Allegra Martschenko

Literary Agent

Ladderbird Agency

University Press of Colorado

Acq editor @UPColorado | SFF Agent @Ladderbirdlit | Cofounder @Pathsinpub | wearer of many hats 🤠 | opinions mine but I can share

Allegra Martschenko
@AllegraMartsch
Literary Agent
Acq editor @UPColorado | SFF Agent @Ladderbirdlit | Cofounder @Pathsinpub | wearer of many hats 🤠 | opinions mine but I can share
18 MSWL
15 AskAgent

rachel is revising 🖊️ @FallingbFlat

@AllegraMartsch Happy Friday! What are your thoughts on word count in new adult fantasy? What do you think the cutoff should be? (and thank you for doing this!)
Replying to @FallingbFlat

I'd keep it between 80k and 120k if possible! But ultimately it's whatever is right for that specific book, and rules can be bent. More adult leaning NA can work well at the upper end of this range, while YA leaning NA may want to keep closer to the lower end

Allegra Martschenko
@AllegraMartsch
Literary Agent
Acq editor @UPColorado | SFF Agent @Ladderbirdlit | Cofounder @Pathsinpub | wearer of many hats 🤠 | opinions mine but I can share
18 MSWL
15 AskAgent
Allegra Martschenko
@AllegraMartsch
Literary Agent
Acq editor @UPColorado | SFF Agent @Ladderbirdlit | Cofounder @Pathsinpub | wearer of many hats 🤠 | opinions mine but I can share
18 MSWL
15 AskAgent

Jim Grimm @YojimboGrimmbo

@AllegraMartsch Hello, this is more a question for curiosity, do agents accept queries from different countries? Such as UK?
Replying to @YojimboGrimmbo

mostly, yes! So long as you're trying to sell in the market that the agency represents. Eg., US agencies primarily aim to sell in the US (and UK). UK agencies aim to sell in both as well. Doesn't matter where you're personally based, usually.

Allegra Martschenko
@AllegraMartsch
Literary Agent
Acq editor @UPColorado | SFF Agent @Ladderbirdlit | Cofounder @Pathsinpub | wearer of many hats 🤠 | opinions mine but I can share
18 MSWL
15 AskAgent

Allegra Martschenko @AllegraMartsch

@Krishna_D_Patel 2/3
Then at the end I'd say:

GREAT NOVEL is a 90000 word Adult fantasy told from 3 points of view—Character 1, Character 2 (the best friend), and Character 3 (the love interest)

Where the parenthesis help connect them to the POV character of the query (character 1).
Replying to @AllegraMartsch

3/4 when you have only 2 POVs, you can get away with mentioning both in the pitch itself eg.,

Character 1 has always wanted [x thing], but [y thing] is in their way. In a world where [idk], they will have to do [z thing] to succeed.

Enter Character 2, who complicates this plan—

Allegra Martschenko
@AllegraMartsch
Literary Agent
Acq editor @UPColorado | SFF Agent @Ladderbirdlit | Cofounder @Pathsinpub | wearer of many hats 🤠 | opinions mine but I can share
18 MSWL
15 AskAgent

Krishna Patel @Krishna_D_Patel

@AllegraMartsch Hi Allegra! Thanks for doing this ✨ Do you have any advice for querying multi pov?
Replying to @Krishna_D_Patel

Superb question, I'm going to answer it in 2-3 parts:
I tend to think all multi-POV novels have a touchstone character—who do you open with? Or, who do you follow most? When writing a query, it's usually easiest to write it from the touchstone's POV, esp if there are > 2 POVs

Allegra Martschenko
@AllegraMartsch
Literary Agent
Acq editor @UPColorado | SFF Agent @Ladderbirdlit | Cofounder @Pathsinpub | wearer of many hats 🤠 | opinions mine but I can share
18 MSWL
15 AskAgent

Megan Murphy 💐💕 (42.0k/80k) @megmurphywrites

@AllegraMartsch Happy Friday!! 🥰 What are some reasons and agent might request a R&R versus going for the offer? I know it’s different depending who you ask—but generally, is it level of passion, too many issues, to make sure the author’s open to feedback?
Replying to @megmurphywrites

I tend to offer R&Rs when I feel my desired revisions are a condition of going on sub bcz they are so substantial

I sign books that I have vision for but if the author didn't do a single edit I'd still feel ok going on sub (I'd like to revise, but I feel ok)

Allegra Martschenko
@AllegraMartsch
Literary Agent
Acq editor @UPColorado | SFF Agent @Ladderbirdlit | Cofounder @Pathsinpub | wearer of many hats 🤠 | opinions mine but I can share
18 MSWL
15 AskAgent

Audrey Zahir // #AMQUERYING @AudreyZahir

@AllegraMartsch Thank for doing this! In the author bio does it help or hurt your chances if you mention things from university? Writing awards you won, author events you hosted, etc
Replying to @AudreyZahir

This prob varies a bit agent to agent, but for me I'm entirely neutral on it. My focus is your writing now, so it doesn't really help your chances to include that stuff, but it also doesn't hurt them. I'm most interested in bios that explain an author's connection to the book

Allegra Martschenko
@AllegraMartsch
Literary Agent
Acq editor @UPColorado | SFF Agent @Ladderbirdlit | Cofounder @Pathsinpub | wearer of many hats 🤠 | opinions mine but I can share
18 MSWL
15 AskAgent

Autumn Bauman @autumn_inkblood

@AllegraMartsch If a current book is similar to Brave New World / Oryx & Crake / 1984, should it be described as "dystopian scifi," "upmarket scifi," or "social science-fiction" (or something else)? Which do you think would be the best term when pitching an agent?
Replying to @autumn_inkblood

my answer kinda sucks: none of these options will make or break a query, so it's rlly up to you. I might try to avoid "dystopian" as best I can bcz (for better or worse) there are a lot of strong & kinda dated connotations. But if dystopian is the most truthful, go for it.

Allegra Martschenko
@AllegraMartsch
Literary Agent
Acq editor @UPColorado | SFF Agent @Ladderbirdlit | Cofounder @Pathsinpub | wearer of many hats 🤠 | opinions mine but I can share
18 MSWL
15 AskAgent
Allegra Martschenko
@AllegraMartsch
Literary Agent
Acq editor @UPColorado | SFF Agent @Ladderbirdlit | Cofounder @Pathsinpub | wearer of many hats 🤠 | opinions mine but I can share
18 MSWL
15 AskAgent

marley 🏳️‍⚧️ is drafting!! 🔥 @marleywrites

@AllegraMartsch Do you look into an author’s social media at all when deciding om a query?
Replying to @marleywrites

Not usually b4 considering a query, but I may scroll through b4 requesting more, & I'll def check it out if I'm upgrading from a partial to a full. It is truly just a vibe check and typically kind of hard to fail unless I see you're actively bullying ppl on the timeline

Allegra Martschenko
@AllegraMartsch
Literary Agent
Acq editor @UPColorado | SFF Agent @Ladderbirdlit | Cofounder @Pathsinpub | wearer of many hats 🤠 | opinions mine but I can share
18 MSWL
15 AskAgent

marley 🏳️‍⚧️ is drafting!! 🔥 @marleywrites

@AllegraMartsch What sort of things stick out as instant “icks” to you in a query?
Replying to @marleywrites

I'm pretty forgiving on queries! A great query will set you apart for me, but a more confusing one isn't a negative so long as I still understand the plot. I would say an active turnoff is when the query bashes on the genre/field

Allegra Martschenko
@AllegraMartsch
Literary Agent
Acq editor @UPColorado | SFF Agent @Ladderbirdlit | Cofounder @Pathsinpub | wearer of many hats 🤠 | opinions mine but I can share
18 MSWL
15 AskAgent
Allegra Martschenko
@AllegraMartsch
Literary Agent
Acq editor @UPColorado | SFF Agent @Ladderbirdlit | Cofounder @Pathsinpub | wearer of many hats 🤠 | opinions mine but I can share
18 MSWL
15 AskAgent

liann is querying 🥲 @li_liannz

@AllegraMartsch Hi Allegra! My query was referred to you by another agent within your agency. I wasn’t sure if I had to do anything on my end?
Replying to @li_liannz

Hi! Nope, you don't need to do anything—it's in my inbox and I'm considering it! If I decide to read the full you will get a message with an update on timelines. Otherwise, assume query response times of 1-2 weeks ☺️

Allegra Martschenko
@AllegraMartsch
Literary Agent
Acq editor @UPColorado | SFF Agent @Ladderbirdlit | Cofounder @Pathsinpub | wearer of many hats 🤠 | opinions mine but I can share
18 MSWL
15 AskAgent

Brandy @MidlifeCreative

@AllegraMartsch How did you get into agenting?
Replying to @MidlifeCreative

It was kind of a natural progression for me—I've been working as a UP editor for a little while now & adore working with authors, but wanted to get a bit more involved with SFF. Agenting gives me the flexibility to focus on author care/advocacy in a new space :)

Allegra Martschenko
@AllegraMartsch
Literary Agent
Acq editor @UPColorado | SFF Agent @Ladderbirdlit | Cofounder @Pathsinpub | wearer of many hats 🤠 | opinions mine but I can share
18 MSWL
15 AskAgent