Victoria Marini is the newest member of the Gelfman Schneider literary agency. She began taking on clients in 2010, and she has begun to build her own client list which includes Young Adult fiction, Women's fiction and pop-culture non-fiction. She is very interested in acquiring Young Adult (contemporary, sci-fi/fantasy, thriller and horror ), Middle Grade (fantasy, light sf/f, mystery, and contemporary with a hook) commercial women’s fiction ( urban fantasy, romantic suspense and romance).. Above all, she is looking for anything with an engaging voice, compelling narrative and authentic characters. She is unafraid of debut authors.
Victoria wanted me to pass along how impressed she was with all the entries and the authors' imaginations :) and she wanted to point out that she already has a few of our entrants' manuscripts through other contests, so she made sure to choose manuscripts that she hasn't yet seen.
And now for the winners of Mystery Agent August 2011.....
First Place: Winner of a Full Manuscript Request
#5 - HAUNTED MELODY by Christina Lee
The police ruled the death of Melody's best friend a suicide; Her best friend *strongly* disagrees.
Second Place: Winner of a Partial Manuscript Request
# 19 - JUST A CON by Jenn Nguyen
16-year-old con artist, Megan Benson lands a place living in the wealthy Keller mansion only to realize too late this is the one family she doesn't want to pull a heist on.
Third Place: Winner of a Partial Manuscript Request
# 11 - MANAS by Amber
Zellie, a prodigy spy with pink hair and a penchant for knitting, must uncover the genetic mystery surrounding her mysterious past while keeping her hacker boyfriend safe and tracking a rogue agent hell-bent on a mission to recreate the dangerous 'Project Manas.'
Honorable Mentions: Please send a query and receive a personal response with some feedback
# 25 - THE PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY FRIENDSHIP by Janet Johnson
When selling her appendix on e-bay doesn't pan out, ten-year-old Annie Jenkins plots other ways to save her best friend's house from foreclosure.
# 28 - AT THE EDGE OF ELSEWHERE by Mary
Six teens ban together in haunted New England town and, with the help of several sentient buildings, save two friends.
# 32 - THE CURSE OF ELIZABETH BREWSTER by Julie True Kinsley
Banished to Pemberton Academy in Western Massachusetts, Eli quickly finds herself embroiled in a four hundred year old love triangle that leads her to lost secrets about America's earliest beginnings - turns out those Puritans were not so pure-can she survive it?
Congrats to all our winners and another massive thank you to our awesome agent!! Winners, please send us an email at operationawesome6 (at) gmail (dot) com and we'll pass along instructions on how to claim (or submit rather) your prizes :)
Victoria shared a little more about who she is and what she's looking for:
OA: Is there anything specific you’re just dying to get your hands on?
Victoria: Some good YA thrillers, horrors and sci-fi! I want a good southern gothic YA. I’d love a great middle grade with an interesting commercial hook. Also, I recently read Ally Carter’s HEIST SOCIETY and while I don’t want anyone copy-catting, I did love that and wouldn’t mind getting my hands on something equally delightful, commercial, and fun!
OA: What is your biggest pet peeve when it comes to queries or submissions?
Victoria: People who simply don’t do their homework; not knowing what I take on, not knowing who I am, that it takes more than a week to answer, that I don’t represent popular science etc…
OA: Are there any concepts that you are seeing way too much of?
Victoria: Hmm, every one has been pretty diverse lately. I’m still seeing a ton of dystopians (which I don’t mind as long as the concept is new & interesting) mermaids, road trips, guardian angels.
OA:What is your favorite part of being an agent?
Victoria: There’s a lot I love about it, but I can’t tell you how uniquely thrilling, joyful and fantastic it is when I pick up a manuscript and fall in love with it or when an editor says “I love it!” The discovery of something I know is special is my favorite part, I think. Plus, being an agent means I can fall in love with whatever I please - I only need to know whether I truly love something and believe I can sell it.
OA: Do you have any exciting client or agency news?
Victoria: Yes, I do! I recently sold (gulp!) an Adult literary novel called The Dangers of Proximal Alphabets to Other Press, and I can’t wait for it to come out. It’s scheduled for Fall of 2012. And it’s damn revolutionary if you ask me!
OA: Any last thoughts for queriers?
Victoria: I’m going to quote an advice columnist I love for this one: “Do the work. Keep the faith.” Just work hard and know your stuff. Use all the resources available to you!
Many, many thanks to Victoria for being our Mystery Agent this month and another huge congrats to all the winners!!
Stay tuned for September because it is going to be a truly AWESOME month. We will have another amazing Mystery Agent for you and we will also be celebrating reaching 500 followers with some seriously EPIC festivities :)