Posted by: Kathy Temean | July 17, 2020

Agent of the Month – Alyssa Reuben Interview Part Two

Alyssa Reuben at Paradigm Talent Agency is our Agent of the Month for July. This week is part two of my interview with Scroll to bottom to learn how to submit a first page for a chance to win a critique with Alyssa.

Alyssa Reuben has been a passionate representative and advocate of authors for well over a decade. Her list reflects her multifaceted passions and includes adult, young adult, and the occasional middle grade fiction as well as smart, platform driven, nonfiction ranging from pop-culture, lifestyle, cookbooks, and narrative to memoir.

She gravitates toward voice-driven non-fiction presenting a fresh point of view and particularly loves novels with an edge or a great romance arc. Her favorite kind of project is one that allows her to roll up her sleeves to develop and edit material alongside a collaborative and engaged author and prides herself on discovering new voices and launching successful careers. She runs the book publishing department at Paradigm Literary and Talent Agency, which has been her home since graduating Cornell University.

Alyssa represents a range of both adult and children’s genres. For children’s, she gravitates toward contemporary Middle Grade and YA with a strong voice. But a high concept, or an interesting paranormal twist has been known to catch her eye. For nonfiction, her categories include pop-culture, lifestyle, quirky histories, food, narrative and memoir. On the fiction side, her tastes are extremely wide ranging between literary and commercial. She’s a sucker for a coming-of-age story or a good romance arc.

She’s Looking For:


Fiction: Literary Fiction, Chick Lit, Commercial Fiction, Women’s Fiction, Graphic Novels, Humor/Satire, Romance, Family Saga, Historical Fiction, Thrillers, Young Adult, Multi-Cultural, LGBTQ, Adventure, Offbeat/Quirky, Middle Grade.

Non-Fiction: History, Celebrity, Biography, Religion, Food & Lifestyle, Drama/Music, Multi-Cultural, Cookbooks, illustrated, LGBTQ, True Crime, Memoirs, Travel, Adventure/True Story, Dating/Relationships, Current Affairs, Women’s Issues, Pop Culture, Film & Entertainment, Cultural/Social Issues, Humor, Journalism, Narrative, Memoir.

Submission Guidelines

Submissions should be emailed to AREUBEN@PARADIGMAGENCY.COM

Please e-mail your query letter along with the first 10 pages of your work in the body of an email to



Paradigm Agency website.


How important is the query letter?

If I’m signing a project based on a query, the query is of the utmost importance – you have to pull me in with the concept and the writing, then sell me on who you are and why you’re an ideal author/client.

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

Make the query as personal as possible but also have a great pitch!

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

It’s a step-by-step process.  With most submissions, I can tell from the query whether it’s something I’ll be interested in reading or not.  Then I proceed to the sample and, if I like that, I request a full and so on.

Do you let people know when you are not interested in their submission?

I do my best to let people know, but due to the volume of submissions, I am not able to respond to every one.

How long does it usually take to respond to requested material?

It all depends on my other workload and how much time I have to devote to queries.  I absolutely try to respond and request as quickly possible – especially the projects that catch my eye since I assume they’ll catch other people’s as well.

Any pet peeves?

Misspelling my name.

Have you noticed any common mistakes that writers make?

I’m a stickler against careless mistakes. If you have spelling errors, sloppy formatting etc. it suggests to me that you didn’t care all that much.  It doesn’t make for a great first impression.

 What are your feelings about prologues?

If it’s executed well and in service of the material, I love a good prologue.

Do you have a place where you keep writers up-to-date on what you would like to see? Blog?

No, I think perspective clients can get a sense for my taste from the books and authors I represent.

Do you give editorial feedback to your clients?

All the time! It’s actually one of my favorite parts of my job. I always say if being an editor were more entrepreneurial, I would be doing that.  I love helping to shape and craft material prior to submitting it. My philosophy is that if there are aspects of a book that I think would benefit from a revision, an editor will probably be thinking the same. My goal is always to get material into the best possible shape so that editors have no choice but to fall in love and want to make an offer.


In the subject line, please write “July 2020 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 2020 JULY  – 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: July 24th. – noon EST

RESULTS: July 31st.


Talk tomorrow,



  1. Thanks for sharing!


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