Posted by: Kathy Temean | May 24, 2019

Agent of the Month – Adriann Ranta Zurhellen – Interview Part Three

I am happy to announce that Adriann Ranta Zurhellen at
Foundry Literary + Media is our Agent of the Month for May.

See bottom of post for submission guidelines.

Adriann Ranta Zurhellen is an agent at Foundry Literary + Media. She represents New York Times bestselling, award-winning authors, journalists, illustrators and graphic novelists, as well as many other pioneering creative thinkers and leaders in their fields. She is actively acquiring all genres for all age groups with a penchant for unusual voices, unique settings, and everyman stories told with a new spin. She loves gritty, realistic, true-to-life stories with conflicts based in the real world; women’s literary fiction and nonfiction; accessible, pop nonfiction in science, history, and craft; and smart, fresh, genre-bending works for children. She specializes in books about “cool women doing badass things.”

A magna cum laude graduate of the University of Arizona, Adriann’s first introduction to publishing was at The Editorial Department, a freelance editorial firm based in Tucson, AZ. After making the move to New York, Adriann spent two years at Anderson Literary Management and six years at Wolf Literary Services before moving to Foundry in 2015.

Adriann Ranta Zurhellen only accepts submissions by email. Please send all queries for Adriann to For more information on submitting your project, please see the Foundry Submissions page.

Fiction: Action/Adventure, Children’s, Crime, Family Saga, General, Graphic Novel, Historical, Literary, Middle Grade, Mystery, Picture Books, Women’s Fiction, Young Adult

Non-Fiction: Crafts/DIY, History, Humor, Illustrated, Journalism, Memoir, Pop Culture, Psychology, Science, True Crime

Favorite sub-genres: Contemporary YA, Domestic Suspense, Fantasy YA, Feminism, Literary Middle Grade, Psychological Thrillers, Speculative Fiction, diverse voices, narrative non-fiction, upmarket genre fiction


How long does it usually take to respond to requested material? And query letters?

I try to respond to queries within four weeks, and requested material can sometimes take a bit longer depending on my queue at the time.

Do you give editorial feedback to your clients?

I do, and any good agent must! It’s the author’s job to take their manuscript as far as they can, the agent’s job to then take it as far as they can, and the editor’s job to take it as far as they can.

How many editors do you go to before giving up on a manuscript?

As many as seems possible and reasonable! For books in a narrower category with fewer acquiring editors the list might be 10-15, and others might be 30+. I usually work with the author to tweak and revise between submission rounds, but also try to be reasonable about a book’s best chances. If larger publishers have passed on an expensive-to-report nonfiction proposal, for example, it wouldn’t make sense to try smaller publishers when the size of the advance would preclude the author from actually writing it. These decisions are made mutually with the author.

What happens if you don’t sell a book?

I usually do a post mortem with the author and discuss what other projects we might turn to in the future

Are most printed books, also sold as ebooks?


Any words of wisdom on how a writer can improve their writing, get an agent, and get published?

The best thing any writer can do is read widely and deeply. Beyond that, being receptive to feedback, committed to revising, and connecting with other up-and-coming writers who might help support you as your stars rise will all serve you well!


Talk tomorrow,


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