Sunday, August 6, 2017

Agentopia: Alyssa Jenette

Welcome to the August edition of Agentopia. This month we have Alyssa Jenette in the spotlight.

About Alyssa

Alyssa joined Stonesong Literary in May 2015 after interning at the Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency. She has a background in art and trained as an illustrator before she joined publishing, and therefore have unique insight and expertise when it comes to design-heavy or illustrated works. She is a very editorial agent, and she finds a lot of joy in shaping stories alongside the author.
She recently enjoyed I’LL GIVE YOU THE SUN, THE GHOST NETWORK, WHY WE CAME TO THE CITY, SLADE HOUSE, and WHITE CAT. Some of her favorite authors are Jasper Fforde, Terry Pratchett, and Holly Black.

What is currently on your wishlist?

These are very specific requests, but I would love a picture book about logic concepts, YA/MG about supportive found families, a Craigslist Missed Connection rom-com, and a YA epistolary novel told through chats, emails, and texts about the decline of a best-friendship (or about getting Catfished!). A great place to check my interests is on my Manuscript Wishlist profile or my #MSWL hashtag on Twitter.

Overall I find myself drawn to literary voices, strong plotting, and cleverness. Make me laugh or sigh or get excited and you're well on your way to winning my heart!

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

Queries that are too long or ill-researched are pretty much always a no. Authors who are serious about getting published MUST do the work required to show agents that they're committed, thoughtful, and making the effort. That means brief queries targeted at the agents that are actually interested in and represent your genre. That means you've IDENTIFIED your genre. That means you've read up on agents and aren't going to send them things that they don't represent or aren't interested in. I still get queries for romance novels when I explicitly state across multiple platforms that I don't represent romance. Don't be that author! 99% of the time you aren't going to be the exception that changes an agents mind about a genre or a premise, so I would say stick to the agents who already want to see what you do.

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

Sometimes I google authors! But most of the time I'm too busy keeping up with my queries to think about the author's personal life. I do tend to get curious and google when the book is either REALLY out there or, of course, a book that I'm super-enjoying. I'm not looking for anything specific when I google--I've never *not* signed someone whose work I love because of something I saw while googling. That being said, it's always a good thing to see what comes up when you google your name--you want to put your best foot forward in case an agent gets the itch to search.

Alyssa is closed to queries during August but submission guidelines for September can be found on the Stonesong website.

Alyssa's wishlist: MSWL
Twitter @alyssajenette

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