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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 at WLA. Please direct general inquiries to info@willenfield.com.

What categories do you specialize in?

Our focus is on representing the best of contemporary literature from North America and around the globe—literary fiction and a wide range of narrative nonfiction.

What do you look for in a project?

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

Are you interested in experimental work? What about hybrid forms?

We welcome experimental and hybrid work—across both literary fiction and narrative nonfiction.

Do you represent genre fiction?

Although we do not consider genre fiction and literary fiction mutually exclusive, we are looking for fiction with strong literary elements, not straightforward genre fiction such as science fiction, horror, crime, thriller, romance, or western, and will judge your work according to the standards of serious literature.

Do you represent children’s literature or YA books?

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 for innovative, cutting-edge literary fiction and narrative nonfiction projects. Please read our submission guidelines for more information.

Do you require a query letter?

No. But we do require a completed online query form along with a brief literary resume and sample chapters (for literary fiction) or a detailed proposal (for narrative nonfiction). Please read our submission guidelines for more information.

Can I email my query to you?

No. We will only accept queries submitted via our online query form. Any queries submitted by email will be deleted unread.

How should the sample chapters or manuscript be formatted?

Please format for letter-size paper in Times New Roman or Calibri 12 pt, black type, 1.5 line-spaced throughout, with 1 inch margins all around. Be sure to number your pages.

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

Yes. WLA is an internationally minded, nationality-agnostic literary agency with a focus on contemporary literature. We welcome queries from literary writers living anywhere in the world, regardless of nationality.

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 from the outset. Please consult our submission guidelines for more information.

Do you accept submissions by regular mail?

No. Submissions received via regular mail or courier will be recycled unopened.

How do you make representation decisions?

When you submit a query we review it against the following criteria: literary merit of the project and fit with our focus and priorities, literary background of the writer, freshness and originality of the project, and project viability and publishing potential. Note that the work is by far the most important part of the submission.

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. WLA 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 WLA 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?

WLA offers a comprehensive service. Domestic sales (North America) will be handled directly by WLA, while specialist subagents and co-agents will be engaged for foreign and subsidiary sales.

What are your commission rates?

WLA retains a 15% commission on domestic sales (North America), 20% on UK and Commonwealth sales, 20% to 25% on foreign and translation sales, and 20% on film and television 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?

Response time can range from 2 days to 2 weeks, although it might be longer during busy periods or holidays. We cannot guarantee written responses to unsuccessful queries. If you have not received a response within 6 weeks, 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. Unfortunately, being a small agency we just do not have the capacity to provide personalized feedback on individual submissions.

Are you currently accepting interns?

WLA is not accepting internship applications at this time.