with my current project a science fantasy.

She is seeking:

“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
  • nonfiction (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.

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

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Jennifer Wills of The Seymour Agency

Screen Shot 2019-11-18 at 6.52.37 PMJennifer Wills is a literary agent with The Seymour Agency.

Jennifer has five years’ experience in some of the publishing industry’s leading literary agencies. She worked with publishers around the world as an assistant in Trident Media Group’s huge foreign rights department, and with domestic publishers as an assistant at Writers House (where, incidentally, she began her career as an intern).

She joined the Seymour Agency in April 2016, where she has quickly moved up the ranks to Associate Agent. Jennifer has always loved helping fledgling authors become NYT bestsellers and she’s ready to be a relentless champion for her own clients’ work. You can find her @WillsWork4Books on Twitter.

Jennifer is particularly interested in a wide range of picture books and cookbooks, with a soft spot for author/illustrators of sweet and wacky picture books, and cookbooks with mouth-watering recipes of the health conscious, budget friendly or celebrity chef variety. For fiction, she’s also interested in middle grade and young adult with a sci fi/fantasy, horror/suspense, or contemporary bent, and upmarket women’s fiction with a sense of humor. On the nonfiction side, narrative nonfiction and memoir are also welcome. If your manuscript has a great hook, a distinct voice, and can make her laugh out loud or ugly cry (or, even better, both), she’d love to see it.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Ella Marie Shupe of The Belcastro Agency

Screen Shot 2018-11-14 at 5.38.29 PM.pngElla Marie Shupe is a literary agent with Belcastro Agency.

She is seeking in adult: mysteries – all subgenres, thriller, suspense, and general fiction. “In adult fiction, we look for a unique voice and a strong protagonist full of attitude. We like dark and intense but we won’t turn away something that’s a little on the lighter side. We enjoy a touch of humor, and we would never turn away something sexy.”

She is looking for young adult – fantasy, science fiction, action/adventure, contemporary, magical realism, mystery/thriller, and horror. “We want profound young adult with a strong protagonist. A whacky, funny, crazy, or thought-provoking voice will draw our attention. We look for entertaining storylines that deal with tough life issues. We look for big writing that remains fast-paced.”

“Belcastro Agency is a full-service, literary agency representing authors writing in adult and young adult fiction. We are a passionate, hands-on, editorially-focused agency and work closely with our writers in developing manuscripts and proposals for submission. In addition, we actively manage subsidiary rights for the projects we represent including foreign translation, audio, and film/television rights. We work hand in hand with our authors to develop lasting careers through website development, social media strategies, and promotional assistance. Our mission is to shine the light on great writers and wonderful stories.”

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Erica Bauman of Aevitas Creative Management

Screen Shot 2019-03-30 at 3.10.25 PM.pngErica Bauman is a literary agent with Aevitas Creative Management.

Erica represents a wide variety of authors for both children and adults, including acclaimed YA author Andrew Auseon and Broadway performer Tiffany Haas.

Erica is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University and has worked in the publishing industry for the last seven years. Before coming to Aevitas she worked at Spectrum Literary Agency.

Based in New York, Erica is currently focused on representing a wide range of authors across middle grade, young adult, and adult fiction, as well as some select narrative nonfiction projects. She is most interested in novels that straddle the line between literary and commercial, imaginative tales with a speculative twist, fearless storytellers that tackle big ideas and contemporary issues, and working with and supporting marginalized authors and stories that represent the wide range of humanity.

“For middle grade, my interests span all genres, from contemporary to mystery to fantasy. I love quirky, funny stories and main characters who are misfits (and proud of it). I’m especially on the lookout for eerie horror (like Coraline) and really unique magic.”

“For young adult, I am a lover of all genre fiction, especially fantasy, mystery, and historical fiction. I love stories based off of mythology, folklore, and obscure fairy tales, and novels that cross genres. I’m especially on the lookout for stories inspired by classic literature/ballet/opera, mysteries and thrillers with unreliable narrators, and books that play with structure to tell a story in a really unique way.”

“In adult, I gravitate towards stories that have a commercial premise and beautiful writing. I love voice-driven, witty romcoms, historical novels (especially mysteries), and light SFF and magical realism. I’m on the lookout for books starring nerds, and stories that make me laugh.”

“Across all age ranges and genres, I’m eager to support and work with marginalized authors and stories that represent the wide range of humanity.”

“That said, I’m probably not the best for projects involving the following:

Serious literary fiction
Vampires/werewolves/zombies
Serious family drama
Intergalactic war/alien invasions
Dead pets
Erotica
Manic Pixie Dream Girls
Instalove.”

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Hope Bolinger of C.Y.L.E

Screen Shot 2018-05-10 at 1.27.08 PM.pngHope Bolinger is a literary agent at C.Y.L.E. Literary.

Hope is a graduate of Taylor University’s professional writing program. More than 500 of her works have been featured in various publications ranging from Writer’s Digest to Keys for Kids to HOOKED.

She has worked for various publishing companies, magazines, newspapers, and literary agencies and has edited the work of authors such as Jerry B. Jenkins and Michelle Medlock Adams. Her column “Hope’s Hacks,” tips and tricks to avoid writer’s block, reaches 6,000+ readers weekly and is featured monthly on Cyle Young’s blog. Her modern-day Daniel, Blaze, (Illuminate YA) released in June, and they contracted the sequel Den for July 2020. Find out more about her here.

Interested in: Young adult and middle grade with a speculative flair, some adult romance, and some adult historical.

Maybe: children’s picture books (especially nonfiction or with STEAM elements), nonfiction & memoir with a strong platform, some books for the religious market with a strong platform.

Not interested in: nonfiction that doesn’t have a strong platform, erotica, poetry, new adult (YA crossover is fine).

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Jacqueline Lipton of Raven Quill Literary Agency

Screen Shot 2020-01-02 at 2.50.21 PMJacqueline Lipton is the founder of Raven Quill Literary Agency and the author of Law & Authors: A Legal Handbook for Writers (forthcoming, University of California Press, fall 2020).

She is seeking most kinds of middle grade and young adult fiction — especially contemporary, romance, science-fiction, mystery, and/or anything with engaging characters and plot! She also seeks MG and YA nonfiction.

Jacqueline has been an avid reader since elementary school, back in the days when “YA” wasn’t even a thing.

Her background is also eclectic. At university (yes, in Australia and England they call it “university”), she studied law, psychology, drama, languages, and information technology. She practiced as a banking and finance attorney in Australia, and has worked as a law professor in Australia, the U.K. and the United States where her teaching and writing has focused on laws relating to the publishing industry, digital technology law, copyright, trademark, privacy, and defamation.

She holds an M.F.A. in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts and regularly teaches classes on writing and on legal aspects of publishing around the country for organizations like The Writing Barn, Savvy Authors, and a variety of adult education courses, M.A. and M.F.A. programs, and libraries.

Before founding Raven Quill Literary Agency, she was an Associate Agent at Storm Literary Agency, and, prior to that, a reader for literary agent Susan Hawk, and a reader and member of the social media team for The YA Review Network (Y.A.R.N.).