Aside from writing, Tessa enjoys working with other writers and helping them achieve their own publication dreams. She began working as an intern for Cyle Young at Hartline Literary in January 2016 and is now an Associate Agent. She works with clients across all genres, however her speciality is in MG, YA, and non-fiction in the general and Christian markets.


Please see Hartline's proposal guidelines for submission info



like me or not.jpg





What kinds of works are you looking to represent?


YA, middle grade, and chapter books, genre fiction, especially romance, love stories, and speculative (sci-fi and fantasy),

easy readers, picture books and board books, non-fiction (parenting, leadership, ministry, and self-help), movie and screen plays


What does a literary agent do?


A literary agent represents authors in the sale of their work to publishers both large and small.


Will you edit my manuscript?


No. If you become my client. we will work diligently through a “polish” process, but if your book needs an edit, it will be your responsibility to contact a professional editor.


What value does an agent provide?


An agent provides insight and knowledge in many of the current publishing trends and changes. Publishing is always changing and it is easy to get left behind the curve. An agent also helps review contracts and represents your manuscript to publishing houses that do not accept unsolicited submissions.


We also mentor authors in building a platform and assist in marketing and promotional efforts.


How do I get you to look at my work?


Submit online here: (it’s free)

I submitted a manuscript and didn’t hear back.


Check your submittable email. It keeps a detailed up-to-the-minute account of each submission. If you haven’t heard anything in over 90 days, please consider your manuscript rejected.


Can I email and ask you the status?


No. I receive hundreds of emails each day. I go through each submission that I receive in order. Please be patient, publishing moves slowly. It’s good to remember that from an agent’s perspective–an impatient prospective client makes a needy client.


Do you take new/unpublished writers?


Yes. I love working with first time authors… but you better be willing to work hard, rewrite, and polish until it’s ready to sell.


Do you consider simultaneous submissions?




Can I submit to more than one agent at-a-time at Hartline?


No. If I think another agent at Hartline will fit your manuscript better, I will pass it on.


Do you offer critiques or feedback?


Not by default. It depends on my workload. My first priority is to my clients. If I have time, or if there is something I like about the work, I will usually try to give some constructive advice. 


You said no. Do you recommend other agents?


No. My focus is on knowing the needs of the publishers.


Do you represent illustrators?


I do not represent commercial or editorial illustrators. I do occasionally represent author/illustrators in the children’s picture book market. I am only interested in professional-level illustrators with a proven track record.


So, how do you make money?


I only get paid if my clients get paid. Hartline receives the industry standard 15% commission on the income received for their work.


I want to self-publish some books. Do you get commission on those too?


No. Self-published books are not covered under our agreement.


I have a publisher/deal already.  How do I submit to you?


You typically want to contact an agent before you get a book deal, but having a contract is exciting news. Please inform me of that in your email and we will work together on it.


Do you represent series?


Yes. I love to pitch a good series.


How long should my actual book be?


Use this list below as a resource; please understand if you fall outside of these suggested word count ranges, you may get a rejection. 


Suggested Genre Word Counts:


Literary / Commercial / Women’s: 80k–110k – Sweet Spot – 100k

Crime Fiction: 90k to 100k

Mysteries / Thrillers / Suspense: 70k–90k

Noir and historical – 80k–90k

Romance: 40k–100k

Regency Romance/Inspirational Romance – 40K+

Romantic Suspense/Paranormal Romance – 40k+

Mainstream romance novels – 70k–100k

Speculative: 75k–125k

Fantasy: 90k–120k ­ Sweet Spot: 95k–100k

Paranormal: 75k–95k

Horror: 80k–100k

Science Fiction: 90k–125k

Historical: 100k–120k – Sweet Spot: 100k

Young Adult Fiction (YA): 50k–80

New Adult Fiction: 60k–85k

Middle Grade: 25k–40k – Sweet Spot: 35k

Picture Books: 50 to 1000 words – Sweet spot: 400–750 words

Novella: 20k–50k

Non-Fiction: 70k–110k

Short Stories: 1000k–10k – Sweet Spot: 3k–8k

Flash Fiction: 100 to 500 words


You turned me down a while back, but I’ve thoroughly revised my work since. Can I try again?


Yes. Document the improvements in your email. Make sure to mention it is a resubmission.


I work in multiple genres.  How do you handle that?


Hartline has agents across all genres. If I can’t help you in a specific genre, one of them may be able to represent you.


How does the submission process work once I have an agent?


Things undoubtedly vary from agency to agency, but Jane wrote all about this on our blog. 


What happens if my manuscript doesn’t find a publisher?


If a book doesn’t sell, you just keep evaluating and asking questions. Why didn’t it sell? Is it the content? Is the market stale? Is the timing wrong? There can be lots of reasons why a book doesn’t sell.


In this scenario you have three options:


  1. Put the manuscript on the shelf and work on something new. You will have grown as a writer and hopefully; your next manuscript will find a publisher at the right time.

  2. Revise and edit to strengthen the proposal and then we resubmit.

  3. Determine if the agent/client relationship is working. Even though you hope they will be career long friendships and business relationships, sometimes these relationships don’t work.


How long does it take from the point I think my work is ready to have a book on the shelves?

Plan on 2-3 years from submission. Remember earlier when I said the industry moved slowly? It can go as quick as 1-2 years, but it all depends on the market.