Jennifer Laughran

Jennifer Laughran

Andrea Brown Literary Agency

My Manuscript Wish List

I’m looking for sparkling middle grade and young adult fiction. Great writing a must, high concept a plus. Authors from marginalized communities are encouraged to query. Diverse narratives of all kinds welcome. #OwnVoices

For contemp, I like very voicey characters that I will laugh and cry with, and a hooky plot doesn’t hurt. I really want stories and perspectives that I may not have read before. I prefer upbeat to dismal – put the characters through hell if you must, but I hope they come out the other side stronger for it!

For fantasy, my preference is “cute magic” and adventure involving human/humanoid POV characters we can relate to, with maybe some humor and romance, and recognizable earth or earth-like settings. I am probably not the best agent for extreme high fantasy. (I like GRACELING and Tamora Pierce… not so much GoT or LoTR). For SF, again, I prefer stories that are rooted in some version of our world.

For historical, well, I’m probably not the best person for historical unless it is pre-1929 and there’s something flashy about it. (Tudor, Regency, Victorian, WW1 and 1920’s or similar are all fine.) I have pretty much zero interest in the 1950’s-1990’s as a historical era. And I have a difficult time reading about the Holocaust.

My personal website, with lots more of the books and clients I rep: http://www.jenniferlaughran.com/


Fun facts about me:
  • I went to boarding school, and theatre school for both high school and college – I’m a sucker for stories set in and around theatres and boarding schools!
  • Though I am from California, my family hails from Louisiana and Mississippi, and I lived in New Orleans for a long time. I’m interested in stories about New Orleans and the south – particularly the modern South.
  • I have worked in bookstores since I was 12, but I’ve also had a variety of jobs ranging in oddness, including: a) Waitress at a mafia restaurant where all of the “upper management” was arrested because of an anti-racketeering FBI sting in the middle of dinner service!  b) Writer of love notes between Turkish gigolos and the foreign women they were wooing! c) professional audience seat filler for very dumb daytime TV talk shows (YES, you can get paid for that)! d) Puppeteer on stilts! . . . and THAT is just scratching the surface. 😉

Submission Guidelines

Submissions should be emailed to JennL@andreabrownlit.com

Novelists:

  • Choose ONE agent from ABLA to query. We share!
  • Put the word QUERY in the subject line. Spell it correctly.
  • Write a compelling query letter that includes the genre/category you are writing in, a bit about you, your contact info, as well as a pitch for your book. (Not necessarily in that order.)
  • Below the query letter – IN THE BODY OF THE EMAIL – paste the first ten pages of your manuscript.
  • No attachments, please; emails with attachments will be deleted unread.

If you’ve followed these guidelines, you should get an auto-response telling you that your query has been received and is under consideration. If you don’t get this response, check your spam filter. If you STILL don’t get the response, try again, making *doublesure* you followed the directions.

I do try hard to respond to everyone who has followed the guidelines and who writes the kind of books I rep, but if it has been more than 8 weeks, consider it a no.


Guidelines & Details

Vital Info

Agent
Fiction: Children's, Middle Grade, Young Adult

Favorite sub-genres: Magical Realism, comedy, contemp, dramedy, fun SF/F, mystery
I’d like the next…

HAMILTON but somehow a YA book! Is that possible? No? Then surprise me.


My favorites include…

I don’t need to see these plots in my inbox, but my favorites might help you get a sense of my taste.

Theatre: HAMILTON! HAMILTON! HAMILTON! Also Chorus Line. Evita. In the Heights. Everything Sondheim.

TV: BBC period dramas. Empire. Younger. Blackish. Fresh off the Boat. Modern Family. Gilmore Girls. West Wing. Scandal. UnReal. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. RuPaul’s Drag Race. Top Chef. Project Runway. Great British Baking Show. (What can I say, I like fashion and food and drag queens!)

TV NOTS: Game of Thrones and Breaking Bad and The Wire are not for me. I’m not a fan of brutal violence, incest, beheadings and the like. I tend not to like grimy men running around the wilderness with swords, or grimy men running around cities with guns.

Movies: The Apartment, and pretty much any Billy Wilder movie really. I tend to like comedies with strong central female characters and/or strong ensembles, and documentaries about anything cultural, from Art Heists to Yiddish Language. I also tend to like movies about space (like the Martian or Apollo 13!) and movies about baseball (like Bull Durham or League of their Own!). Weirdly, though I don’t like violence per se (see above in TV NOTS), I do have a soft spot for movies about the Mafia. Maybe it’s because of Michael Corleone (rowr!), or maybe I just need my violence tempered with glamour.

MOVIE NOTS: I just watched Star Wars for the first time this year. I didn’t like it. (Sorry.) I don’t really like LOTR or things of that ilk. I mean I have WATCHED them all, but it is not fun for me. (Again: Sorry.)

Books: Oh man. This is hard. Well aside from my own books, obviously, recent YA books I’ve loved have been: EXIT, PURSUED BY A BEAR by EK Johnston. DUMPLIN’ by Julie Murphy. HOW IT WENT DOWN by Kekla Magoon. MY SISTER ROSA by Justine Larbalestier. SIMON VS THE HOMO-SAPIENS AGENDA by Becky Albertalli. SIX OF CROWS by Leigh Bardugo.  For MG — SHADOWS OF SHERWOOD by Kekla Magoon. THE THING ABOUT JELLYFISH by Ali Benjamin.

I don’t rep adult books, but I do read them — on the adult books side, I really liked ALL THE BIRDS IN THE SKY by Charlie Jane Anders — magical, but firmly rooted in the real world. I also read a lot of narrative non-fiction, and I love banter-filled regency romances starring strong ladies.

I have a love-hate relationship with cults and sociopaths… aka, I am SCARED TO DEATH of cults and sociopaths, but also seem to always be drawn to stories about them. However I rep a significant cult book in THE SACRED LIES OF MINNOW BLY, so it would have to be something quite different from that.

BOOK NOTS: Again, I’m afraid LOTR and GoT are not for me in the least. I like magic, but not that kind of high fantasy. Also, extremely bleak books are not for me.

 

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