Posted by: Kathy Temean | April 9, 2021

April Agent of the Month – Andrea Walker – Interview Part One

ANDREA WALKER – AZANTIAN LITERARY is April’s Agent of the Month. Scroll to bottom to read the submission guidelines for chance to win a first page critique with Andrea.

Andrea Walker started her career in publishing through several internships, eventually joining Olswanger Literary as a contracts intern. It was there she first began building her client list. As a writer herself, Andrea isn’t afraid to rework something several times to make it shine and will be your champion along the way. Before publishing, Andrea earned her B.S. in Interdisciplinary Studies focusing on Creative Writing and Education from UCF and is currently working towards her Masters. When she’s not reading or writing, Andrea is enjoying time with her family and planning their next adventure.

Andrea represents PB, MG, and YA and is especially interested in seeing submissions from underrepresented voices.

HERE IS PART ONE OF MY INTERVIEW WITH ANDREA:

1. What made you decide to become an agent?

My love for writing and storytelling led me to become an agent. After college, I took up writing again and joined twitter, which opened up a lot of opportunities to learn more about the business side of publishing. I fell in love with the process of reading queries and manuscripts, helping with edits, and advocating for authors, so I continued interning with the goal of eventually becoming an agent.

2. How did you get the job with the Azantian Literary Agency?

Joining Azantian Literary has been nothing short of a dream come true! But it took several internships and years to get there. I had been following the founder of ALA, Jennifer Azantian, for years and long-admired her work, so I reached out to her and we set up an interview.

3. Do you think getting a degree in Creative Writing has helped you as an agent?

I think of it as a stepping stone but I had to do my learning about agenting organically after I graduated.

4. Are you getting your Masters at UCF, too?

I am! Right now, I am majoring in Education but I’m considering a second Master’s program as well because I have a love for learning and apparently want to be a perpetual student. Ha!

5. What are your thoughts about prologues? Any tips on how to best use them?

I think if a prologue is needed for your story, write it. I would make sure it was absolutely needed though through advanced readers or critique partners and avoid using it as an info-dump.

6. What would you like to see from a writer sending you a query letter?

When I’m reading queries, I’m most interested in the story, characters, and stakes. I’m mostly looking for an author who knows their story well enough to pitch it to me and make me want to request it. The pitch along with meta-data (genre, word count, and any comps) and a short bio are all that is needed.

7. How important is the query letter?

The query letter is essential. It’s our first introduction to your story, characters, and world. The query is a great place to draw us in and make us as readers eager to read the story.

8. Should the writer try to be funny in their query to you or is it alright to be more business like? Do you prefer short?

I think it’s important to be yourself while also querying professionally. It takes courage to share your work and a query is a great place to set your work apart from others. I prefer concise queries, which doesn’t leave room for much extra.

9. Do writers need to mention some comps in their query letter?

If you have comps, yes, please mention them.

*******

HERE ARE THE SUBMISSION GUIDELINES FOR APRIL 2021 FIRST PAGE CRITIQUES:

In the subject line, please write “APRIL 2021 FIRST PAGE CRITIQUE” Example: Paste the text in the email, plus attached it as a Word document to the email. Please make sure you put your name, the title of the piece, and genre: a picture book, chapter book, middle grade, or young adult, Non-fiction, contemporary, historical, Sci-fi, fantasy, 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 2021 April  – 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. Sending it to my hotmail account will probably keep me from seeing it and including you in the running.

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: April 23rd. – noon EST

RESULTS: April 30th.

*******

MORE DETAILS OF WHAT ANDREA IS LOOKING FOR:

PICTURE BOOKS

I’m looking for high-concept stories with a great hook. Text that is so well written, I visualize the illustrations as I’m reading. I love to laugh in the PB space and enjoy anything quirky or fun like I Want My Hat Back, lyrical as in Dreamers, or filled with heart like in A Sick Day For Amos McGee. While I love lyrical prose, I am not a good fit for rhyming text or anything that is overly sweet. Overall, I love to be surprised, if you’ve taken a concept and flipped it on its head, I’d love to see it!

MIDDLE GRADE

I am eager to build my middle grade list and on the lookout for lower mg and chapter books too. I’m always interested in high-concept, but I’m really looking for voice and the ability to capture the complex feelings of this age. I would love to visit lush worlds like The Night Gardener with characters you can’t help but root for a la Ghost, anything filled with heart and hope as in Front Desk or that helps kids deal with tough topics like The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise or The Thing About Jellyfish. I’m not a good fit for high fantasy, but I’m open to all else.

YOUNG ADULT

I absolutely love YA, it’s what really drew me to the world of publishing. Again, I’m drawn to high-concept and commercial young adult works. I’m looking for stories that stay with you long after you finish them like Slay and The Wilder Girls. Beautiful prose that sweeps you into the world with no looking back like Caraval or The Hazel Wood. Books that blend prose and epistolary like SADIE or RULES FOR VANISHING. Stories with standout voice like You Should See Me in A Crown and explore tough topics or deeper truths as in The Grace Year. I’m always interested in stories where magic is real and hiding in plain sight, books with speculative elements, and mysteries.

With that, tastes can be hard to pin down, and sometimes I really don’t know what I’m looking for until I see it. If it’s PB, MG, or YA and you think I might be a good fit, I’d love to take a look!

ANDREA’S SUBMISSION GUIDELINES:

For submission guidelines please visit: http://www.azantianlitagency.com/submit.html

When you are ready to submit, please use her form here: https://QueryManager.com/AndreaWalker

CHECK BACK NEXT FRIDAY FOR PART TWO OF MY INTERVIEW WITH ANDREA.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Responses

  1. Always interesting posts! Thank you, Kathy and Andrea.

    Like


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