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Sep 29, 2020

Agent Spotlight Series: Stephanie Winter

Stephanie Winter spotlight image
A very warm welcome to associate agent Stephanie Winter

Stephanie is an associate agent at P.S. Literary. She first joined the agency as an intern before becoming the agency’s relations assistant. Stephanie holds a B.A. from the University of Toronto in English Literature and an M.A. in English: Issues in Modern Culture from University College London. 

Stephanie Winter pictureCM: Welcome, Stephanie! Let’s start with two truths and one lie about you. 
- I lived in London, England.
- I love having pets.
- I play the banjo (Lie). 

CM: In a social-distancing world, virtual events are increasingly important. Are there any virtual events you recommend for writers in the querying trenches? 
Stephanie: I’m a big fan of Manuscript Academy, which is an always running online conference. I also love the Writing Day Workshop series of conferences, which I’ve attended. If you’re a writer going into an event, think about what you want to get from a pitch session, beyond getting the agent/editor to request your pages. You’ve often got a short window to get specific feedback, and it always impresses me when someone has come prepared to make use of the opportunity.

CM: Gives us a sneak peak behind the curtain, if you will. How does selling a manuscript work once you start working with an author?
Stephanie: After signing a creator, we’ll go through the rounds of editing needed to get the project ready for submission. I’ll craft a pitch for the finished product. I’ll also be reaching out to my editorial contacts, old and new, to drive interest toward the project and send the manuscript/proposal out on sub. 

CM: Name a book you recently read and can’t stop thinking about.
Stephanie: THE SUBTWEET by Vivek Shraya. 

CM: What makes a good query? Any online resources you recommend that help authors write a query?
Stephanie: A good query has a strong opening 1-2 line hook. Think elevator pitch. A good query also indicates why the reader should be invested in the story. This can mean that there’s a human experience that a reader can think about, even if it’s outside of their reality. My colleague Eric also wonderfully breaks down pitches on his website. 

CM: Technology has notably disrupted the publishing industry in the last decade. What are some opportunities that were created for authors/agents/publishers from this disruption?
Stephanie: With so much going digital, there are now many remote conferences, offering easier to access pitch and feedback opportunities. If your location was an obstacle as a writer, you now hopefully have one less barrier. For people who aspire to work in publishing but can’t afford to be near New York or Toronto, hopefully there will be a clear increase in remote internship and job opportunities. 

P.S. Literary Agency’s Clients
(This list includes affiliate links)

Lake Union Publishing - 2019
Yellow Jacket - 2020

Wish List

Middle grade fiction and non-fiction, particularly adventure stories and works that incorporate STEAM topics.
- Graphic novels, particularly YA and MG, of all kinds. She loves when there’s a clear sense of place, e.g. Shirley and Jamila Save their Summer is set in Toronto and you can tell that this is the case thanks to the building illustrations.
- YA nonfiction, think Girls Who Run the World
Within fiction, she’s actively seeking diverse and inclusive representation in Upmarket, Commercial, and Women’s Fiction. She gravitates toward smart, fast-paced stories that feature strong female characters who are in charge of their lives and careers. Stephanie would love to see more contemporary thrillers located outside of the home. She’d also love to see more rom-coms from underrepresented voices. 
- Stephanie acquires select non-fiction and is interested in Pop Culture, Pop Psychology, cultural or event-based History, select Dessert Cookbooks, LGBTQ+ narratives, and lifestyle (fashion, beauty, sustainability, etc.). 

Stephanie is less likely to acquire pure adult horror, science fiction, or fantasy, but she is interested in these spaces for the YA and MG market. 
- She also is not a great fit for Civil War stories or frequently depicted histories (fiction or nonfiction) but is always hoping to read an eye-opening lesser known historical story.


How to query Stephanie:
Please limit your submission to just a query letter that consists of the following:
 - Paragraph One – Introduction: Include the title and category of your work (i.e. fiction or nonfiction and topic), an estimated word count and a brief, general introduction.
 - Paragraph Two – Brief overview: This should read similar to back-cover copy.
 - Paragraph Three – Creator’s bio: Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background (awards and affiliations, etc.).
Queries should be directed to