Posted by: Kathy Temean | July 12, 2019

July Agent of the Month – Abigail Frank

I am delighted to introduce July’s Agent of the Month, Abigail Frank, agent at Sanford J. Greenburger Associates. Abigail will be be joining us at the Fall Avalon Retreat. Here is a chance for you to submit a first page for the chance to win a first page critique at the end of the month with her. Summer submissions are always low, so this is the time to submit a first page and get lucky.

Abigail Frank (Assistant Agent – Sanford J. Greenburger Associates)

Abigail is lucky to work with brilliant writers and illustrators at Sanford J. Greenburger Associates. Abigail loves picture books, middle grade, and YA equally, but for very different reasons.

For picture books, she gravitates towards the quirky and unexpected. For middle grade, she is most excited about hilarious chapter books and older stories that tackle profound questions, new independence and identities, and/or notions of manhood and masculinity. She’ll take a swoon-worthy YA romance any day, or a story with a fresh premise. She’s always eager for a story that is contemplative, poetic, slightly magical, or set in the not-so-distant future. She cares about voice, above all, and about working with diverse and inclusive books.

She is searching for thoughtful and clever writing that never underestimates the subject or the reader, and she cares about voice, above all. She is committed to advocating for the work of marginalized authors and artists, and she’s actively looking for stories that allow young readers to recognize themselves in the books they love.

Her wishlist includes (but is not limited to):

  • big concept and/or offbeat picture books, preferably (but not exclusively) by author/illustrators
  • voice-driven chapter books!
  • middle grade that is hilarious (think Better Nate Than Ever series), poetic (think The Girl Who Drank the Moon or Other Words for Home), or profound (think Tuck Everlasting)
  • swoon-worthy YA rom-coms!!
  • stories with a drop of magic or set in the not-so-distant future
  • stories that grapple with ideas of masculinity
  • select adult titles: cultural criticism and anything that looks closely at healthcare or higher education/campus life (fiction or nonfiction)
  • contemporary commercial fiction written for and about people in their 20’s

Abigail graduated with a degree in English Literature from Swarthmore College and worked in healthcare before pursuing her passion for books. Find her mostly retweeting @abigailcrfrank 

Submission guidelines:

Please send your query to I only accept email submissions. Please include:

  • “Query: [your book’s title]” in the subject line
  • A brief bio in your cover letter
  • Your full manuscript as an attachment

Greenburger Associates:

Founded in 1932, Greenburger Associates is a full-service agency that prides itself on each agent’s commitment to managing clients with warmth, professionalism, and enterprise. Our agents are hands-on in their approach, working closely with authors to edit and refine proposals, ensuring the best work reaches editors. Our agents have also successfully brought several books to Hollywood and beyond, through movie, TV, and stage adaptations. Among our global bestselling authors and artists are Dan Brown, Mary Kubica, Robin Preiss Glasser, Patrick Rothfuss, The Guerilla Girls, and Brad Thor. For more information, please visit


What made you decide you wanted to be a literary agent?

I’ve always wanted to work with children’s books – they’re so profoundly important! When I discovered what literary agents do (i.e. edit, pitch, negotiate, cheerlead, strategize, advocate), I knew it was what I wanted to pursue.

How did you find the job as agent with Sanford J. Greenburger Associates?

In a magical turn of events, Brenda Bowen needed an assistant right as my internship at Writers House was ending, and I’m still so grateful to have gotten the job.

Do you work out of the New York City office?

I sure do!

It looks like you are open to all types of books. Do you have a favorite genre?

I really am open to all types of books! But in an attempt at an answer, I will say that my first love is YA romance.

For more about what I want to read, you can check out my profile on

Do you have a goal for how many new clients you would like to represent?

I do not. I’m just starting to take on clients and, as such, am actively looking to build my list.

When a writer sends a query, would you like to see a few sample pages of their manuscript and maybe a synopsis?

I ask that writers attach their full manuscripts.

What are you feelings about manuscripts with prologues? Should an author avoid at all costs?

Short, punchy prologues can work well. BUT if the beginning of the manuscript isn’t strong enough without a prologue, then it isn’t strong enough.

What would you like to see in the query letter? Should writers try to keep it short?

I like to see a brief bio and a strong pitch, which includes a one or two sentence hook, a short synopsis, and demonstrated knowledge of the current market. I do prefer short query letters.

Should the word count for your manuscript be included in the query letter?


Do you like comps mentioned in the query letter?

Yes, but most of the comps should be books that were published recently. Pride and Prejudice isn’t a great comp, unless it’s Pride and Prejudice meets [books/movies that came out in the last couple of years]. The comps should also be books that sold well (but not astronomically well – Harry Potter isn’t a helpful comp). Otherwise, letters are stronger without them.

Would you have an example of a good query letter to help writers?

I don’t personally, but there are a bunch of good examples online.

Have you ever thought about representing an illustrator or do they have to also write?

Yes, I am actively looking for illustrators! Especially if they have stories they want to develop.

Do you think it is possible to sell a graphic novel that isn’t illustrated?

For sure, but that’s not the best fit for me!

Is it acceptable for a writer to refer to their manuscript as upper middle grade or lower YA?

Fine by me.


In the subject line, please write “JULY FIRST PAGE CRITIQUE” Example: Paste the text in the email, plus attached it as a Word document to the email. Please make sure you include your name, the title of the piece, and whether it’s a picture book, middle grade, or young adult, etc. at the top on both the email and the Word document (Make sure you include your name with the title of your book, when you save the first page).

REMEMBER: ATTACH THE WORD DOCUMENT AND NOT GET ELIMINATED! Your First Page Word document should be formatted using one inch margins and 12 point New Times Roman font – double space – no more than 23 lines – only one page.

Send to: kathy(dot)temean(at)gmail(dot)com.

PLEASE FOLLOW THE GUIDELINES: Your submission will be passed over if you do not follow the directions for both the pasted email and the attached Word doc. This is where most people mess up.

DEADLINE: July 19th.

RESULTS: July 26th.


Talk tomorrow,


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