Let’s meet agent Victoria Skurnick from the Levine Greenberg Literary Agency. I had the chance to meet Victoria at this summer’s PNWA conference.
Where did Victoria get her start? She attended the University of Wisconsin where she studied PolySci with an emphasis in constitutional law. She spent 20 years as an Editor-in-Chief for The Book-of-the Month Club. An interesting side fact, Victoria has remained living within a 20-mile radius of home since she was born.
What does she acquire? A good mix of both fiction and non-fiction. However, no sci-fi, fantasy or romance. She LOVES literary fiction, mainstream fiction, women’s fiction, humor and narrative non-fiction. About herself she says that her taste is Catholic, though it’s not her religion.
What does she look for in a manuscript/query? Good spelling. She told us that someone once wrote her name as Victoria Skunk. Also, make sure you keep your word count appropriate to your genre.
What will make her turn a manuscript down? She will overlook a little bit of editorial problems, but if the arc is not strong enough or there is not enough definition of character, she’ll say no.
Also, her pet peeve is grammar. If there are a lot of errors she will read the MS, but will take the author less seriously. She told us that bad grammar makes a person seem not too bright.
Also, FYI- she hates the word buttery.
What advice does she give about submitting? She told us to always include a sample of our writing. She said, “I am a reader. I will read it.” But, no attachments include it in the body.
If she requests to see your full MS, send the whole MS as one file, not each chapter as a separate file. She doesn't like it.
How do you submit? No snail mail. Email only. The Levine Greenberg Literary Agency has a very defined set of submission rules. Please read them first http://www.levinegreenberg.com/how-to-submit/. They have a submissions portal on their website. Or, you can email at firstname.lastname@example.org . They are very busy and may not respond personally; however, if they like what they see, they’ll usually get back to you within 3 weeks.