Sarah LaPolla

Sarah LaPolla - Editor

New York, NY, USA

Critiques, Big Picture Assessments, & Developmental Editing for MG, YA, & Adult Fiction at all stages!

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Overview

***Currently scheduling full manuscript edits for Summer 2021***

I am a former literary agent with over a decade of book publishing experience. I began my career learning the ins and outs of agenting at Curtis Brown, Ltd., and then moved to a boutique agency, Bradford Literary, to grow my own list of amazing MG and YA authors! I got my start in publishing while working toward my MFA in Creative Writing from The New School, where, in addition to studying craft, I learned how to become a better collaborator and editor.

As an agent, I worked with MG, YA, and Adult fiction in a variety of genres; my authors have received critical acclaim, awards (regional and international), and starred reviews over the years. My area of expertise is in YA and Adult fiction, particularly in the following genres: literary/"upmarket" fiction, contemporary/realistic, rom-com, science fiction, paranormal/urban fantasy, magical realism, "low"/contemporary fantasy, horror, and mystery/suspense.

I'm drawn to books with unforgettable characters who I continue to think about after their story ends. Regardless of market/genre, I love working on stories that offer readers a full emotional experience. For example, finding humor in darkness and understanding pain behind a joke are equally important to me. I like stories that surprise me, characters who surprise themselves, and getting immersed in a world whether it's a faraway land or my own backyard. I'm also a strong advocate for books featuring marginalized, underrepresented voices that challenge the status quo, and I would not be the right fit for books that villainize or exploit those voices.

My approach to editing is to understand the writer's vision for a project and their publishing goals, and help them find the best way to achieve them. No two books or authors are alike, and there is no "one edit letter fits all." I offer a collaborative approach to editing with the goal of teaching writing and revision tips an author can take with them after our work together is over.
Languages
English (US)
Fiction
Contemporary Fiction
Horror
Magical Realism
Middle Grade
Science Fiction
Urban Fantasy
Women's Fiction
Young Adult

Work experience

Freelance Editor

Self-employed
January, 2020 – Present (about 1 year)

I provide developmental and Big Picture edits for MG, YA, and Adult fiction at all stages, and offer query critiques and consulting for writers starting their publishing journeys.

Literary Agent

Bradford Literary Agency
May, 2013 – December, 2019 (over 6 years)

Represented authors of YA fiction, with select MG and Adult projects. I've sold books to Big 5 Publishers, acclaimed mid-sized houses, and small presses, depending on the goals and needs of my clients.

Foreign Rights Assistant & Associate Agent

Curtis Brown, Ltd.
February, 2008 – May, 2013 (about 5 years)

Assisted in foreign rights/translation sales of the agency's extensive catalogue, and worked directly with the agency's co-agents abroad from submission stage to receipt of payments to publication. I began building my own client list as an agent in 2010.

Portfolio (14 selected works)

Lie to Me (Point Paperbacks)

Kaitlin Ward

From the author of the acclaimed novels Girl in a Bad Place and Where She Fell comes a pulse-pounding novel about love, betrayal, and a serial killer.Ever since Amelia woke up in the hospital, recovering from a near-death fall she has no memory of, she's been suspicious. Her friends, family, and doctors insist it was an accident, but Amelia is sure she remembers being pushed. Then another girl... read more

From the author of the acclaimed novels Girl in a Bad Place and Where She Fell comes a pulse-pounding novel about love, betrayal, and a serial killer.Ever since Amelia woke up in the hospital, recovering from a near-death fall she has no memory of, she's been suspicious. Her friends, family, and doctors insist it was an accident, but Amelia is sure she remembers being pushed. Then another girl... read more

The First 7 (The Last 8)

Laura Pohl

The thrilling conclusion to The Last 8 duology that follows the Last Teenagers on Earth as they head home to a now-hostile planet.Clover Martinez and The Last Teenagers on Earth are busy exploring the galaxy after leaving earth behind...even if they can't help but be a little homesick.So when their ship receives a distress signal from their former planet, they hope against hope that it means o... read more

The thrilling conclusion to The Last 8 duology that follows the Last Teenagers on Earth as they head home to a now-hostile planet.Clover Martinez and The Last Teenagers on Earth are busy exploring the galaxy after leaving earth behind...even if they can't help but be a little homesick.So when their ship receives a distress signal from their former planet, they hope against hope that it means o... read more

Let's Call It a Doomsday

Katie Henry

An engrossing and thoughtful contemporary tale that tackles faith, friendship, family, anxiety, and the potential apocalypse from Katie Henry, the acclaimed author of Heretics Anonymous.There are many ways the world could end. A fire. A catastrophic flood. A super eruption that spews lakes of lava. Ellis Kimball has made note of all possible scenarios, and she is prepared for each one.What she... read more

An engrossing and thoughtful contemporary tale that tackles faith, friendship, family, anxiety, and the potential apocalypse from Katie Henry, the acclaimed author of Heretics Anonymous.There are many ways the world could end. A fire. A catastrophic flood. A super eruption that spews lakes of lava. Ellis Kimball has made note of all possible scenarios, and she is prepared for each one.What she... read more

Heretics Anonymous

Katie Henry

* Amazon Best Book of the Month August 2018 * New York Public Library Best Books 2018 * Put an atheist in a strict Catholic school? Expect comedy, chaos, and an Inquisition. The Breakfast Club meets Saved! in debut author Katie Henry’s hilarious novel about a band of misfits who set out to challenge their school, one nun at a time. Perfect for fans of Becky Albertalli and Robyn Schneider. When... read more

* Amazon Best Book of the Month August 2018 * New York Public Library Best Books 2018 * Put an atheist in a strict Catholic school? Expect comedy, chaos, and an Inquisition. The Breakfast Club meets Saved! in debut author Katie Henry’s hilarious novel about a band of misfits who set out to challenge their school, one nun at a time. Perfect for fans of Becky Albertalli and Robyn Schneider. When... read more

Where She Fell

Kaitlin Ward

Watch your step.Eliza knows the legends about the swamp near her house -- that people have fallen into sinkholes, never to be seen again, maybe even falling to the center of the earth. As an aspiring geologist, she knows the last part is impossible. But when her best friends drag her onto the uneven ground anyway, Eliza knows to be worried. And when the earth opens under her feet, there isn't ... read more

Watch your step.Eliza knows the legends about the swamp near her house -- that people have fallen into sinkholes, never to be seen again, maybe even falling to the center of the earth. As an aspiring geologist, she knows the last part is impossible. But when her best friends drag her onto the uneven ground anyway, Eliza knows to be worried. And when the earth opens under her feet, there isn't ... read more

The Last 8

Laura Pohl

Extinction was just the beginning...Clover Martinez has always been a survivor, which is the reason she isn't among the dead when aliens invade and destroy Earth as she knows it. Clover is convinced she's the only one left until she hears a voice on the radio urging her to go to the former Area 51. When she arrives, she's greeted by a band of misfits who call themselves The Last Teenagers on E... read more

Extinction was just the beginning...Clover Martinez has always been a survivor, which is the reason she isn't among the dead when aliens invade and destroy Earth as she knows it. Clover is convinced she's the only one left until she hears a voice on the radio urging her to go to the former Area 51. When she arrives, she's greeted by a band of misfits who call themselves The Last Teenagers on E... read more

Alterations

Stephanie Scott

In this YA retelling of Sabrina set in the glam fashion world, Amelia is whisked off to an amazing New York City fashion internship that changes her life--and quickly finds herself caught between two brothers.A RITA finalist for Best First BookIf anyone saw the prom boards Amelia Blanco makes on her favorite fashion app, they'd think Ethan Laurenti was her boyfriend. They wouldn't know that al... read more

In this YA retelling of Sabrina set in the glam fashion world, Amelia is whisked off to an amazing New York City fashion internship that changes her life--and quickly finds herself caught between two brothers.A RITA finalist for Best First BookIf anyone saw the prom boards Amelia Blanco makes on her favorite fashion app, they'd think Ethan Laurenti was her boyfriend. They wouldn't know that al... read more

Witchtown

Cory Putman Oakes

Enter the gates of Witchtown to find a mischievous coming-of-age story for fans of Alice Hoffman's Practical Magic and the Danielle Paige’s Dorothy Must Die series. When sixteen-year-old Macie O’Sullivan and her masterfully manipulative mother Aubra arrive at the gates of Witchtown—the most famous and mysterious witch-only haven in the world—they have one goal in mind: to rob it for all it’s w... read more

Enter the gates of Witchtown to find a mischievous coming-of-age story for fans of Alice Hoffman's Practical Magic and the Danielle Paige’s Dorothy Must Die series. When sixteen-year-old Macie O’Sullivan and her masterfully manipulative mother Aubra arrive at the gates of Witchtown—the most famous and mysterious witch-only haven in the world—they have one goal in mind: to rob it for all it’s w... read more

Gray Wolf Island

Tracey Neithercott

Right before Sadie died, she begged her sister, Ruby, to do the one thing she could never do herself: Find the treasure on Gray Wolf Island.With just a mysterious treasure map as a guide, Ruby reluctantly allows some friends to join her on the hunt, each of whom is touched by magic: a boy allegedly born to a virgin, a girl who never sleeps, a boy who can foresee his own death, and a boy with d... read more

Right before Sadie died, she begged her sister, Ruby, to do the one thing she could never do herself: Find the treasure on Gray Wolf Island.With just a mysterious treasure map as a guide, Ruby reluctantly allows some friends to join her on the hunt, each of whom is touched by magic: a boy allegedly born to a virgin, a girl who never sleeps, a boy who can foresee his own death, and a boy with d... read more

Dinosaur Boy Saves Mars

Cory Putman Oakes

Dinosaurs, Martians, and mystery, oh my! Fans of Michael Buckley's NERDS and Dan Gutman's Genius Files will love this hilarious, action-packed adventure series. What would life be like if you were part dinosaur?When you're part Stegosaurus life can be a little crazy. (Yes, sleeping with plates is weird. No, dino-human hybrids do not have second brains in their butts.) But Sawyer's life is norm... read more

Dinosaurs, Martians, and mystery, oh my! Fans of Michael Buckley's NERDS and Dan Gutman's Genius Files will love this hilarious, action-packed adventure series. What would life be like if you were part dinosaur?When you're part Stegosaurus life can be a little crazy. (Yes, sleeping with plates is weird. No, dino-human hybrids do not have second brains in their butts.) But Sawyer's life is norm... read more

Twisted Miracles (The Shadowminds Book 1)

A.J. Larrieu

Cass Weatherfield's powers come with a deadly price.Cass knows it was her telekinetic gift that killed a college classmate five years back, even if no one else believes her. She's lived in hiding from her fellow shadowminds ever since, plagued by guilt and suppressing her abilities with sedatives. Until the night her past walks back into her life in the form of sexy Shane Tanner, the ex-boyfri... read more

Cass Weatherfield's powers come with a deadly price.Cass knows it was her telekinetic gift that killed a college classmate five years back, even if no one else believes her. She's lived in hiding from her fellow shadowminds ever since, plagued by guilt and suppressing her abilities with sedatives. Until the night her past walks back into her life in the form of sexy Shane Tanner, the ex-boyfri... read more

The Second-Best Haunted Hotel on Mercer Street

Putman Oakes, Cory, Pica, Jane

When You Look Like Us

Harris, Pamela N.

Sarah has 18 reviews

Professionalism
Professionalism
Quality
Quality
Value
Value
Communication & Punctuality
Communication & Punctuality

Kaylie Tucker
Sarah was great! She really helped me get my query letter to where is needs to be. Highly recommend!

Kaylie Tucker, January 2021


Elise Gallagher
Sarah was a pleasure to work with. I felt stuck with my query letter and didn't know what else to do. Sarah was able to grasp the heart of my novel and turn it into a clear, concise query letter that I felt confident submitting to agents. I highly recommend her and would use her services again.

Elise Gallagher, December 2020


Julie Calidonio
I enjoyed working with Sarah. Entering the publishing waters as a novice is daunting, and I felt her expertise was just the guidance I needed. I found her feedback constructive and insightful, and I know incorporating her comments and perspective has definitely improved my query letter and the first pages of my novel. I also felt she went above and beyond the scope to set me on the right path....
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Julie Calidonio, December 2020


Joe Pandolfi
Sarah was a pleasure to deal with. Her insight and suggestions were invaluable, and she went above and beyond in answering my questions. I would gladly work with her again.

Joe Pandolfi, December 2020


Linda Kelly
Not only was Sarah LaPolla professional and clear in her communications, she was also flexible and sensitive when life threw me a curve ball and I had to alter our timeline. She rolled with it and still delivered the goods on time. More importantly, I was pleased with her tips and suggested edits. Sarah helped shed light on how to make my query letter stronger and helped me to feel more confide...
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Linda Kelly, November 2020

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