About this New Literary Agent Spotlight series: We love spotlighting and profiling new literary agents —such as Marlo Berliner of Jennifer De Chiara Literary — because they are actively seeking new writers and constructing a client list.
Literary Agent Bio: Marlo Berliner is an award-winning young adult author, freelance editor, and bookseller. She joined The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency in March 2018 as an editorial intern after having completed a previous internship with The Bent Agency. Now, she is actively building her list as an associate agent. She is a member of SCBWI, RWA, NJ-RWA, and YA-RWA. Prior to her career in the publishing world, Marlo was an accounting manager for a Fortune 500 company. She holds B.S. degrees in Economics and Industrial Management from Carnegie Mellon University.
What to Submit to Marlo: “I believe the best stories have both compelling characters and tight, emotionally involving plotlines. If your writing can translate emotion to the page and give me a visceral reaction of humor, fear, joy, sadness, intrigue, or romance, then I will keep turning pages.
Picture book: Seeking submissions primarily from author-illustrators, though I will consider select text only submissions. Please submit your query with a link to your portfolio and the entire text of the PB manuscript. I am more drawn towards character driven stories that are cute, funny, or heartwarming. I love twists on familiar characters or story lines, and unlikely friendship stories.
Middle Grade and Young Adult: I am interested in all genres of MG and YA fiction, with particular emphasis on adventure, thriller, suspense, mystery, paranormal, urban fantasy, horror, speculative, and romance. I enjoy magic, magical realism, unusual settings, pirates, dark elements, gothic tone, secrets or secretive characters, treasure hunts, and unreliable narrators. Also, if you can take a story or intellectual property (in TV or books) that is popular with the adult crowd and give me the MG or YA version, then I will give it a look because I believe these types of stories may have strong potential for the market. Stories told by #ownvoices, and stories with diverse characters of all kinds, including neuro-diverse and LGBTQIA+ are all welcomed. I am also open to coming-of-age stories set in college that walk the line between upper YA and NA. While I do like contemporary tales, I may not be the best fit for ‘issue’ books where the central conflict revolves primarily around rape/rape-culture, drugs, or illness. I will also consider some select non-fiction projects in MG and YA, particularly if they involve pop-culture or current events.
Adult: I am interested in all genres of Romance, except inspirational, historical and erotic. I am also open to women’s fiction, mystery, thriller, and suspense.
Some favorite titles on my reading shelf include One of Us Is Lying by Karen McManus, Caraval by Stephanie Garber, The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman, City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab, and Nevermoor, The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend. For more, follow me on Twitter @MarloBerliner.”
How to Query: “Please submit your query and first 20 pages of your finished and polished manuscript via my Query Manager: http://QueryMe.Online/marloberliner
You will receive an automatic response from Query Manager which lets you know your submission is in my inbox, and you can track your query’s progress. I’ll respond within 6 weeks, but only to projects that interest me.
ATTEND A WRITERS CONFERENCE IN 2019/2020. Here are some writers conferences WQP staffers are either speaking at or wholeheartedly endorse:
- Oct. 25, 2019: Oklahoma Writing Workshop (Oklahoma City, OK)
- Oct. 26, 2019: Writers Conference of Dallas (Dallas, TX)
- Nov. 15, 2019: Writing Workshop of Austin (Austin, TX)
- Nov. 16, 2019: Houston Writing Workshop (Houston, TX)
- Nov. 23, 2019: Arizona Writing Workshop (Phoenix, AZ)
- Nov. 23, 2019: Philadelphia Writing Workshop (Philadelphia, PA)
- March 6, 2020: Alabama Writing Workshop (Birmingham, AL)
- March 7, 2020: Atlanta Writing Workshop (Atlanta, GA)
- March 7, 2020: Minnesota Writing Workshop (St. Paul, MN)
- March 28, 2020: Pittsburgh Writing Workshop (Pittsburgh, PA)
- March 28, 2020: Kansas City Writing Workshop (Kansas City, KS)
- April 25, 2020: Michigan Writing Workshop (outside Detroit MI)
- April 25, 2020: Seattle Writing Workshop (Seattle, WA)
- May 2, 2020: Writing Conference of Los Angeles (Los Angeles, CA)
- May 9, 2020: San Diego Writing Workshop (San Diego, CA)
- May 16, 2020: Cincinnati Writing Workshop (Cincinnati,
and click here for more 2019 / 2020 writers conference suggestions