Today I’m thrilled to have agent Natasha
Mihell right here. She is an affiliate literary agent at The Rights Factory.
Status: Open to queries through the month of January every year solely
Natasha! Thanks a lot for becoming a member of us.
Tell us the way you turned an agent, how lengthy you’ve been one, and what you’ve been
doing as an agent.
I got here to agenting
via writing. I’ve performed a number of totally different roles within the literary trade
and exterior of it, and one of many issues I’ve discovered about myself is that I
deeply worth the chance to empower artists: to uplift the voices of storytellers
so their tales could make an influence on our world. I really like this work as a result of it
provides me the chance to assist folks in following their goals, and that
is immensely fulfilling.
I’ve been an agent
for almost a yr and a half now. I’d truly wished to begin my very own company
through the pandemic, however via networking, ended up having conversations with
the sensible Karmen Wells at TRF in addition to our CEO, Sam Hiyate. Sam
generously supplied me the prospect to hitch an atmosphere that was welcoming,
mentorship-focused, and author-centric. Still having a lot to study
contracts, editor-agent relationships, and many others., I took the leap.
I began as an
Editorial Assistant with TRF in 2021 and was promoted to Assistant Agent in
2022. In January of this yr, I turned an Associate Agent, based mostly upon my two two-book
offers within the yr earlier. As for what I’ve been doing: a number of modifying, pitching,
profession steering, conferences, and studying. It has been an awesome journey!
Share a bit about your company and what it affords to its authors.
The Rights Factory was based by Sam Hiyate
in 2004. It has remodeled a lot over its almost twenty years, and now hosts
editorial brokers based mostly all over the world. We are pushed by the relationships we
preserve with our authors and the editors and publishers we work with. We additionally
present internship alternatives to these concerned about getting concerned within the
As I discussed, we do have a mentorship focus.
We converse about our totally different experiences, our successes, and challenges, and
assist one another as wanted via the submission course of. This mentorship
extends to our shoppers, as effectively. We assist our shoppers editorially and present
the perfect skilled recommendation we will. Authors can (and ought to all the time!) count on to
work with companions who’re captivated with their work and their artistic
She’s Looking For:
What age teams do you signify—image books, MG, and/or YA? What genres do
you signify and what are you searching for in submissions for these genres?
When I’m open to
queries, I search for all age teams, together with PB, MG, and YA. I primarily
signify grownup fiction presently. Where kidlit is anxious, I solely signify PBs
at this level.
I’m searching for…
Enthralling magic, vivid color, and stunning musicality. Lots and a lot of
coronary heart, whether or not in fiction or nonfiction.
Compelling fantasies with human or animal or different (!) protagonist(s).
Mermaids. Smartly informed historic allegories. Select genres not usually seen
in MG, equivalent to horror and cyberpunk.
break-the-mould, change-the-world sci-fi. Fantasy with darkish queens, highly effective
witches, and redemption arcs. Historical fiction with richly developed settings
and characters or plots that empower us to recollect and do higher.
4. Is there something you’ll be particularly
excited to seeing within the genres you have an interest in?
Witches and mermaids
and queens, please! And for PBs, something classical music or musical theatre
associated could be fantastic.
She Isn’t Looking For:
What forms of submissions are you not concerned about?
I’m not concerned about tales which can be too
didactic or, clearly, these which can be racist, misogynistic, or fueled by any
different kind of hate. Otherwise, I’m open to contemplating most tales, relying
upon how they’re informed—which is to say, each selection that’s made, regardless of
how exhausting a promote it might be, must be integral to the story and motivations of
What is your philosophy as an agent each by way of the authors you need to
work with and the books you need to signify?
communication, and enjoyable are all important. I consider in constructing significant and
long-lasting relationships with these I signify, as a result of their artistic
journeys are as a lot private as they’re skilled. Every step issues. I
do my utmost to assist their profession and empower them creatively.
As for the books I
signify, I typically like depth, mastery of temper, and an excellent understanding of
the emotional palette one is portray with. My tastes range broadly, however all in
all, I’m going for books with coronary heart.
Are you an editorial agent? If so, what’s your course of like while you’re
working along with your authors earlier than submitting to editors?
I’m an editorial agent,
and work with every shopper relying upon their mission’s wants. We work on a
mission till every of is 100% sure it’s the place it must be (this may
contain a number of rounds of substantive, line, and copy edits), and then I construct
an inventory of editors to method, fastidiously curated to the mission. Throughout
this course of, my shoppers and I meet or communicate usually to make sure we’re each on
the identical web page and, as soon as once more, 100% proud of the place we’re at. When we’re
prepared, we submit.
Methods and Submission Guidelines: (Always confirm earlier than submitting)
How ought to authors question you and what do you need to see with the question letter?
I take queries
via QuerySupervisor and referral solely and am open to queries one month of the
yr, from January 1st via January 31st. I do that
as a result of I worth giving customized suggestions as usually as potential—and as I look
for science fiction and fantasy, amongst different genres, I obtain many tons of of
queries in that month! It takes me a while to learn and reply to every question
The question letter
itself ought to, typically, be concise and seize the intrigue of your guide.
Show me the irony. Make me fall in love with what may occur. Show me that
you might be assured in what you’ve written.
N.B. There’s no want
to inform me what an incredible author you might be, or that I’ve by no means seen something
like your mission earlier than. I perceive the place this inclination comes from, however I
want to search out out simply how superb and distinctive your work is for myself, via
9. Do you’ve got any particular dislikes in question
letters or the primary pages submitted to you?
I’ve no dislikes,
however I do have some recommendation. Submitting a question letter is a author’s first
alternative to construct a relationship with their agent. As such, the way you write
your question, and reply an agent’s questions, issues. Your question informs your
potential agent whether or not you’re ready to maneuver on to the following step in your
What’s your response time to queries and requests for extra pages of a
As I stay open for one month of the yr,
those that question me will hear again from me inside three weeks of their
question—probably a lot sooner. I do attempt to be immediate. If I request a partial or
full, I ask for 3 months from the date of request.
and Small Press Authors:
11. Are you open to representing authors who’ve
self-published or been printed by smaller presses? What recommendation do you’ve got
for them in the event that they need to attempt to discover an agent to signify them?
I’m, although I solely
signify beforehand unpublished work. When querying an agent as a
self-published writer, be 100% assured in why you at the moment are selecting
With all of the adjustments in publishing—self-publishing, hybrid authors, extra small
publishers—do you see the position of brokers altering in any respect? Why?
Yes, completely. The editorial facet of
agenting has grow to be way more precious in recent times partially due to this.
Projects should be at their perfect for a writer to want to take it on.
Technology performs a job, too. I consider that
the largest lesson of AI proper now, for this trade (and maybe for artwork, in
common), is that it’s the journey that counts and not the vacation spot. That’s
a part of why I really like doing what I do—I get to go on that journey with my authors
and assist them as they take pleasure in being freely artistic.
Things will change, all the time, for all literary
professionals… However you select to get your story on the market, let it’s how
you need to do it. And in the event you do go the normal route, guarantee you might be
working with somebody who wholly believes in you and your work. It could be such
an superior journey!
Who are a number of the authors you signify?
The whimsical Sylvie Cathrall and the whip-smart
Nicholas Pullen each have books popping out with Orbit UK/US in 2024! Keep an
eye out for these. I additionally signify six extra fab creatives: Joe Frye, C.C.
Graystone, Taryn Herlich, Ana Toumine, Vani Varshney, and Fatemeh Zarei.
and Guest Posts:
Please share the hyperlinks to any interviews, visitor posts, and podcasts you assume
could be useful to writers concerned about querying you.
This is my first
interview! I do have a rising listing of resources on my web site re:
craft and being a storyteller. I extremely suggest STORY by Robert McKee and,
for some hearty meat and potatoes studying, SAVE THE CAT… although in all issues,
and Contact Info:
Please share how writers ought to contact you to submit a question and your hyperlinks on
My web site is natashamihell.com. When I’m open to
queries, I’ve an #MSWL on there for these #amquerying. All queries must be
submitted via QuerySupervisor or referral; if not, I sadly is not going to
If you’d prefer to
join, you may as well observe me on Instagram @natashamihell, although once more, I do
not reply to queries wherever however QM.
Is there another recommendation you’d prefer to share with aspiring authors that we
As a author, I’ve acquired tons of of rejections—a couple of customized,
many extra kind. As an agent, I’ve additionally rejected tons of of authors, a lot of
whom have been nice storytellers, however whose work was not editorially prepared for an
agent, or didn’t pull me sufficient, for any variety of causes. A rejection is NOT
an indication you must cease writing. It merely implies that we’re not a match for every
different on the time of querying or submission.
If it’s your dream to be an writer, then maintain the religion in your work
and in your self. Keep working, maintain finding out your craft, and maintain having fun with what
you do! Remember that if it was simple, everybody would do it. Even if we’re not
a match for one another, I consider in bold artists and disciplined dreamers,
and, as I point out in most rejection letters, I actually hope you discover the fitting
consultant for you and your work!
Thanks for sharing all of your recommendation, Natasha.
Natasha is generously providing a question critique to 1
fortunate winner. To enter, all you have to do is be a follower (through the follower
gadget, e-mail, or bloglovin’ on the fitting sidebar) and depart a remark via
June third. If your e-mail will not be in your Google
Profile, you could depart it within the feedback to enter the competition. If
you do not need to enter the competition, that is okay. Just let me know within the
If you observe me on Twitter or point out this contest on Twitter, Facebook, or your
weblog, point out this within the feedback and I’ll offer you an additional entry. This is an
Have any expertise with this agent? See one thing that
wants updating? Please depart a remark or e-mail me at [email protected]
Note: These agent profiles and interviews presently concentrate on
brokers who settle for kids’s fiction. Please take the time to confirm something
you may use right here earlier than querying an agent. The data discovered right here is
topic to vary.