Sarah LaPolla

Sarah LaPolla - Editor

New York, NY, USA

Former Literary Agent with over a decade of publishing experience, specializing in MG, YA, and Adult Fiction.

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Overview

I'm a former literary agent living in New York with over a decade of book publishing experience. I began my career learning the ins and outs at a large, established agency, Curtis Brown, Ltd., and then moved to a boutique agency, Bradford Literary, to grow my own list of amazing MG and YA authors! While starting out in publishing, I also received my MFA in Creative Writing from The New School, where among other things, I learned how to become a better collaborator and editor. (Who knew revision could be so transformative and that receiving and applying editorial advice was a skill in itself? Not me before 2008, apparently!)

I've worked with MG, YA, and Adult fiction authors in a variety of genres, and my authors have received critical acclaim, awards (regional and international), and starred reviews over the years. My main area of expertise is in MG and YA fiction in the following genres: literary, contemporary/realistic, rom-com, science fiction, paranormal/urban fantasy, magical realism, "low"/contemporary fantasy, horror, and mystery/suspense. I love books with unforgettable characters I continue to think about after their story ends. Regardless of 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 wouldn't be the right fit for books villainizing or exploiting those voices.

My approach to editing is to first understand the writer's vision for a project, and help them find the best way to achieve that goal, whether it's through traditional publishing or self-publishing. 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
Young Adult

Work experience

Freelance Editor

Self-employed
January, 2020 – Present (5 months)

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 (11 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

Sarah has 8 reviews

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

Corey Griffin
It's a wonderful opportunity to be able to work with Sarah. She knows the industry and studies the fine details of your work. I hope to be able to work with her again soon.

Corey Griffin, June 2020


Kimberly Christensen
Sarah provided me with solid and actionable suggestions for improving my query package, and took the time to include the thinking behind the suggestions which will serve me well in further revisions. She helped me tighten my opening pages, and I appreciated that she brought an former agent's eye to that process. She's a clear communicator and was responsive to my questions.

Kimberly Christensen, April 2020


Kinsi Grimen
I'd highly recommend working with Sarah. Feedback on my draft was timely, insightful and it was clear she took a personal interest in my project as her advice/thoughts were highly thought out. Prior to hiring Sarah for an editorial assessment, I was in that place where I simply had lost all objectivity re my own draft and felt it too all over the place to make sense of, thankfully I can say I h...
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Kinsi Grimen, April 2020


Nadine V
The feedback Sarah provided on my latest project helped to guide my writing. She pointed things that would help strengthen my characters and overall story plot. I could tell she took the assignment to heart and really spent time on my project. She was professional and prompt in all of her correspondence. When I finish making the changes she suggested, I will definitely hire her again. She was...
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Nadine V, March 2020


Tom B. Night
Sarah critiqued my query letter. Her feedback was insightful and timely, and she was a pleasure to work with. My query letter is much stronger as a result!

Tom B. Night, March 2020

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