Posted by: Kathy Temean | July 19, 2019

July Agent of the Month – Abigail Frank – Interview Part two

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


Any tips on how an author can get you to ask to see more?

Make sure you’ve introduced the central conflict early. I ask for full manuscripts, but this still stands.

How far do you normally read before you reject a submission?

Sometimes I can tell from a query letter that it’s not a good fit. Sometimes I read the full manuscript. Usually, though, I can tell if it could be a good fit in the first couple of pages.

Are you open to representing a writer who has written various genres. Example: MG, YA, PB, etc. Or do you prefer to only develop one genre?

Definitely. Sometimes I even recommend it if, say, a picture book concept might be better for a chapter book.

Any pet peeves?

Negative generalizations in query letters that have a “kids these days!” sentiment

Do you let people know if you are not interested?

I wish I could send a personalized response to every query, but I just can’t! If I’ve requested revisions or additional information, though, then I will always provide feedback.

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

6-8 weeks

Have you noticed any common mistakes that writers make?

I’ve already touched on this, but bring the reader into the main conflict/tension/adventure early on! I often finish the first couple chapters of a novel and still have no idea what it’s about. You’ll lose my attention – and certainly the attention of most 12-year-olds – if I have to wait too long. If a dragon is going to burn down the hero’s village, prompting the main quest, the dragon should appear in the first 15 pages.

Do you give editorial feedback to your clients?

Yes! Most manuscripts will go through a couple rounds of revisions before they are ready to be submitted to editors. I will typically provide editorial notes to a new client before agreeing to represent them. I want to make sure they know what to expect from my editorial style, and I want to ensure that our visions for their project align.

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

No set number, but often writers will consider feedback from editors before sending it out more widely.

Now-a-days, when a publisher decides to buy a book for print, do they automatically do an ebook, too?

Pretty much. When the publisher acquires print-book rights, they also will acquire ebook rights. These are almost always published simultaneously.

Have you noticed any new trends building in the industry?

I love that there’s more excitement about graphic novels and stories in verse. I’m also excited that YA romance is seeing so much well-deserved Hollywood love (Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, The Sun Is Also a Star, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, etc.).

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

This will not be new advice, but read. Read what’s new in your genre so you know what your readers are reading. Read outside of your genre to inspire new ideas. Read publishing news to keep an eye on the market. Read other people’s manuscripts if possible, as a good writing community can be invaluable. Read acknowledgements to find agents who have similar tastes to you.

You just attended the New Jersey SCBWI in June and will be attending the Avalon Writer’s Retreat in September. Would you like to be invited to other writer’s retreats, workshops, and conferences?



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,


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


%d bloggers like this: