Posted by: Kathy Temean | November 22, 2019

Agent of the Month – Kat Enright – Interview Part Two

It is my pleasure to announce Kat Enright at the Seymour Agency is November’s Agent of the Month and will read and critique four first pages at the end of the month. See Guidelines at the bottom of this post to start submitting. Check back next week for Part one of my interview with Kat.

Kat Enright is an Associate Agent with the Seymour Agency and she is actively seeking MG and YA of all genres, Adult SFF, Romance, and select nonfiction.

Prior to joining the Seymour Agency, they worked in a variety of departments in publishing, including Sales and Editorial, and they have a keen understanding of the many stages that a book must go through in order to reach bookshelves. As someone who lives on the corner of many intersections, they are most especially interested in elevating voices of marginalized authors.

MG: In Middle Grade, She’s most especially drawn to voice—the perfect blend of whimsy and magic. Though I tend to lean more SFF, she will not turn down a good contemporary that explores the world through an authentic, diverse lens.

Contemporary YA: She is looking for twisty, dark tales with compelling protagonists—give me your mysteries and your thrillers! I’m especially drawn to found-family stories and stories that emphasize and explore female friendship. Additionally, I am seeking stories that explore what it is like to grow up outside of the typical white, straight, affluent experience.

Historical YA: She loves a good historical YA but is particularly interested in stories that explore what queer people and people of color were doing in that time (She says, “even more shockingly, queer people of color! Yes, we do exist”).

YA and Adult SFF: In both YA and Adult SFF, she’s looking for vibrant worlds that draw from traditionally underrepresented cultures. Though she is not best fit for hard sci-fi, she’d love to see an expansive, high-stakes space opera that has the feel and heart of Mass Effect. She is particularly excited to see fresh takes on common tropes and would love to see epic fantasy that explores the variety of roles and power that women seize. (Give her your Sansas and your Aryas and your Cerseis and your Margerys)

Romance: In romance, she’s open to all categories. Her favorite romance tropes include: hate-to-love/enemies-to-lovers, STEM heroines, religious angst, and soft male leads. In paranormal, she is less interested in alpha/beta dynamics and more interested in the exploration of the human and the monstrous.

Cookbooks, Coffee table and Gift books: For cookbooks, she is particularly interested finding books of traditional recipes with a modern flair and would love to connect with bloggers who have a strong platform. In coffee table and gift books, she’d love to see something that’s fun and geeky or that explores unique and odd topics.

In all areas, she is looking for new, fresh voices from traditionally underrepresented communities. Kat seeks stories that represent the diversity of the world we live in (including, but not limited to, all ethnicities, sexual orientations, mental and physical health, and socio-economic statuses).

She is not looking for:

  • Picture books, non-fiction, adult literary fiction, adult general fiction, adult mystery/thriller/suspense, memoirs, poetry, religious/spiritual books, screenplays, or short stories.
  • Books about sports. Sorry, but I’m just not a good fit for them and you’d be better off with literally anyone else.
  • Dystopias
  • Westerns
  • Sweet, fluffy, contemporary YA.
  • Portal Fantasies

How to Submit to Kat:

Please query me at http://QueryMe.Online/KatEnright. You will be asked for a query letter, synopsis, and first 10 pages.

BELOW IS PART TWO OF MY INTERVIEW WITH KAT:

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

As long as it takes for me to make a decision. Sometimes it’s fast because there are stories that I do not connect with and, thus, won’t be able to do justices as an advocate. But agenting is business that is filled with subjective opinions and, even if a story is not the right fit for me, that doesn’t mean that it won’t find a home elsewhere!

Are you open to representing a writer who writes MG and YA, but also write picture books?

I wouldn’t outright reject an author who wanted to write picture books but I would want to have a talk with them first. Ideally, I’d like to be the kind of agent who can help an author with the entire breadth of their career but picture books are not my specialty.

Any pet peeves?

I don’t really have any pet peeves, so to speak, but I do have a list of stories and tropes that I am not a good fit for on my website. https://www.katenright.com/mswl

Do you let people know if you are not interested?

Yes, I respond to all queries that are submitted to me through Query Manager.

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

I aim to respond to query letters within a month, partials within 3 months, and fulls with an additional 2. If something happens to affect that schedule – conventions, illness, etc. etc., I will post updates on my twitter and website.

Have you noticed any common mistakes that writers make?

The two most common mistakes that I notice are not establishing stakes clearly—what the character has to lose or gain—and starting in the wrong place. The second issue is harder to test for but I recommend starting close to the inciting incident. It will be unlikely that you’ll need more than one chapter of set up.

Do you give editorial feedback to your clients?

Yes! I am very editorial. I generally do at least two passes on a manuscript before we take it out on sub: one handling big picture issues and one for smaller line edits. But I am committed to giving a project the time it needs and getting it in the best possible shape before we take it out.

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

I don’t have a concrete answer for that because it depends on what the manuscript is. There are less editors looking for YA space opera than for YA contemporary, for example. But I do generally take them out in rounds of 7-10 editors and we go from there.

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

It’s very rare that we see a print deal without ebook rights—though sometimes we do see e-only deals with specific houses and genres.

It seems to me that readers are listening to more books. Is that something the publisher decides to pursue after the sale of the book?

If you mean audio rights, often those rights are negotiated as part of the sale. Sometimes the publisher will get those rights, sometimes your agent will retain them, and it depends on who has the stronger connections to audio producers. But from there, either the house or the agency will then try to sell audio rights.

Have you noticed any new trends building in the industry?

I personally don’t like looking to trends because the market is ever-shifting. And this is especially true from a writer’s perspective. When you’re starting a book, it’s going to be at least two years before that book hits shelves, if not longer, so any attempt to chase a trend is futile. The market will shift, so write what you love and want you need to see out in the world.

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

Find yourself some critique partners! Share your work with others and learn to give and take constructive feedback. A good writing group is worth their weight in gold and should help you level up your craft.

How should someone contact you if they would like invite you to a writer’s event, workshop, and/or conference?

I can be contacted at kat@theseymouragency.com

HERE ARE THE SUBMISSION GUIDELINES FOR NOVEMBER 2019 FIRST PAGE CRITIQUES:

In the subject line, please write “NOVEMBER 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).

PLEASE name the word document file by putting 2019 November – Your Name – Title of first page. Thank you. 

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: November 22nd.

RESULTS: November 29th.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


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