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Community Highlights: Meet Stephanie Hansen of Metamorphosis Literary Agency

Today we’d like to introduce you to Stephanie Hansen.

Hi Stephanie, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself
My pathway looks a bit different than others. It’s not as streamlined as many of my counterparts in the publishing industry. While in school I had to have radiation treatment for a medical illness and that changed my plans. Oddly enough another medical illness which included a close brush with death is what got me back on course. Nothing like waking up in the ICU changed for life can make you carpe diem in quite the same way.

My first step was to research through writing conferences. Then, I worked as an editor for Mind’s Eye Literary magazine. After that, I consulted with Hollywood book & film agent Michele Wallerstein and former Trade Book editor for Prentice-Hall, Inc., and former Editor-in-Chief of Writer’s Digest Books, Carol Cartaino. Finally, I became the Owner, Senior Agent, and Subsidiary Rights Manager for Metamorphosis Literary Agency.

I represent authors with their debut novels and New York Times-bestsellers and have brokered deals with small presses, mid-size publishers, major publishing houses, foreign publishers, audio producers, gaming app companies, and film producers. I hold a master’s degree with a Creative Writing Specialization. Originally looking to help Midwest authors in “flyover states” to garner the attention of major publishing houses, I found camaraderie with multiple agents and editors.

Covid has her missing coffees and lunches with publishers and major house editors and trips to NYC. I am unilaterally deaf with 90 dB tinnitus. I’m dedicated to elevating voices that often go unheard.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
The publishing industry is a very competitive one so there have definitely been challenges along the way. The task of finding the perfect editor for a manuscript is daunting. Not only that but the editor needs to be able to convince everyone at the ed meeting as well.

Then, there’s the magnificent feat of releasing a book in a way and at the right time for the market. Finding that unique voice that is different but somehow fits the mold of what readers expect too is no easy task.

We’ve been impressed with Metamorphosis Literary Agency, but for folks who might not be as familiar, what can you share with them about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Metamorphosis Literary Agency is comprised of a talented team of agents who specialize in a wide variety of book genres. Amy Brewer graduated from Culver-Stockton College with a theater degree because drama, romance, and angst are lifelong passions. Erica Christensen has found a knack for selling subsidiary rights. Jessica Reino has worked for many years as a freelance substantive editor. Katie Salvo is a certified copy editor. Jana Hanson was an intern with Creative Media Agency and The Bent Agency before joining Metamorphosis Literary Agency. Kristina Slater is the newest member of the team.

Our mission is to help authors become traditionally published. We represent well-crafted commercial fiction and nonfiction. Metamorphosis Literary Agency works with authors to ensure that every book is in the best presentable form. Our publishing connections come from numerous conferences, hard work, and genuine care. What sets us apart is that we believe in leaving none of our authors behind.

If you had to, what characteristic of yours would you give the most credit to?
I think perseverance is the most important characteristic of my success. Professionally, I’m able to face rejection after rejection, use feedback and observation to recalculate and keep at it. Personally, I think it’s what helped me survive the fight for my life in ICU and it’s what helps me continue to keep going even with constant 90 dB of ringing in my head 24/7/365. I’ve always been able to get back up and brush off the dirt after being knocked down.

I think compassion is the most important quality to my success. Not only are stories that include compassion better, it just makes life better in general. I’ve found many hidden gems that I’ve been able to sign as clients because I cared about their stories. AND, I’ve had the most success placing these stories with publishers. I’m not sure if my care for their stories bleeds through my queries and editors’ connect or if my perseverance perseveres even more because of compassion.

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Image Credits

Mid-Continent Public Library, Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library, Tiffany Killoren & Better KC of KCTV5, Delacorte Press, Two Lions, Carina Press, HarperCollins, and Sourcebooks

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