Agent Spotlight: Jess Regel
Sept. 16, 2016
Kidlit411 is pleased to feature Jess Regel, an agent at Foundry Literary + Media, a full service literary agency and media development company. Be sure to enter the Rafflecopter at the end of this interview to win a GOLDEN TICKET opportunity to submit your children's ms for a guaranteed response from her! (Must follow agent guidelines on website)
Tell us about your background and how you became an agent.
I’m a literary agent, so I represent writers in the children’s market. I started my career as an intern at the Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency. I’m not a writer myself, but I’ve always been an avid reader. I thought a job reading for a living sounded like a dream come true—and it was! Fourteen years later and I couldn’t be happier.
In particular, I love working in children’s books. About half of my authors write for children. I got into the children’s market because it was booming (this was back in the mid 2000’s) and it was a genre that I personally loved reading. Most of my favorite books to this day are the books I read as a kid (The Neverending Story, A Separate Peace, Blubber…) and I think most adults feel that way. The books you read as a kid are the ones that stick with you. They are the books that create lifetime readers. It’s a great feeling to know that the books I help get published are ones that have lifelong meaning to readers. Bonus: getting a fan letter from a kid is the absolute best!
What projects are you working on now?
Cherry by Lindsey Rosin comes out later this August. It’s a modern day Judy Blume, about four best friends trying to lose their virginity before the end of senior year. It’s not only super sex-positive, but it’s also funny and features a cast of girls who love and support each other.
THE ODDS OF LIGHTNING by Jocelyn Davies comes out in October. This book is so cool. It’s magical realism and takes place over one NYC night, during a huge storm, when a group of kids get struck by lightning, causing each of their deepest insecurities to become a reality.
THE EXPLORERS by Adrienne Kress is a middle grade novel that comes out early next year and starts with a pig in a teeny hat. That’s all I can say about that one.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
The most important thing you can do is focus on your craft. Don’t worry about the market, just focus on writing the best book you possibly can. Once the book is polished and ready, then you can turn your attention to the market.
READ. Figure out who represents current books that fall in the same genre/style as your book and then do your research on each of those agents to determine how to submit your book to them.
Don’t take rejection personally, remember that publishing is a business.
Where can people find you on the internet?
What is one thing people don't know about you?
I was a high school cheerleader for one year (for basketball and football). My sister convinced me to try out with her. We both made the team, but then she changed her mind and decided to drop it. I stayed on, because I’d made the commitment and I’m not a quitter! ;)
Jess represents young adult and middle grade books, as well as adult fiction and nonfiction. In the nonfiction space, she represents memoir and pop culture, with an emphasis on female voices, humor, or single-topic narratives that would appeal to a female audience. She also represents children’s nonfiction and YA memoir.
Jess Regel only accepts submissions by email. Please send all queries to jrsubmissions at foundrymedia dot com. For more information on submitting your project, please see the Foundry Submissions page.
a Rafflecopter giveaway