Skip to main content

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.

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

6 Habits Writers Can Learn From Athletes

6 Habits Writers Can Learn From Athletes

Author and athlete Henriette Lazaridis shares six tips and habits that writers can learn from athletes.

writer's digest wd presents

WD Presents: Last Chance to Nominate Your Favorite Writing Websites, Our Historical Fiction Virtual Conference, and More!

This week, we're excited to announce the deadline to nominate your favorite writing websites, our Historical Fiction Virtual Conference, and more!

4 Tips for Writing a Modern Retelling

4 Tips for Writing a Modern Retelling

From having reverence for the original to making it your own, author Nikki Payne shares four tips for writing a modern retelling.

Faint vs. Feint (Grammar Rules)

Faint vs. Feint (Grammar Rules)

Learn when to use faint vs. feint in your writing with Grammar Rules from the Writer's Digest editors, including a few examples. Plus, we answer whether it's "faint of heart" or "feint of heart."

6 Books to Cozy Up With This Winter | Book Recommendations

6 Books to Cozy Up With This Winter

Here are 6 book recommendation perfect for winter reading.

12 Things to Consider When Writing Fight Scenes in Fiction (FightWrite™)

12 Things to Consider When Writing Fight Scenes in Fiction (FightWrite™)

Trained fighter and author Carla Hoch shares 12 things all writers should consider when attempting to write effective fight scenes in fiction.

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Unreal Character

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Unreal Character

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, have a character turn out to be less than they seem.

November PAD Chapbook Challenge

2022 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Next Steps

Here are the final steps for the 15th annual November PAD Chapbook Challenge! Use December and the beginning of January to revise and collect your poems into a chapbook manuscript. Here are some tips and guidelines.

Valeria Ruelas: On Teaching Tarot, Brujeria, and Witchcraft

Valeria Ruelas: On Teaching Tarot, Brujeria, and Witchcraft

Author Valeria Ruelas discusses the process of writing her new book, The Mexican Witch Lifestyle.