Literary Agent Interview: Uwe Stender of TriadaUS Literary Agency

This installment features Uwe Stender of TriadaUS Literary Agency. He is seeking: Any strong fiction (with a current focus on YA, women's fiction, literary fiction, and mysteries) and nonfiction projects.
Author:
Publish date:

“Agent Advice” (this installment featuring agent Uwe Stender of TriadaUS Literary) is a series of quick interviews with literary agents and script agents who talk with Guide to Literary Agents about their thoughts on writing, publishing, and just about anything else. This series has more than 170 interviews so far with reps from great literary agencies. This collection of interviews is a great place to start if you are just starting your research on literary agents.

This installment features Uwe Stender of TriadaUS Literary Agency.

He is seeking: Any strong fiction (with a current focus on young adult, women's fiction, literary fiction, and mysteries) and nonfiction projects.

Image placeholder title

How did you become an agent?

I have a Ph.D. in literature and had done some editing before. I had been thinking about a career in publishing for a long time, and over the years, I had also been fortunate to meet some successful people in the publishing industry who mentored me as I was exploring that career path. When the right time came for me to start my agency, I was set up and well prepared to go.

What's something you've sold that comes out now/soon that you're excited about?

I am excited about all of my projects being released, so I don't really want to fixate on one and there probably is not space enough for all. People can check on my website and look under fiction news and nonfiction news, and there they can look around for all the great books!

Besides “good writing,” and “voice,” what are you looking for right now and not getting? What do you pray for when tackling the slush pile?

Hmm, I love really strong hooks that are connected to a strong voice and great writing. I would love to see a really clever women's fiction novel, high concept YA, strong middle grade, and an outstanding self-help book. I pray for not overlooking something really great ... that somehow may get lost in the pile.

Online, you mention Candace Bushnell as one example of the kind of women’s fiction you rep. When I hear Candace Bushnell, I think Sex and the City. Does this mean your tastes when it comes to women’s fiction lie on the more “chick lit” side?

I love women's fiction ... and I do enjoy "chick lit," but since it seems that that is a really really tough sale, I stay away from it as an agent. But that does not mean that I cannot enjoy it as a normal reader.

I ask the above question in part because opinions on the definition of “women’s fiction” seem somewhat divided. What constitutes this category in your mind?

I think that "chick lit" has a breezy tone, while women's fiction is more serious ... but that is just a guideline for myself. I prefer to leave the true definitions up to others.

What’s one thing you’re sick of seeing in queries?

I don't like it when there are spelling mistakes in the queries and when the author just sends an obvious mass e-mail.

Screen Shot 2016-08-08 at 2.57.50 PM

The biggest literary agent database anywhere
is the Guide to Literary Agents. Pick up the
most recent updated edition online at a discount.

What are your feelings on the dreaded synopsis? Some agents like them—some don’t. Do you put much stock in them?

In fiction, I prefer to read the actual full manuscript.

(Learn how to write a novel synopsis.)

A lot of your leading nonfiction clients are prominent figures in their respective fields; therefore, author platform must be important to you. What do you feel is the best way new writers can build platform? Going along with that, what impresses you in terms of one’s platform?

Well, platform is important to sell books ... social networking and speaking engagements are good ways to build a platform. If you have a national TV or radio show, I am very impressed.

Given your experience, what is your outlook on the future of the publishing industry?

I remain an optimist. Reading and publishing have survived for centuries; I don't think it will go anywhere in my lifetime.

In a recent interview you did over at GalleyCat, you said you’re the “world’s biggest” Brian Wilson fan. Prove it.

I took my wife to a Beach Boys Convention on my honeymoon, and I am able to convince her to go to every Brian Wilson concert in a 150-mile radius.

Will you be at any upcoming writers conferences where writers can meet and pitch you?

I have no firm plans to date until next year's (2011's) Capa-U in Hartford.

Best piece(s) of advice we haven’t talked about yet?

Stay positive, don't take rejection personal, and keep writing.

Image placeholder title

This guest column by Ricki Schultz,
freelance writer and coordinator of
The Write-Brained Network. You can
Visit her blog
or follow her on Twitter.

Check Out These Great Upcoming Writers Conferences:

Other writing/publishing articles and links for you:

Batra&DeCandido_1:18

Dr. Munish Batra and Keith R.A. DeCandido: Entertainment and Outrage

Authors Dr. Munish Batra and Keith R.A. DeCandido explain how they came to co-write their novel and why it's important to them that the readers experience outrage while reading.

incite_vs_insight_grammar_rules_robert_lee_brewer

Incite vs. Insight (Grammar Rules)

Learn when to use incite vs. insight with Grammar Rules from the Writer's Digest editors, including a few examples of correct usages.

Cleland_1:17

Jane K. Cleland: On Writing the Successful Long-Running Series

Award-winning mystery author Jane K. Cleland describes what it's like to write a long-running book series and offers expert advice for the genre writer.

writer's digest wd presents

WD Presents: #StartWrite, Virtual Conference, and New Courses

This week, we’re excited to announce free resources to start your writing year off well, our Novel Writing Virtual Conference, and more!

20_most_popular_writing_posts_of_2020_robert_lee_brewer

20 Most Popular Writing Posts of 2020

We share a lot of writing-related posts throughout the year on the Writer's Digest website. In this post, we've collected the 20 most popular writing posts of 2020.

Malden_1:16

Carla Malden: Writing With Optimism and Innocence

Screenwriter and author Carla Malden explains why young adult fiction and the '60s go hand-in-hand and how she connected with her main character's voice.

writing_mistakes_writers_make_talking_about_the_work_in_progress_robert_lee_brewer

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Talking About the Work-in-Progress

The Writer's Digest team has witnessed many writing mistakes over the years, so we started this series to help identify them for other writers (along with correction strategies). This week's writing mistake writers make is talking about the work-in-progress.

Kelly_1:15

Greta K. Kelly: Publishing Is a Marathon

Debut author Greta K. Kelly reveals how the idea for her novel sparked and the biggest surprise of her publication journey.

Poetic Forms

Mistress Bradstreet Stanza: Poetic Forms

Poetic Form Fridays are made to share various poetic forms. This week, we look at the Mistress Bradstreet stanza, an invented form of John Berryman.