Stacy Testa joined Writers House in 2011 as an assistant to senior agent Susan Ginsburg and has been actively building her own client list since 2013. Previously, she interned at Farrar, Straus & Giroux and Whimsy Literary. Stacy graduated cum laude with a BA in English from Princeton University.
She is seeking: Stacy is looking for literary fiction and upmarket commercial women’s fiction, particularly character-driven stories with an international setting, historical bent, or focus on a unique subculture. She also represents realistic young adult (no dystopian or paranormal, please!). For nonfiction, she is particularly interested in young “millennial” voices with a great sense of humor and a strong platform, startling and unique memoirs, and voice-driven narratives about little-known historical moments.
I would love to see more smart novels with a great sense of humor, in the vein of Where’d You Go Bernadette?, Big Little Lies, and This Is Where I Leave You. I also find myself drawn to novels with exotic settings (particularly Scandinavia or India), unique subcultures (I am endlessly fascinated by cults), or a hint of myth/folklore (à la The Tiger’s Wife). In addition to adult fiction, I represent realistic YA, narrative nonfiction, and memoir. I’m not the right agent for picture books, romance, paranormal or fantasy, though I’m not opposed to a little magical realism.
How to submit: Please submit your query, including the first five pages of your manuscript pasted into the body of the email (no attachments), to stesta [at] writershouse.com. Please do not query multiple Writers House agents simultaneously.
Follow her on Twitter: @stacy_testa.
Amy M Newman had a nice interview with Stacy on her blog. Here is an excerpt:
AN: Best piece(s) of advice you can give a writer we haven’t talked about yet?
ST: I can’t stress enough the importance getting a fresh read. Whether this means putting your manuscript away for a few weeks or a few months and returning to it with fresh eyes, or asking a trusted friend or family member to take a look, it can be enormously helpful. While you (and your friends and family) aren’t exactly an unbiased audience, getting fresh reads can often open your eyes to holes in the manuscript, be they unmotivated shifts in character, omitted contextual information, or simple errors in logical continuity. Authors often forget what has and hasn’t made it to the page. You’ve probably written what feels like a million drafts, you’ve likely lived and breathed these characters for quite some time, and there’s a decent chance that you’ve failed to communicate to your reader some crucial information which may seem obvious to you. There’s a quote I love, from Michael Crichton, about the author-editor relationship, which I find broadly applicable to the writing process:
“In my experience of writing, you generally start out with some overall idea that you can see fairly clearly, as if you were standing on a dock and looking at a ship on the ocean. At first you can see the entire ship, but then as you begin work you’re in the boiler room and you can’t see the ship anymore. All you can see are the pipes and the grease and the fittings of the boiler room and, you have to assume, the ship’s exterior. What you really want in an editor is someone who’s still on the docks, who can say, Hi, I’m looking at your ship and it’s missing a bow, the front mast is crooked and it looks to me, as if your propellers are going to have to be fixed.”
In the life of a manuscript, there will be many people – namely your agent and editor – who will stand on the docks and tell you what’s wrong with your ship while you toil in the boiler room. But wouldn’t it be nice to know that you are missing a bow before you submit your manuscript to an agent? After all, you’ve only got once chance to make a first impression…
You can read the full interview at: http://amymnewman.com/2014/08/26/interview-with-literary-agent-stacy-testa-of-writers-house/