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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

We encourage prospective clients to read through our FAQ before contacting us.

I have a question. Can I call to get my answer?

All phone calls must be scheduled in advance. Email is our main method of communication. Please direct general inquiries to info@willenfield.com.

What categories do you specialize in?

Our focus is on representing high quality literary writing—with emphasis on literary fiction and narrative nonfiction.

What do you look for in a project?

We are keen on thoughtful, innovative prose and intellectually ambitious projects. That said, we are also interested in work that can be marketed in many media and territories around the world.

Do you represent genre fiction?

No. We do not represent genre fiction, including historical fiction, science fiction, fantasy, horror, crime, thriller, romance, and western.

Do you represent children’s literature or YA fiction?

No. We do not represent works intended for children or young adults.

Are you currently accepting queries?

We are currently building our list and enthusiastically welcome queries from writers working across the fields of literary fiction and narrative nonfiction.

Do you accept queries from writers living outside of Canada and the U.S.?

Yes. We are an internationally minded, nationality-agnostic literary agency, so we welcome queries from all countries, without exceptions.

What makes a complete submission package?

For literary fiction projects, please send a query letter, a 1-page synopsis, and the first 2 chapters of the manuscript or first 30 pages as a single file. For narrative nonfiction projects, please send a query letter, a literary resume, and a nonfiction book proposal as a single file. We accept DOC, DOCX, and RTF files that are less than 2MB. PDFs are not acceptable.

I have an idea for a narrative nonfiction project. May I send a quick email to find out if you would be interested?

We would much rather receive a standard submission at the outset. Please send a nonfiction book proposal along with supporting material.

Do you accept submissions by regular mail?

We only accept electronic submissions, via email. Submissions received via regular mail or courier will be recycled unopened.

What do you scrutinize the most other than the actual writing?

The query letter. A good query letter should explain your project, its purpose, primary audience, and how it compares to similar books available. It should also give us a sense of who you are as a writer in relation to other contemporary writers.

What are common mistakes you see in submissions?

Submissions that do not adhere to guidelines, generic or unpolished query letters, and an unprofessional tone. We want prospective clients to show that they have invested time in their submission. We want to gain a robust perspective on who they are as writers, what their project is about, and why they think Willenfield is a good match for them.

My book is already published, but I retain the subsidiary rights. Can you represent me for just those rights?

No. We cannot handle the subsidiary rights to a project unless we are also handling the print publishing rights.

I received a rather encouraging rejection email. Does that mean I should revise and resubmit?

Unless we specifically asked you to resubmit, please do not.

Do you charge reading fees?

No. Willenfield is committed to the highest standards in literary representation and management. We do not charge reading fees and neither do we charge for our time and expense in reviewing, editing, and developing projects for sale.

Does Willenfield use a written agreement?

Yes. Prospective clients will be required to sign an agreement that defines the terms of our working relationship and the scope of representation.

Is there a minimum term?

Yes. We ask that a client commit to a minimum of one year. After that the agency-client agreement will operate on a month-to-month basis, unless either party gives the other written notice, at least 60 days prior, to terminate it.

What rights do you handle?

Willenfield offers a comprehensive service. Domestic rights—Canadian and U.S.—will be sold directly, while specialist subagents will be engaged for the sale of international and subsidiary rights.

What are your commission rates?

Our agency commission is 15% for domestic sales, 20% for sales of film and television rights, and 20% to 25% for international rights sales.

What expenses are clients responsible for?

We may charge clients the costs of large photocopying jobs or for buying books or galleys for manuscript or book proposal submissions, long-distance courier services, and international or long-distance telephone services. All such expenses must be approved by the author.

What are your response times?

Our response time for queries can range from 2 days to 6 weeks, although responses might take a bit longer during busy periods or holidays. Due to the large volume of submissions we receive, we cannot guarantee a written response to every query. If you have not received a response within the given time frame, it unfortunately indicates that we will not be requesting more material or offering representation. For full manuscript requests, we aim to respond within 2 to 4 weeks.

Will you send me comments if my submission is rejected?

No. We receive a large number of submissions each day. Unfortunately, we just do not have the time to provide personalized feedback on individual submissions.

Do you offer any internships?

Not currently.