PLEASE NOTE: Jennifer is currently only accepting referral inquiries and submissions requested at conferences or online events like #PitMad or #MSWL. Please query other Fuse Literary agents with unsolicited submissions.
Jennifer is an Associate Agent at Fuse Literary acquiring both fiction and non-fiction. She is a lifelong reader, New York native, and experienced member of the publishing industry. Prior to joining Fuse Literary, Jennifer was principal and owner of Penumbra Literary LLC, and served as Of Counsel at The New Press. She has also interned at Zachary Shuster Harmsworth literary agency, was an editorial and publicity intern at Hunter House Publishers (since acquired by Turner Publishing), and editorial intern at Terrain Magazine.
Jennifer obtained her Juris Doctor from Northeastern School of Law in Boston, MA, and a Bachelors of Arts in English Literature from Washington University in St. Louis, with a minor in Legal Studies. Originally a visual arts major turned English major, Jennifer appreciates creativity in all its incarnations. She was also Managing Editor of Student Life, Washington University’s Independent Student Paper and studied comparative literature with Emma Kafalenos while she was an undergraduate.
With a legal background, Jennifer understands the importance of negotiation when securing and retaining author rights. She counsels each client on building or expanding her platform, improving on craft, and works collaboratively with her clients to obtain the best deal for each writer’s creative investment. She believes in building fulfilling and life-long writing careers and is honored to work with her client-writers.
Jennifer is available for legal consultations on a select basis. If you are interested in her legal services, please click here.
Jennifer acquires both fiction and non-fiction. For fiction, Jennifer is seeking literary fiction, commercial fiction, women’s fiction, upmarket fiction, contemporary romance, mature Young Adult, New Adult, suspense/ thriller and select graphic novels (both adult, YA or MG). She is particularly interested in voices from underrepresented and marginalized communities, strong and conflicted female characters, war and post-war fiction, and writers who are adept at creating a developed sense of place. She admires writers who have an ear for dialogue and who are not afraid to take emotional risks.
For non-fiction, Jennifer acquires memoir, narrative non-fiction in the areas of adventure, biography, business, current affairs, medical, history, how-to, pop-culture, psychology, social entrepreneurism, social justice, travel, and lifestyle books (home, design, fashion, food). She believes in creating books that will have a positive impact on the world, and that inform and entertain.
Some of Jennifer’s favorite reads include: The Unwanted by Kien Nguyen, Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer, The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh, Chronology of Water by Lidia Yuknavitch, The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion, Never Let me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro, American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang, The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera, and Word Freak by Stefan Fastis.
Currently Jennifer does not acquire science fiction or fantasy.
For fiction, send the first twenty pages (copy and pasted into e-mail, no attachments) and a query letter. For non-fiction, submit your non-fiction proposal and query letter. Electronic submissions only to email@example.com
Jennifer aims to respond to queries within a 6-8 week timeframe but due to the volume of queries she receives, regrets that she cannot reply individually to each query.
For information on how to write a query letter, read The Short Fuse Guide to Query Letters.
Jennifer’s commitment to bringing marginalized narratives into public consciousness is truly admirable. Too many agents expound on the need for “new voices” and “fresh stories,” only to default to the tried and tested. Jennifer is not about hype, which can quickly become stale, but about heart. She has faith in her authors and in their vision. When I first met Jennifer, I told her I was writing a book that seeks to humanize (rather than medicalize) suicide and creativity. She immediately saw (and appreciated) the potential value of my book to society–as a much needed corrective to the Western tendency to label anything and everything that is deemed problematic. She has since found a home for my book.
– Mike Alvarez, author of The Paradox of Creativity and Suicide (forthcoming)
Sometimes I wonder where I’d be without my agent, Jennifer Chen Tran. Worst case scenario, I’d be holed away up in a drafty attic, churning out pages no one would ever read. Jen dusted off my manuscript, whipped it into shape, and put it into the hands of editors. Without Jen, I was an aspiring fiction writer. With her, I’m a published novelist.
– Rebecca Kelley, author of Broken Homes and Gardens (Blank Slate Press, April 2015)
I’ve been very fortunate to have some great success on Kickstarter and Jennifer reached out to me regarding a book idea she had. Without her inspiration, persistence, and feedback, I probably wouldn’t have written the book, and I wouldn’t have the book deal she secured for me with Berrett-Koehler. The second thing that most impressed me about Jen during the submission process is the sheer amount of effort Jen put into finding the publishers that would be the best match for me and my book. There are tons of publishers out there, so I think this has become a key part of what a good literary agent does, and Jen is excellent at it. When I looked into the publishers she matched me with, I was amazed by how perfectly matched they were for my book. I’m grateful that Jennifer is my literary agent!
– Jamey Stegmaier, author of A Crowdfunder’s Strategy Guide: Build a Better Business by Building Community (Berrett-Koehler, September 2015)