Literary Agent Spotlight: Rena Rossner of The Deborah Harris Agency



About Rena: Rena Rossner works at The Deborah Harris Agency in Jerusalem, Israel. She’s a graduate of the Johns Hopkins University Writing Seminars Program, where she majored in poetry and nonfiction writing. She also studied at Trinity College, Dublin and holds an MA in History from McGill University in Montreal, Canada. She has worked as a bookseller in four countries, and is a writer of fiction, nonfiction and poetry. You can usually find her cooking, doing ceramics or reading, but she has been know to do Yoga and take walks with her pug, Pablo. You can follow her @renarossner.

(How NOT to start your story. Read advice from agents.)

“As an agency, we represent the worldwide publishing and dramatic rights of Israeli, Palestinian and other Internationally-based authors. We also handle the foreign rights of publishers and literary agencies all over the world for the translation of their books into Hebrew. (Which means that if an Israeli publisher wants to publish one of my foreign rights clients’ books, they have to go through me!) I work both in foreign rights, by also as a literary agent, building my own list within the agency. I’d say that my list right now is half US-based authors and half Israel-based authors. If I find something I love that fits what I’m looking for, I take it on – I really don’t care where my clients are based. So I actively seek and have signed writing clients from all over the world, with many of my queries and some of my current clients coming from the US. I am out on submission with a few right now.”

She is seeking: “I am most interested in representing Fantasy and Science Fiction in all its permutations – Adult, Middle Grade, Young Adult etc. I also look for Middle Grade and Young Adult contemporary stories and I’d be open to MG/YA mysteries and thrillers as well. I represent quite a few picture books and I’m always looking for those. In terms of adult books, I look for Literary Fiction, Historical Fiction, multicultural books, and I’d also consider adult mysteries, thrillers and psychological suspense, but not cozy mysteries. I specifically look for literary work (in any genre,) and books with elements of magical realism and the fantastic. You will steal my heart for sure if it’s set in the Middle East, in Israel or if it has Jewish or Israeli themes and characters, but I’m open to all themes, settings and characters. You’ve got to have a really good reason to send me nonfiction, or cookbooks, but if you have a reason that seems to fit with who I am and what I’m looking for, I’ll take a look.”

(Learn how to protect yourself when considering a independent editor for your book.)

How to submit: rena (at) thedeborahharrisagency (dot) com. Put “Query” in the subject line. Please send a query letter in the e-mail as well as the first three chapters of the work as an attachment.


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