Posted by: Kathy Temean | February 5, 2020

Agent Hannah VanVels – Corvisiero Literary Agency

Hannah VanVels

Corvisiero Literary Agency

Hannah’s life is consumed by all things books, and she can usually be found curled up with a blanket, a candle, and a good cup of coffee.

Hannah earned her BA at the University of Michigan and holds MA degrees from Tel Aviv University and the University of Chicago. A lifelong lover of books, Hannah has worked various bookish jobs including a stint as a bookseller at Barnes & Noble, a freelance editor for scholarly and academic essays and journals, and most recently as the acquiring editor at a young adult imprint with HarperCollins.

With nearly a decade of editorial work under her belt, Hannah made the jump to agenting. She also owns her own freelance editing business. Hannah loves working closely with authors and coming alongside them to make their vision come to life on page. Whether working on fiction or nonfiction, it’s always Hannah’s goal to preserve the author’s vision and voice and take their writing to the next level.

Hannah lives in West Michigan with her partner, two German Shepherds, and two cats. You can find her posting about books, pop culture, and animals on Twitter @hannahvanvels or Instagram @hannahvanvels.

First and foremost, She says, “I’m building an inclusive list with a variety of voices and genres. I love working with #OwnVoices authors, and I’m looking for voices from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds, regardless of genre, even if it’s “tropey,” “overdone,” or “outdated.” I want to see it all! In a nutshell, I am looking for fresh voices and fresh takes in the following categories:

Picture Books

  • Funny and quirky books!
    • I’m a sucker for puns and clever rhymes. Kids want to laugh, and I do too! 🙂
  • Family
    • Cultural and family traditions and how they shape us
    • Celebrating the messiness and complexity of family
  • Creative books that pique curiosity and imagination
    • Think Ish or The Book with No Pictures.
  • Author/illustrators

Middle Grade

  • Contemporary fantasy
    • Give me a story with a magical school where the MC is a POC. Something with humor and heart and, duh, magic!
    • Stories inspired by myths, folklore, or legends, particularly those that are non-western in origin
  • Humor
    • A novel that will make adults and kids alike laugh while they read (think Shrek-type humor but a little more immature).
  • Adventure
    • I would love to find a MG version of The Mummy (the Brendan Frasier version, of course)
    • Characters that are on the spectrum, but their story is not centered on that; it’s just who they are. Because characters on the spectrum can fight dragons and save the world too!
  • Animals
    • I’m a giant animal lover and a total sucker for beautiful emotional stories that involve animals like Pax and The One and Only Ivan
  • Nonfiction
    • Narrative nonfiction focusing on historical events or figures that history has overlooked
    • STEAM-focused topics for students and young readers

Young Adult

  • Fantasy
    • My first love is character-driven fantasy (urban, contemporary, high—all of it!). ❤ A new retelling of an old trope? A mythical setting inspired by a non-European culture? A reluctant hero who inevitably shouts, “I never asked for any of this!”? Sign me up! I’m looking for strong world-building, strange magic, empathetic villains, morally gray heroes, and subversive fantasy tropes
  • Contemporary horror/thrillers
    • Creeptastic thrillers with a tightly-knit, well-paced plot, clever and nuanced characters, and a twist that readers will never see coming. I generally steer clear of excessive on-page violence
    • Dystopian and paranormal are some of my subgenres. Ghosts, vampires, and contagions are very much welcome in my inbox.
    • A heist narrative like a YA Ocean’s Eleven
  • Contemporary
    • High concept contemporary fiction aimed at all genders. Bonus points if it makes me laugh and/or cry. Evergreen themes: self love, coming of age, girls supporting girls, friendship and friendship breakups, and slow burn romances
    • Topical contemporary fiction addressing real issues that teens face.
  • Science Fiction
    • Accessible science fiction. Think Star Wars or superhero movies. I’m looking for a strong grounded story in which you do not need to understand the ins and outs of time travel and quantum physics in order to follow along
  • Young YA
    • Fiction aimed at younger YA audiences to fill the space where MG ends and traditional YA begins. Great writing is a must. Great character development and an unforgettable voice really drive it home

New Adult/Adult

  • Horror
    • Dark and devious stories like Leigh Bardugo’s Ninth House. Paranormal aspects welcome!
    • Stories that are gothic and witchy
  • Fantasy
    • The key for adult fantasy for me is accessibility and intrigue. More Patrick Rothfuss than J.R.R. Tolkien. I’m looking for a well-developed world and magic system with very real stakes. Bonus points if your MC isn’t the typical “Chosen One”
  • Commercial, literary, and genre women’s fiction
    • I’m particularly interested in the adventures of twenty-something women navigating the start of professional life after college. Think a slightly younger version of Sex and the City
    • I’m on the lookout for cozy mysteries with a strong female MC and humorous writing style
    • Romantic comedies! A story that will make me laugh and swoon at the same time
  • Nonfiction
    • Powerful personal stories and memoirs, especially from those with marginalized backgrounds. A platform can come in all sorts of shapes and sizes from social media, past publications, or expertise in your subject
    • Essay collections on a unified and relevant theme

Children’s Graphic Novels

  • Young readers through young adult, fiction and nonfiction
    • Characters that leap off the page, relatable stories, and stunning illustrations always welcome

Fun facts about Hannah: She is a proud mom to two German Shepherd dogs who both have vaguely literary names. She is also a mom to two cats and says, “I may like animals more than humans.” She lived in Israel after college doing archaeology. She got my start in the book industry as a Bookseller at her local Barnes & Noble.

Submission Guidelines

Hannah is open to queries!

To query me, please send along through Query Manager:

  • Query letter
  • 1-2 page synopsis (double spaced)
  • The first 5 pages of your complete and polished manuscript

NOTE: Hannah is currently building her client list with Marisa Corvisiero and Saritza Hernandez. To submit your work to Hannah, go to Marisa or Saritza’s profiles and see which one of them is a better fit for your work and submit there. Good luck! ​


Fiction: Action/Adventure, Children’s, Family Saga, Fantasy, Graphic Novel, Historical, Horror, Humor, LGBTQ, Literary, Mystery, New Adult, Poetry, Romance, Science Fiction, Thriller, Young Adult
Non-Fiction: Biography, Humor, Illustrated, LGBTQ, Memoir, Pop Culture

My favorites include…
Six of Crows, Wilder Girls, Ninth House, Throne of Glass, Caraval, Children of Blood and Bone, Truthwitch, Strange the Dreamer, The Hate U Give, Between Shades of Gray, Ace of Shades, Wonder Woman, Long Way Down, The Serpent King, Dear Martin, When Dimple Met Rishi, I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter, American Street, The Poet X, They Both Die at the End, Dumplin’, We’ll Fly Away, What If It’s Us, One of Us is Lying, Dear Martin, The Book Thief, Far from the Tree, Fan Girl, We Are Okay, Suicide Notes from Beautiful Girls, Scythe, The Summoner, The Last Magician, Everless, The Gilded Wolves, Crossfire, Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky, Wildhood Chronicles, Septimus Heap, Pax, The One and Only Ivan, The Graveyard Book, Ish, The Book with No Pictures, Dinosaurs Love Tacos, The Day the Crayons Quit, Flatbread

Talk tomorrow,



  1. Typo in agency’s name. Missing the “v.”

    Sent from my iPad



    • thanks for the head-up.


      • I am just seeing your response today, Feb 17th! Oops! Glad to be of help.


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