Ask the Pro: Literary Agent Adriana Dominguez Discuses Queries and More

Literary agent Adriana Dominguez is looking for manuscripts. Find out what kind, learn about the most common mistakes she sees in query letters and more.
Author:
Publish date:

Adriana Dominguez has nearly 15 years of experience in publishing, most recently serving as executive editor at HarperCollins Children’s Books before joining Full Circle Literary in 2009. She is interested in representing kids’ picture books, middle-grade novels, young adult novels, adult literary fiction, women’s fiction and historical fiction, in addition to the following nonfiction categories: multicultural, pop culture, how-to and women’s interest. For submission guidelines, visit fullcircleliterary.com/Submissions.htm.

WHAT DISTINGUISHES HER AGENCY: Full service. … We go beyond simply accepting a manuscript and attempting to sell it. In my case, I use my editorial skills to produce a manuscript that is polished and that I will be proud to present to publishers. Once a manuscript is sold, our agency continues to work with authors and publishers in the areas of marketing, publicity, sales and beyond.

SEEKING: I am a very visual person and an art lover, so on the children’s side, I am searching for a fantastic author/illustrator, or illustrator ready to take a leap into writing! For picture books, I am mostly seeking funny and/or character-driven stories, and multicultural books that take us into the next millennium. I enjoy reading well-written middle-grade novels immensely, and would love to get some for girls or boys that offer unique, strong and/or funny voices. For young adults, I seek literary, contemporary, multicultural and dystopian novels that place characters in unusual and/or thought-provoking situations. I am not looking for vampire stories, fantasy or science fiction. I am a stickler for strong plots, and just adore twists!

MOST QUERIES ARE … too long. My personal preference is a three- to four-paragraph query organized thusly: one short paragraph that tells me why the writer chose to go with me and/or our agency (I like it when folks do their homework); one or two paragraphs that succinctly describe the project and highlight its potential in the marketplace (again, homework!); and a final paragraph that tells me about the author’s background, education, credits and platform when applicable.

MOST MANUSCRIPTS ARE … never finished. How else would a former editor answer that question? By this, I mean that despite the fact that I work very hard with authors to produce a final manuscript to share with publishers, I always remind them that their editors will have their own visions for those manuscripts, and that it is very important that author and editor together develop the kind of partnership that will result in the best possible book both are able to produce.

ON SOCIAL MEDIA: I like it when an author is Internet savvy. The future of books is digital, so it is a good idea to begin to use that medium as much as possible for promotional purposes now, and to join the pioneers of this movement who are scheduling blog tours, updating websites and connecting with others in and out of the writing community via the Internet. Perhaps most importantly, I think that those online efforts don’t go unnoticed by publishers!


Learn how to land a literary agent for your manuscript with:
How to Land a Literary Agent (On-Demand Webinar)

Image placeholder title

Become a WD VIP and Save 10%:
Get a 1-year pass to WritersMarket.com, a 1-year subscription to Writer’s Digest magazine and 10% off all WritersDigestShop.com orders! Click here to join.


Also check out these items from the Writer’s Digest’s collection:
Writer’s Digest Elements Of Writing Fiction: Beginnings, Middles & Ends

Writer’s Digest Elements Of Writing Fiction: Scene & Structure

Writer’s Digest Elements Of Writing Fiction: Description
Writer’s Digest Elements Of Writing Fiction: Characters & Viewpoint

Writer’s Digest No More Rejections
Writer’s Digest Weekly Planner

Writer’s Digest Magazine One-Year Subscription
Writer’s Digest 10 Years of Writer’s Digest on CD: 2000-2009

Camille Aubray: Understanding the Nuances of Human Nature

Camille Aubray: Understanding the Nuances of Human Nature

Author Camille Aubray discusses her recent novel The Godmothers, including what prompted the book, why writers should write everything down, the importance of understanding the nuances of human nature, and more.

How Personal Writing and Journaling Is Good for the Soul and Why Your Journal Is Your Soul Mate

How Personal Writing and Journaling Is Good for the Soul and Why Your Journal Is Your Soulmate

Bestselling author Laura Munson shares how journaling lead to a breakthrough in her fiction writing and how you can use journaling to do the same.

From Script

A Fond Farewell to Netflix’s Lucifer, Writing Video Games, and Do Experts Stand in the Way of Your Writing Goals?: From Script

In this week’s round up brought to us by ScriptMag.com, exclusive interviews with Lucifer TV writer Chris Rafferty and video game writer Ian Ryan. Plus, learn about screenwriting trailblazer France Goodrich Hacket, who co-wrote It’s a Wonderful Life, and advice on when and when not to approach a writing expert to reach your writing goals.

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Misusing Dialogue Tags

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Misusing Dialogue Tags

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 misusing dialogue tags.

Poetic Forms

Boketto: Poetic Forms

Poetic Form Fridays are made to share various poetic forms. This week, Walter J. Wojtanik shares his relatively new form, the boketto.

Paul Neilan: On Implementing Dark Humor

Paul Neilan: On Implementing Dark Humor

In this article, author Paul Neilan explains how he came up with the idea for his mystery and dark comedy novel The Hollywood Spiral.

WD-Poetry-2020-WinnerGraphic

Deborah Hall, 2020 Writer's Digest Poetry Awards Winner

The winner of the 2020 Writer’s Digest Poetry Awards discusses the inspiration behind her first-place poem, “The Loneliest Whale."

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Split Up

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Split Up

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, have your characters split up.

Kerry Winfrey: On Writing a Romance that's Cozy and Comforting

Kerry Winfrey: On Writing a Romance that's Cozy and Comforting

Author Kerry Winfrey wrote her latest romance, Very Sincerely Yours, during the 2020 pandemic to comfort herself. Here, she's explaining why that tone is important for readers.