Saturday, September 6, 2014

Agentopia: Sarah Negovetich

Welcome to the September edition of Agentopia! For more information and to see other Agentopia posts, click here.

This month Sarah Negovetich from the Corvisiero Literary Agency is in the spotlight.

Sarah Negovetich knows you don't know how to pronounce her name and she's okay with that.

Her first love is YA, because at seventeen the world is your oyster. Only oysters are slimy and more than a little salty; it's accurate if not exactly motivational. We should come up with a better cliche.

Sarah divides her time between her own writing and working with amazing authors as a Jr. Agent and PR Team Leader at Corvisiero Literary Agency. Her background is in marketing, which is not as glamorous as it sounds. FYI, your high school algebra teacher was right when they told you every job uses math. Sarah uses her experience to help authors craft amazing stories, build platforms, and promote their work.

You can find her hanging around the web at:
Tumblr    Twitter    Facebook    Blog    G+

Wish list & Guidelines:

I am only accepting MG and YA fiction manuscripts. I am not considering chapter books, NA, or adult.

I'm open to any genre within those age groups, but prefer speculative fiction. Please note that speculative fiction is not a genre. You need to specify your manuscript's genre in your query.

Contemporary is not my favorite, but I will look at it. I am not interested in seeing poetry, novels in verse, short stories/novellas or anything focused on saving the environment (I'm all for recycling, but don't want to represent it).

To query me, send your query letter, 1-2 page synopsis and the first 5 pages pasted into the body of an email to Please use "Query for Sarah" as your subject line.

I will respond to all queries. If I have not responded and you queried me prior to the dates listed on my blog, feel free to send a follow-up email. Otherwise, please wait to follow-up unless you receive an offer of representation from another agent.

For additional information, please see the submission guidelines at Corvisiero Literary Agency.

Sarah also kindly answered a few questions for our readers...

1. What are you looking for in YA submissions right now?
Right now I am really enjoying Science Fiction novels, especially ones that aren't space related (though those are great as well). I love all the creative ways writers are exploring how technology is growing and changing the world we live in. That said, I really just love YA, all of it. Right now, I'm getting a lot of feedback from editors that they are filled up on PNR and Dystopian, but that doesn't mean one of those would be an automatic rejection. Just keep in mind that the story has to be really unique if it falls in one of those genres.

2. What's an immediate turn-off in a query, something guaranteed to get the author rejected?
I'm not sure I have any auto-rejection buttons. That said, a big turn-off for me is the query that tells me about your themes and lessons instead of what your story is really about. I think this is a big issue in YA because some authors feel the need to include some sort of moral to the story when they are writing for teens. While it's always nice if your story shares a good message, that isn't what YA fiction is about. It's about a great story with characters we can relate to. So make sure your query tells me what your story is about, the plot, not the themes.

3. What's the story got to have to make you want to represent it?
A big deal for me is stakes. This is an issue in a lot of manuscripts I see. There can be a big conflict, but I need to know why your character has to be involved. Ask yourself: if your main character simply walked away from the conflict what is the worst that could happen? Ideally, these stakes should impact your character personally and impact the world (not necessarily the whole world, but your character's world). Hand in hand with that is a character I care about. You can have high stakes, but if I don't care that this bad thing will happen to your character then I'm not going to enjoy the book. It's a tall order, but you need to show me that I should care about your character and want to protect them from something really horrible.

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