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Laura Rennert has been with the agency since 1998. She specializes in all categories of children's books, from picture books to young adult. On the adult side, she represents literary-commercial fiction, thrillers, horror, sci-fi/fantasy, speculative fiction, and select historical fiction. Her sweet spot in the market is literary voice and commercial conception. The common threads in the diverse range of projects Laura represents are an original, unexpected point of view, a fresh literary voice, a strong commercial hook—and conflicted characters who win your heart (sometimes against your will).

Laura would love to find:

  • Fantasy, spec fiction, alternate history, and horror; fresh, original, unexpected reimaginings, especially those from less represented traditions or those that play with or reinvent classic or familiar tropes in unexpected ways. Bonus points for fantasy and spec fiction that explore real world issues, with inventive, multi-faceted world building, like SHE WHO BECAME THE SUN, THE MERCY MAKERS, OFF WITH THEIR HEADS, DARKER BY FOUR, and the SCHOLOMANCE trilogy.

  • Retellings in all categories that feel like they’re reinventing the underlying tradition, myth, work to which they allude, (especially 19th century British Lit, Shakespeare, Dante, fairy tales, Asian mythologies). Some examples are Madeline Miller and Mary Renault’s takes on Greco-Roman mythology, Maggie Stiefvater’s THE SCORPIO RACES, Naomi Novik’s SPINNING SILVER. Wildly original reimagining of ‘classics’ in all different traditions (she loves mythology, folklore, fairy tales) in which the story feels like one only the author could tell it. For so many personal reasons, this author is the right person to tell this story.

  • Gothic suspense or thrillers in the vein of MEXICAN GOTHIC, focused on other regions and histories. She’d love one set in Japan.

  • Romantasy that is more romantic fantasy than fantasy romance

  • High concept Rom-Coms that have both a captivating romance and a successful, intriguing idea that drives the story.

  • Sexy historical romance in the vein of the TV show Bridgerton

  • Modern literary or dark academia mystery like A.S. Byatt’s POSSESSION.

  • Thrillers and mysteries with dynamic, unexpected characters; immersive, vivid world building; and rich psychological insights and authenticity like Tana French’s IN THE WOODS; Barry Eisler’s John Rain and Livia Lone series; Jonathan Lethem’s Motherless Brooklyn; and Attica Locke’s THE CUTTING SEASONShe loves thrillers and mysteries based on this principle from Michael Connelly: “The best crime novels are not about how a detective works on a case; they are about how a case works on a detective.”

  • Having lived in Japan on and off for four years, she would love to find a novel having anything to do with Japan or Japanese culture—in any category–like TOKYO EVER AFTER, by Emiko Jean, and FAULT LINES, by Emily Etani.

Laura has a Ph.D. in English Literature and was a faculty member in the English departments of the University of Virginia, Osaka University of Foreign Studies, and Santa Clara University.

Please note: Laura does not accept queries through email. She is closed to picture book queries at this time, with the exception of referrals.

Shelley Parker-Chan's SHE WHO BECAME THE SUN, pitched as Mulan meets the SONG OF ACHILLES, a queer, alt-history re-imagining of the founding emperor of the Ming Dynasty as an iron-willed peasant girl who steals her brother's identity and great fate. Sold at auction for six figures, to Tor/Macmillan.

NYT bestselling author, Catherine Ryan Hyde's SEVEN PERFECT THINGS, about a teenage girl who rescues and raises seven abandoned puppies with the help of a recently widowed man, with unexpected, life-affirming results. Sold in an exclusive high six-figure, three-book deal to Lake Union/Amazon.

NYT bestselling author of CRANK, Ellen Hopkins's CLOSER TO NOWHERE, the story of two cousins Cal, a boy with PTSD, and Hannah, well-liked at school and a competitive gymnast, who are more alike than they realize and the family they both want to save. Sold at auction for six figures to Putnam/PRH.

Lily LaMotte's MEASURING UP, a graphic novel debut in which a Taiwanese girl who immigrates to the U.S. with her family joins a cooking competition to win enough money to bring her beloved Amah to America in time for Amah's 70th birthday. Sold in a pre-empt to Harper Alley/HarperCollins.

Author-illustrator of IN A JAR Deborah Marcero's OUT OF A JAR, in which a young bunny tries to hide his feelings in glass jars until discovering life is more vivid and rich when he sets his emotions free. Sold in an exclusive submission to Putnam Children’s.

Shannon Messenger’s NYT and USA Today Bestselling series KEEPER OF THE LOST CITIES to Disney, with Ben Affleck through his Pearl Street Banner attached to direct and produce, and Affleck and Kate Gritmon adapting the script.

19th-century Brit Lit

Hidden worlds

Secret knowledge


Jasmine Dragon Pearl tea

I’m a genre gal—I love thrillers and works of fantasy, horror, and spec fiction that grapple with real social-political issues. Bonus points if the protagonist is flawed, vulnerable-tough, and morally ambiguous.
“We read books to find out who we are. What other people, real or imaginary, do and think and feel… is an essential guide to our understanding of what we ourselves are and may become.”
— Ursula K. Le Guin
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