Literary Agent SpotlightPearls of (Almost) Wisdom

The Top Five Agents I Would Query Again

As promised in my last post about the Query Trenches, I’m back this week to give you my All-Star Agent list–those top five agents I would query first, should I ever find myself in that position again.


Before you read this, let me ASSURE you that there are FAR, FAR MORE than just five outstanding literary agents out there. I mean, there are DOZENS. Maybe hundreds. So just because I’ve picked these particular five doesn’t mean I didn’t like any of the other ones, and it doesn’t mean your agent isn’t spectacular just because they’re not on the list.

This is simply my own personal list of the five agents I felt the best personal connection to, the ones who were especially helpful or kind, the ones that seem to go out of their way for their clients and answer query letters with thoughtful, personal details.

I won’t be talking about what they’ve sold, who their clients are, or what their taste is–you’ll have to do that research for yourself. Instead, I’ll be telling you why they stood out to me.

So I hope you’ll find some new names to add to your list. As always, please double check submission guidelines because sometimes they change.


Okay. Giddyup.


Emma Patterson (1)1. Emma Patterson, Brandt & Hochman Literary Agents

I KNOW, I KNOW. Yes, she is MY agent, my dear, wonderful, lovely Agent Emma who wears adorable clothes and has supermodel hair.

Guys, listen to me. LISTEN.

She is amazing. Seriously. I don’t know how, but somehow she manages to answer a million queries a day, read a kazillion manuscripts, keep up with her clients, AND email with me about Top Chef and her accidental trip to Sephora all at the same time.

What I’m saying is, she is the absolute perfect balance of professional and personal. If I thought it was an acceptable thing to do, I’d paste one of her emails here so you could see how kind, warm, funny, and On Top Of Things she is.

Basically I’m convinced she’s a superhero.

Interested? If so, let me tell you how to query her, because she’s just switched to B&H from another agency and she’s still getting settled in, i.e. they haven’t really updated all the submission info for her just yet. Also the agency is working on a website, so hopefully it will be easier to find their submission instructions in the near future.

So: to query Emma, send your query letter to You can paste a couple pages of your manuscript into the body of the email if you like, although that’s not a requirement. If the project sounds like it’s up her alley, she’ll reply to you!

To find what she represents, try; I believe her info is semi-updated there.


SinsheimerNewPicture72. Jessica Sinsheimer, Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency

First of all, if you’re not following her on Twitter, do yourself a favor and FIX THAT RIGHT NOW. Not only does she give great advice, she also tells funny stories. I once compared her life to a Monty Python skit. I think she rather enjoyed that comparison.

Anyway, the main reason I think Jessica is super cool–other than the whole Monty Python life thing–is that she noticed that I interacted with her on the Twitter, which led to her checking out my profile. She saw that I was searching for a new agent, went through her email, FOUND MY QUERY IN HER ARCHIVE (her email had eaten it before she even saw it), and emailed me to explain why she had never replied and that yes, in fact, she DID want a look at that manuscript.

She pays attention to people, and I like that. For her query guidelines, look her up on


Jenny Bent3. Jenny Bent, The Bent Agency

I mean really, people. If you haven’t yet encountered the magic that is The Jenny Bent, well, I just feel sorry for you.

She is kind and funny, giving you expert advice in one breath and, in the next, discussing how cute Selena Gomez’s clothes are. (Yep. Really happened.)

For the caliber of experience and sheer awesomeness she carries, she’s amazingly approachable and easy to get in touch with. She’s been in the business for a long time, and really, I just don’t know what I could say here that you don’t already know.


If you want to query her, check out her agency’s website HERE. She’s on Twitter, too.


Suzie T4. Suzie Townsend, New Leaf Literary

This is another lovely agent who was just so personable and approachable throughout my query process. Her rejection letter was full of great suggestions and at the end of the process, I just really felt like we could be great friends.

Another great thing about Suzie is that she has an amazing blog and is very active on Twitter. She’s good about responding to people, especially writers with questions, and she just makes you feel very comfortable.

Bonus: her agency has a Tumblr where you can ask questions!


Katie-Grimm-Picture (1)5. Katie Grimm, Don Congdon Associates

This is another example of someone who pursues their queriers, even in the face of a Tech Fail!

Katie’s email also ate my query (what was UP with that?) but she found it–the day Emma offered to represent me!

Even though I had an offer on the table, Katie wanted a look at the manuscript. She read it over the weekend (which was a holiday, if I remember correctly) and was so, SO complimentary, even though she ended up stepping aside so I could accept Emma’s offer. I just felt like she was a kindred spirit and, again, I’m convinced we could be great friends.

You can (and should) find Katie on Twitter, and if you’d like to query her, you should check out her agency website. There’s also a great interview with her HERE.


So there you have it, Grasshoppers. I hope this was helpful to you and I hope you got at least one new name for your list! Godspeed in your query adventure, and may the odds be ever in your favor!

3 thoughts on “The Top Five Agents I Would Query Again

  1. Thanks, Anne! I grabbed a few names from here! I’m hoping what I’m working on now will be the one I finally decide to query. 🙂

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