Hannah Orenstein (stalkingagents on QT) has signed with agent Allison Hunter of Janklow & Nesbit Associates.
Believe it or not, I actually worked as a matchmaker for an elite dating service in New York City when I was 21. I couldn't not write about it. How do you pass up an opportunity like that?!
I began my first draft in May 2015, right after graduation, and I felt ready to query agents by July 2016. I signed with my amazing agent, Allison Hunter from Janklow & Nesbit Associates, five weeks later. We did two revisions of the manuscript before going out on submission, and in February 2017, my brilliant editor Kaitlin Olson (at Touchstone, a Simon & Schuster imprint) offered me a deal. I just sent her my final draft two days ago (July 2017).
I wound up with three offers for representation. I really liked each agent and I'm so thrilled to have signed with Allison. Her assistant passed along my query, then asked me for a partial manuscript, and then the full. Allison emailed me late on a Sunday night to offer me representation. (Full disclosure: Almost a year later, I can still recite that email by heart.) We're both in New York, so we met up that week for a drink to discuss her vision for the book. I was blown away that she came prepared with a list of ideas, suggestions, edits, and a dozen editors she wanted to pitch. Allison has worked with so many writers I admire and I immediately knew that she would be the perfect person to represent my writing!
Editing and submitting your book can be even more stressful than querying. Allison has always kept me in the loop, answered my zillions of questions, and calmed me down when I panicked. I love her.
The query process can be stressful, but it will not kill you. I promise. If you're freaking out, just try to stay as busy as possible. Go outside! Hang out with friends! Work on a second book! Don't stare your inbox, willing an email to appear.
I just devoured Katie Heaney's Dear Emma and had to send you an email. My obsession with advice columns stretches back to high school, when I treated E. Jean Carroll's advice column in ELLE like a religion. It wasn't until I moved to New York that I learned about E. Jean's side business running a matchmaking service. I didn't think she'd hire me, since I was still just a college kid, but I was bowled over when she decided to bring me on board. I wasn't confident in my matchmaking skills, but I figured at least I'd get some writing material out of the job. And oh, boy, did I ever.
I have a completed 84,000-word commercial women's fiction manuscript titled Swipe Right for Bliss. It's inspired by my real-life experiences working as a matchmaker for the dating service Tawkify in 2014 (you can read more about my matchmaking adventures at Refinery29). The first 10 pages of my manuscript are below my signature.
Sasha Goldberg, the 22-year-old daughter of a Russian mail-order bride, embarks on a career as a matchmaker for New York City's elite at the dating service Bliss. She trolls for pedigreed catches on Tinder, coaches her clients through rejection and heartbreak, and dishes out dating advice to people twice her age. She hopes her clients find The One — like she did in college with her finance bro boyfriend Jonathan Colton — or else her dwindling income will force her back to her mom's place in New Jersey. But when Sasha discovers that Jonathan is cheating on her, she spirals out of control... and right into the arms of Adam Rubin, the writer with the sexy Southern drawl she had set up with a Bliss client. He's strictly off-limits, but she can't help but fall for him. How will she pursue what's in her heart without jeopardizing her job?
I have more than five years of professional writing experience, including my current position as a features and news writer at Seventeen.com. My work also frequently appears on Cosmopolitan.com, ELLE.com, MarieClaire.com, Refinery29, Bustle, and more. I speak about writing at annual conferences including the Her Campus Conference, the Lady Project Summit, and the Smart Girls Conference. My platform includes 3,000 followers on my personal Twitter (@hannahorens) and 15,000 on my Gossip Girl-inspired parody Twitter (@modern_gg). I studied journalism and history at NYU.
The first 10 pages of my manuscript and a synopsis are below my signature. I can be reached at [redacted] or by phone at [redacted]. Thank you so much for your time!