An NPR best book of the year!
Eddie Schneider (Twitter: @eddieschneider) is the Vice President of JABberwocky Literary Agency, which he joined back when the nerve center was still Joshua Bilmes’ living room.
These days, the agency is in a real office, sandwiched between Grand Central Station and Times Square in midtown Manhattan, and the bustling new digs only serve to motivate Eddie in his pursuit of great authors, both new and new to JABberwocky.
Eddie is an Iowa graduate, where he studied fiction, poetry, and creative non-fiction. He has an M.S. in Publishing from New York University, and his client list includes Hugo, Andre Norton, Philip K. Dick, and Bram Stoker Award winners, as well as New York Times bestselling authors Brandon Sanderson, Daniel José Older, and Alison Wilgus.
When he isn’t agenting, reading, or editing, he has been known to run ultramarathons, and is technically an award-winner himself, although his form wouldn’t necessarily get rave reviews.
How to query me
Email queries to queryeddie [at] awfulagent.com. Please include the first five pages of your manuscript, and paste them below your query letter, in the body of your email. 1-3 page synopses may also be included at the very bottom, but aren’t mandatory.
When querying, please don’t send any attachments, as these queries are deleted unread.
What I’m looking for
Major changes are underway here in the US, both in terms of reading technology and demographics, and any time something comes along to disrupt the status quo, it presents huge artistic and economic opportunities. This dovetails nicely with what I desire most — books that are groundbreaking, genre-defining, and reflect the whole spectrum of human experience.
No matter the genre, I have a strong interest in working with authors who bring fresh and diverse voices to the literary conversation, especially those who come from historically marginalized groups. All people should be able to see themselves reflected in the stories they read, as well as in those who pen them.
The genres I represent, and the types of books that most interest me within a given genre, follow.
Literary fiction – I’m an avid reader of literary fiction, and what lights up my cerebral cortex here are more plot-driven novels with a strong emotional core, which engage in areas beyond and outside the middle-class concerns endemic to a large swath of books published in this genre. Two examples of (non-client) novels from the last few years that I particularly enjoyed are Ruth Ozeki’s A TALE FOR THE TIME BEING and Louise Erdrich’s ROUND HOUSE.
Science fiction – I love science fiction, especially SF set in the near future, often with social or cultural commentary, as well as the occasional space opera. Two examples of (non-client) novels that I enjoyed in this vein are Ursula K. LeGuin’s classic THE LEFT HAND OF DARKNESS and Octavia Butler’s PARABLE OF THE SOWER. I am very much interested in SF written from non-Western cultural perspectives, and one good non-client example of that is G. Willow Wilson’s ALIF THE UNSEEN.
Fantasy – With fantasy, my favorite novels have tended to be those that toe both the real world and the fantastic. In any case, I go for stories with intricate, imaginative settings that are internally consistent, address political and social concerns, and have often found myself preferring tight writing to florid. I’m especially interested in fantasy novels set outside the Northern European milieu from which the genre originated. Two examples of (non-client) novels that I particularly enjoyed like this are Octavia Butler’s KINDRED and Susanna Clarke’s JONATHAN STRANGE & MR. NORRELL.
Young Adult – My favorite YA novels tend to be both character- and concept-driven, while embracing the intensity of emotion that characterizes a lot of the best YA fiction. A couple (non-client) favorites published in recent years include Laini Taylor’s DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE and AMERICAN STREET by Ibi Zoboi.
Middle Grade – Middle grade novels have a special resonance for me, because the genre has such breadth. Here, I’m also interested in both realistic/contemporary and sf/fantasy. Two examples of (non-client) novels that I really enjoyed are Dianna Wynne Jones’ classic HOWL’S MOVING CASTLE and Rebecca Stead’s WHEN YOU REACH ME.
Science – I have wide-ranging interests here that include the physical, earth, life, medical, and social sciences. Science books most likely to appeal to me tend to deal with specific topics, and sometimes unlikely ones. Example of (non-client) books in this vein that I enjoyed are Rebecca Skloot’s THE IMMORTAL LIFE OF HENRIETTA LACKS, and especially Mary Roach’s STIFF.
History – I am interested in histories that focus on a single subject, rather than wide-ranging works about a time or place. I particularly enjoy historical biographies, including those where the biography’s subject is an artifact or commodity.
Narrative nonfiction – Here, I’m interested in memoirs that take on issues that extend beyond those in the author’s own life, travel narratives that are socially engaged and possess an individual stamp, and in ‘nonfiction novels.’
Graphic novels and comics:
Note: When querying with a graphic novel or comic, please feel free to include 2-3 images representative of your art, pasted in the body of your email below your query letter. A link to your online portfolio is also good.
Graphic novels – Few things are more jawdropping than a truly great graphic novel, where the writing and the art flow together, but are each strong enough to stand alone. I’m looking for work that’s both awe-inspiring and totally engrossing, and am only interested in author/artists, or an established author-artist team. I’m would like to see both fiction and non-fiction, realistic or speculative, for adult, YA or middle grade. A non-client example of a graphic novel I really enjoyed is Marjane Satrapi’s PERSEPOLIS.
Comics – What I’m after here are projects that either are, or are influenced by, comic strips and webcomics. What will most catch my eye are comics that are both humorous and incisive.
Since it still needs (and may always need) to be spelled out, please note I am eager to consider queries by persons, or featuring protagonists, of any race, color, creed, religion, national citizenship/origin, gender or sexual orientation, disability, age, or physical appearance. Further, I will not attempt to editorially limit the presence of characters in any of the above in order to sell a project, and will support any client who has been discriminated against by a publisher or editor because of such status, in the hopefully unlikely event that this might occur.