Monday, December 7, 2015

Literary agent Sarah Jane Freymann wants assorted nonfiction, mainstream fiction and edgy YA; Steve Schwartz wants guy stuff, and new agent Jessica Sinsheimer wants everything!

Sarah Jane Freymann, Shana Drehs, editor Sourcebooks
and  Teresa Rhyne, author of The Dog Lived (and so will I)
Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency
59 West 71st Street
Suite 9B
New York NY 10023

Sarah Jane Freymann has been a literary agent since the 1970s and is the founder and president of the Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency, LLC.
The agency team includes associates Steven Schwartz, Katharine Sands, and Jessica Sinsheimer. The Agency has a strong commitment to serious self-help and spiritual books, with titles that have sold more than 100,000 copies in the U.S. and throughout Europe and Asia. At least five of the agency’s cookbook authors have won the prestigious Julia Child Award. 
The agency also has a strong affinity for narrative nonfiction, and represents world-renowned naturalists, award-winning journalists, and memoirists. The agency also represent books on lifestyle, illustration and design, many of which have become classics. In addition, the agency represent a growing number of literary, commercial and young adult-fiction titles.
Sarah Jane is seeking…
Nonfiction: spiritual, psychology, self-help, women/men’s issues, books by health experts (conventional and alternative), cookbooks, narrative non-fiction, natural science, nature, memoirs, cutting-edge journalism, travel, multicultural issues, parenting, lifestyle.
Fiction: sophisticated mainstream and literary fiction with a distinctive voice. We are also looking for edgy Young Adult fiction.

Steve Schwartz is seeking…
Guy Stuff: popular fiction (crime, thrillers, and historical novels), world and national affairs, business books, self-help, psychology, humor, sports and travel.

Jessica Sinsheimer is the junior agent at the agency. “I’m officially open to all genres,” says Jessica (and that includes picture books). “I know how that sounds, and yes, I know, YIKES, I’ll be getting a lot of mail–but I’m particularly interested right now in the following:
Whatever the age group, I tend to love contrast–highbrow sentences and lowbrow content, beautiful settings and ugly motives–the books that are beautiful and scary, heartbreaking and hilarious. 
I love secrets, scheming, revenge, plotting–and stories that have to be written forward and backward to make sense (I love discovering a very cleverly planted clue that makes sense in retrospect). I love watching powerful people navigate their public and private lives. As you can probably imagine, I’m totally addicted to House of Cards (I love that Frank is both warm and evil).
And, of course, I’d love the next So Much Pretty, In The Woods, or (like everyone else) Gone Girl. So, yes, upmarket genre fiction (whether for YA or adult) usually works for me.
For YA: Any subgenre. I’m serious.
I’m into the books that are mostly in our world–but then that veer slightly into surrealism (like Aimee Bender) or genre fiction–that really works for me. But if the voice is wonderful, I can love just about anything.
I have a particular interest in retellings (of classic movies–I’d love a book version of, say, Arsenic and Old Laceor, better yet, Gaslight–or fairytales), and characters who are genuinely flawed but (usually) well-meaning. Also welcome: fictionalizations of historical events. I’d love to read about, say, John Snow and The Broad Street Pump.
I also love characters in love–who try to deal with it intellectually (like The Rosie Project, Kurt in The Truth About Alice–and one of my books, Love And Other Unknown Variables). I really hope someone writes a book version of the movie Her. Similarly, I loved The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. Let’s just assume that if you have a book with dapper men/cooking/bow ties/mischief/sassy protagonists, I’ll love it.
For romance, I love voices like Sarah MacLean (that snappy dialogue!) and Julia Quinn (that mischief!).
I love the sort of mischief that appears in Paper Towns, too. (That poor smashed fish!) Also good: I Love You Beth Cooper. I admit I have a soft spot for boy humor, if it ultimately comes from a good place.
I’d love a lot more humor in general in my inbox. To give you a sense of my humor–I think My Drunk Kitchen, Broad City–someone should write a NA version!, Mindy Kaling, 30 Rock, and Garfunkel and Oates (particularly the 29/31 video–also a great plot bunny) are hilarious.
I love food, and our agency represents a lot of award-winning cookbook authors. So just about anything with food is welcome. 
Yasemin Ucar, senior editor, Kids Can Press, 
will be a guest speaker at Writing for Children 
& for Young Adults,
 Saturday, April 30, 
in Guelph. Details 
I think someone should go around to all of the world’s seasonal festivals (the tapping of maples in Vermont, the asparagus/Father’s Day festival in the Netherlands, the releasing of the Beaujolais, the Gilroy garlic festival, the mushroom hunts in Italy) and write about it. Mostly because I want to do that, and don’t have my own personal Eat, Pray, Love budget, so I want to read about it.
For pop culture, I’d love another How Beautiful It Is And How Easily It Can Be Broken. 
I’d love more books about business and psychology (perhaps with a hint of politics) like Lean In, What Works for Women at Work.
Books at the intersection of psychology and self-help like Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. Books having to do with an addiction or mental illness. I loved reading Dry by Augusten Burroughs, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime. I wish someone would write about someone with The Truman Show Delusion (yes, it’s real!). I’d love more works on love and relationships–but that have a new take on perennial topics. Same with health/diet books.
I’m interested in evolutionary psychology–but more books like Sex at Dawn than books about how our biology says we’re basically doomed as a species (or doomed to hurt each other).
Narrative nonfiction is particularly welcome.
Biographies on literary people are always welcome. I loved Pain, Parties, Work: Sylvia Plath in New York, Summer 1953. And I fully intend to track down the lipsticks mentioned in the book. (Also, on the fictional side, I loved Wintering: A Novel of Sylvia Plath.)
I also love books at the intersection of food, science, and environment–like Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life and The Botany of Desire: A Plant’s-Eye View of the World.
Also, pandemics. I want to read about pandemics.
In general, I’m really interested in books that deal with the small details of how the world works–and how we perceive it.
I’m from California, so I’m also open to books about tarot, and books about dreams.
I also love history (especially single subject) and straight-up popular science. I spend far too much time watching Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman.
I’d also love the next Writing on the Wall: Social Media–The First 2,000 Years. Or The Victorian Internet. I love books that show how much humans have changed–and how much we’ve stayed the same. But I am particularly fond of telegraphs and Victorian technology.
Seriously, though, we’re open to just about anything and like pleasant surprises. Hope this helps.

Monica Pacheco
Brian Henry will lead How to Get Published workshops on Saturday, Feb 20, in Kitchener, with literary agent Olga Filina of The Rights Factory (see here) and on Saturday, Feb 27, in Brampton with Martha Webb of the McDermid Agency (see here).

Also, Brian will lead Writing for Children & for Young Adults workshops on Saturday, March 5, in Burlington with Monica Pacheco, literary agent with The McDermid Agency (see here), Saturday, April 9, in Barrie with Rachel Letofsky, literary agent with the Cooke Agency (see here), and on Saturday, April 30, in Guelph with Yasemin Uçar, senior editor, Kids Can Press (see here.)

Other upcoming workshops include How to Build Your Story, Saturday, Jan 16, in Georgetown (see here), and Saturday, Jan 30 in Toronto (see here), and Writing With Style, Saturday, March 12, in Oakville (see here).

And in June, Brian will lead a weekend writing retreat at the fabulous Arowhon Pines Resort in Algonquin Park (see here).

For more information or to register, email

But the best way to grow as a writer or to get your manuscript ready for publication may be with a weekly class. Starting in the new year, Brian will be offering a full range of courses for both beginning to experienced writers (details of all five classes here)
Brian Henry
Welcome to Creative Writing, Thursday afternoons, Jan 28 – March 31, (no class March 17), in Burlington. (See details of this class here.)
Writing Personal Stories, Tuesday afternoons, Feb 2 – March 29, (no class March 15) in Burlington (see here.)
The Next Step in Creative Writing, Wednesday evenings, Jan 20 – March 30 (no class March 16), in Burlington (see here)
Intermediate Creative Writing, Thurs evenings, Jan 21 – March 31, (no class March 17), in Georgetown (see here)
Intensive Creative Writing, Wednesday afternoons, Jan 20 – March 9  (For details, email 
See details of all five classes here.
Read reviews of Brian’s courses and workshops here.
To register or for more information, email:

See Brian's full schedule here, including writing workshops and creative writing courses in Algonquin Park, Barrie, Bracebridge, Brampton, Burlington, Caledon, Collingwood, Georgetown, Guelph, Hamilton, Ingersoll, Kingston, Kitchener, London, Midland, Mississauga, Newmarket, Orillia, Oakville, Ottawa, Peterborough, St. Catharines, Saint John, NB, Sudbury, Thessalon, Toronto, Windsor, Halton, Kitchener-Waterloo, Muskoka, Peel, Simcoe, York, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.

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