Welcome to Inside the Publishing World Wednesday. Today I am highlighting an agent I heard during the agent/editor panel at the Storymakers Spring Conference, Thao Le. (fourth from the left)
Who is she?
What is she looking for?
Picture books, middle-grade, and YA. In the adult realm, she is looking for romantic leaning Fantasy and Light Science Fiction.
Her wishlist right now is a Contemporary Fantasy in the vein of the films About Time and Your Name, Diverse Middle Grade like Aru Shah and the End of Time and Amina’s Voice, Foodie Magic like Chocolat and Garden Spells, and Unique Reimagining/Retellings that is LGBT inclusive.
What she is NOT looking for?
Thao is NOT looking for: non-fiction, adult literary fiction, adult general fiction, mystery/thriller/suspense, memoirs, poetry, religious/spiritual books, screenplays, or short stories.
Her advice to writers-
1. In YA, have an immediate hook to grab her. "First page is prime real estate."
2. Don't open with action and then go straight into backstory.
3. Watch redundancy in your writing.
4. If you are writing middle-grade make sure you have a middle-grade voice.
5. She likes tight pacing.
The query is where you get us to see the commercial value of your book.
"I don't write anything off. I'm so willing to read. We're looking to say yes."
How to submit?
"Do not send your query to multiple agents at SDLA. If you have submitted to an SDLA agent and she has passed, please do not submit the same project to other agents at SDLA, unless the SDLA agent who passed has invited you to do so."
Thao uses Query Me Online.