Dawn Frederick’s Representative Categories:
· Biography-Historical, media-related, political—ABSOLUTELY NO PERSONAL MEMOIRS
· Creative Nonfiction — It needs to be smart, with noticeable platform, and commercial. I enjoy a wide range of topics.
· History – Books that will engage the commerical reader. ex: anything Scott Simon/NPR may like
· Humor – I love a good laugh (I represent the CHOOSE YOUR OWN MISERY series)
· Pop Culture – Especially Americana, and anything quirky
· Social Issues/Current Affairs—Women’s Studies, GLTB Studies, Social Sciences, and more.
· Sports — Less mainstream, more extreme sport, ex: Roller Derby, not so much into traditional sports
· Women’s Narratives – women’s nonfiction, diverse stories please!
· Young Adult – Fiction, Nonfiction
· Middle Grade – Fiction, Nonfiction
Laura Zats’s Representative Categories:
• Young Adult — Fiction, I’m looking for all genres here, and am especially interested in settings or characters I haven’t seen before and queer romantic relationships if there’s a romance. Some examples of recent YA (that I didn’t sell) that I loved include When Dimple Met Rishi, Bone Gap, The Hate U Give, And I Darken, Walk on Earth a Stranger, The Rest of Us Just Live Here, Forest of a Thousand Lantern, and An Ember in the Ashes.
I will always love anything that reminds me of Tamora Pierce, Robin McKinley, or Diana Wynne Jones.
• Science Fiction/Fantasy — In these genres, I love everything from big, commercial voices to literary crossover novels. As I have an anthropology degree, I’m interested in well-drawn cultures and subverting traditional Chosen One, quest, and colonial narratives. I will fall on the floor and salivate if your writing reminds me of N.K. Jemisin or Nnedi Okorafor. No white dudes on quests, dreams, or Western ideas of Hell, please.
• Romance/Erotica — I am looking for all settings and subgenres here. Must have verbal consent throughout and a twist to traditional romance tropes. If you send me the next The Hating Game, I will be the happiest agent in all the land. Please no rape, querying anything shorter than 60K, or shifters.
Note: I am interested in working with marginalized authors across all genres. Does not have to be #ownvoices. I love third-wave feminism and geekery in my books. Please see #mswl on twitter for more wish list specifics.
Amanda Rutter’s Representative Categories:
• Science Fiction/Fantasy, the non-YA ideas.
• Young Adult and Middle Grade– Science Fiction/Fantasy.
Stacey Graham’s Representative Categories –
I’d love to see projects on:
• Spiritualism: MG or adult, nonfiction or fiction
• Ouija: Adult, nonfiction
• Witches: MG or adult, fiction with a new twist
• Old West: MG, nonfiction or fiction. Think Wild Bill, Calamity Jane, women of the Wild West, African-American cowboys
• Romance with heart…but that doesn’t take itself to seriously
• MG nonfiction series on women with moxie: Agatha Christie, Beatrix Potter, Hedy Lamarr, Mary Shelley, Ida Lupino
• Middle-grade with a great voice — especially funny and/or spooky.
• MG/YA/Adult: Nonfiction — looking for fun, quirky, fascinating topics with commercial appeal.
• Adult: Romance.
• Adult: Mystery with a humorous bent.
Erik’s Representative Categories:
I typically like things that are “realism” or at least close to it, though I do love light speculative elements or just a touch of science fiction, closer to just “surreal” than overtly SF/F. I like novels that probably get called “literary” even as they’re doing other things or fitting into other categories. I love family stories, memorable settings that matter to the book, characters with a harebrained scheme, legends, folklore, mythology, and games. I want “ambitious” novels that reach for something memorable. Books and/or authors I’ve really enjoyed over the last few years:
• Karen Russell (especially Swamplandia!)
• Marilynne Robinson
• Michael Chabon
• Jonathan Lethem
• Paul Beatty
• Brit Bennett (The Mothers)
• Garth Risk Hallberg (City on Fire)
• Marlon James (A Brief History of Seven Killings)
• David Mitchell
• Viet Thanh Nguyen (The Sympathizer)
• Louise Erdrich
Nonfiction (Narrative very much preferred across all these!)
• History, especially American political or social. Cultural movements, political movements, the forgotten but significant moments in between the famous points in history we’ve already read so much about
• Science, specifically evolution, biology, animals, or neuroscience; think Elizabeth Kolbert, Ed Yong, E. O. Wilson, Yuval Hurari
• Cultural criticism, essays, commentary, current events: this could be on anything but off the top of my head I really like great writing on politics, race, social trends, leftism, videogames, Weird Twitter, and anything else you can convince me the world should care about.
• Sports with a larger (and necessary) cultural angle; think Grantland. Specifically I really like tennis, football, and basketball.
• International stories, especially in places undercovered by Western media, and ESPECIALLY places and people affected by U.S. foreign policy
Liz Rahn will be handling the following rights:
· TV/Film/Dramatic Performing
· Any Foreign Rights inquiries
· Merchandising Rights
Stacy’s Representative Categories:
I’m mostly focused on prescriptive nonfiction at this time. This is definitely related to my background of being a journalist and writing books like this myself, so it’s where I feel I can give you the most love. Subjects I’m interested in include:
• Health & Wellness
• And any and all other passions or hobbies you have!
I’m also open to these other categories on a very limited basis:
• Creative nonfiction (if you have a platform)
• Humor (if you’re really funny)
• Science and animals
• Kids nonfiction (not picture books)
Please don’t send me your memoir. I’m not the right person for it. My biggest tip: Take the time to research and write a stellar proposal. First impressions count. Not sure about how to write a great proposal? I have a CourseCraft on this topic, but you can google it just fine, too!
PLEASE NO PERSONAL MEMOIRS (unless a person specifies they are interested the category), or SPIRITUAL/RELIGIOUS QUERIES UNLESS INDICATED BY THAT AGENT. QUERY ONLY THOSE WHO WILL CONSIDER YOUR SPECIFIC FICTION:
Preferred Submission Guidelines (for Red Sofa Literary):
We highly encourage everyone to send an email and/or query letter initially, before attempting to send a full book proposal or sample chapters. If there is an interest, we will directly contact the author. Once these materials are received, there is usually response time of 6-8 weeks if it’s the Fall/Spring/Winter, this will depend with our individual conference schedules and commitments to our current authors.
If querying via email, please only put the contents of your query IN the email. We will not open attachments unless they have been requested in advance.
Materials to have ready:
1. The full ms (should we request a partial or the full ms)
2. A full book proposal with Author Bio, Competition, Market (WHO will read the book), Promotion (HOW readers will learn about the book), Chapter Summaries (for non-fiction), and a Synopsis/Overview.
3. Sample chapters (if nonfiction)
4. Sample artwork (if a graphic novel)
Dawn’s email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Laura’s email: email@example.com
Amanda’s email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Stacey’s email: email@example.com
Erik’s email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Liz’s email: email@example.com
Stacy’s email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Reading Fee Policy: You will not be charged a reading fee. Going by the usual standards of the query process, please send them via email, clearly explaining the project, who you are, and why you are passionately pursuing it. Remember to always avoid including any type of email attachment (unless we’ve requested it in advance). Regarding queries by phone, these phone calls will NOT be returned, except in circumstances where the author has been referred by a current author or client.
What we’d like to see in your FULL book proposal (if requested): an Overview/Synopsis, a Bio, Market (WHO will read your book), Competition, Promotion (HOW readers will learn about your book), Chapter Summaries, and any other pertinent info, i.e. endorsements, estimated date of completion, etc.
Most common mistakes made
As practiced at Sebastian Literary agency, it’s essential that any author reads the newest resource material during the agent query process. Otherwise, time and possibly patience may be lost due to lack of research on the author’s part. I know what I’m looking for, so it’s essential anyone querying Red Sofa Literary consider the types of categories represented at this agency. Know who your competition is, as well as the experience of building a public platform. In summary: Do your research, follow the industry standards of queries and book proposals, and know your competition—while building your own writing platform.
Other info worth knowing:
There’s a 99.9999% chance that most agencies, including Red Sofa Literary, will not consider the majority of queries sent from prisons or jail. However there is a wonderful resource made available by Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop – for anyone who is artist or writer, that happens to be in imprisoned. Hopefully this will assist anyone in this predicament who is looking to be published.