Weronika E. Janczuk serves as a literary agent with the renowned literary agency Janklow & Nesbit.
Weronika is looking to build a targeted list of fiction and non-fiction for young adults and adults. She returned to agenting in August 2018, after years in the non-profit realm (2013-2018), having spent some years in book publishing during her undergrad (2010-2012); during this time, she built a list of award-winning novelists and authors.
She is also the author of The Person Project: A Guide to the Human Person (St. Martin’s/Macmillan, 2020), a work of YA non-fiction for the adult crossover market, as well as forthcoming YA and adult debuts.
Born to Polish parents in Canada, Weronika now lives in NYC. She completed a self-designed B.A. in the philosophy of the human person at NYU in 2013. She also serves as a junior fellow with the University of Notre Dame’s Center for Ethics & Culture, involved in good philosophy, culture, arts, politics, and other talks.
During my first tenure as an agent (2010-2012), prior to an unexpected departure from the industry, my sold book highlights included:
- debut Miserere: An Autumn Tale by Teresa Frohock (Night Shade, 2011), which received a starred review in the Library Journal ★, and was its Science Fiction/Fantasy (SF/F) debut of the month;
- Hypertension and You by international hypertension expert Samuel Mann, MD (Rowman & Littlefield, 2012);
- an anthology of legends from the highway, Trucker Ghost Stories, edited by Annie Wilder (Tor/Macmillan, 2012);
- the first four books of the Craft Sequence by Campbell Award and two-time Hugo Award-nominee Max Gladstone: Three Parts Dead (Tor/Macmillan, 2012), which received a starred review in Publishers Weekly ★, and which the Washington Post called “the best kind of urban fantasy,” NPR “sharp, original, and passionate,” and Patrick Rothfuss, “Stunningly good. Stupefyingly good”; Two Serpents Rise (Tor/Macmillan, 2013), which received a starred review in Publishers Weekly ★; Full Fathom Five (Tor/Macmillan, 2014), which received a starred review in Publishers Weekly ★, and was nominated for the Lambda Award; and Last First Snow (Tor/Macmillan, 2015), which received a starred review in Publishers Weekly ★; and
- debut Sekret by Lindsay Smith (Roaring Brook Press/Macmillan, 2014), which received a starred review in Publishers Weekly ★, and left Printz Honor author Elizabeth Wein “aching.”
My former clients–most of whom sought new agents, given the unexpected nature of my departure–include Scott G.F. Bailey; Teresa Frohock (★); Campbell Award and two-time Hugo Award-nominee Max Gladstone (★); Dawn Kurtagich (★); Samuel Mann, MD; Kathryn Purdie (later a #1 New York Times debut bestseller); Lauren Smith (later a USA Today bestseller and RITA-award finalist); Lindsay Smith (★); and Elliot Wake (★) (later a USA Today bestseller), among others.
(Check them out! They are utterly magnificent!)
You can read a more extended biography and publishing history below.
My name is Weronika, which is Polish for Veronica, the anglicized form. I have always told people to just call me Veronica, given the difficulty and eclecticism of its Polish pronunciation! (In case you’re wondering, here’s the Polish pronunciation for Weronika.) My last name, in Polish, is pronounced Yahn-chu̇k, and in its English/anglicized form, can be pronounced Jan-chuck.
I also go, often, by W., pronounced Vee. Other acceptable nicknames include Dubz and, by extension, Dubzelina, after Cinderella–ella-ella.
Toni Morrison once said, “If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” She captures for me the heart, in some ways, of who I am and why I love this work (writing, editing, and agenting alike): You and I are built for stories. We love to hear them, and tell them, and if we pay close enough attention, can watch our own lives unfold as entirely unique, ever-overlapping fairytales.
W.’s Background in Publishing:
I broke into publishing in 2009, through a high school work-study course that placed me with former acquisitions editor Brian Farrey at Flux/North Star (formerly owned by Llewellyn Wordwide), a small young adult (YA) imprint in Minnesota. There I worked on the lovely Out of the Blue by Holly Schindler, which received a starred review in Booklist ★, and encountered the brilliant novelists A.S. King and Maggie Stiefvater.
I also participated in young adult programming at Minneapolis’ Loft Literary Center, where I first met and appreciated novelist Swati Avasthi, among other writers and the more extended Twin Cities literary community, and served as the editor-in-chief of my high school newspaper my junior and senior years.
I then read for Kathleen Anderson at Anderson Literary Management; Jenny Bent at the Bent Agency; Mary Kole, formerly with the Andrea Brown Literary Agency; and then Bob Diforio, before the opportunity, as of summer 2010, to take on my own clients as a literary agent. I worked with D4EO from 2010-2011, as an undergraduate at NYU.
During this time, I had the supreme joy of encountering dozens to hundreds of fabulous writers, agents, and editors. I was later privileged to have the lovely Hannah Bowman, now an agent with Liza Dawson Associates, and New York Times bestselling novelist Claire Legrand and novelist Kayla Olson as readers of my own. I’ve also had the joy of reading and critiquing off-the-record more beloved writers, reading their gems before publication, including Anne Greenwood Brown (author of Lies Beneath), Sara J. Henry (author of the Anthony Award for Best First Novel-, the Agatha Award for Best First Novel-, and the Mary Higgins Clark Award-winning novel Learning to Swim), Caroline Starr Rose (author of May B.), and K.M. Walton (author of Cracked), among others.
Following the unexpected death of my mother, I moved to an agency housed in NYC, Lynn Franklin Associates (LCF), before I departed the publishing realm altogether in 2012 to make space for my own grieving. While working with Lynn, I supported foreign rights work for authors such as Desmond Tutu and Mary Robinson and received my intro to scouting via the parallel team at Franklin & Siegal.
From 2010-2012, I placed a number of projects (see above, and my ‘Deals’ page), and had the joy of helping launch a number of careers. With my departure, these writers were released from their legally-binding agency agreements.
I returned to re-build a list of talent from the ground up in August 2018, for the long-term, after a six-year stint in the non-profit world. During my time in the non-profit context, I worked on and managed philosophical-educational, cultural, and health programming for organizations with international networks.
W.’s Writing & Reading
I am also a writer, as are many other agents and editors.
To be transparent, and to give you all existential hope: When I was 13, I queried a novel that I wrote during middle school to agents and publishers, and received snail mail rejection letters across the board. It’s all starting to bear fruit, and I gave up an early query for magnificent projects, or hopes for magnificent judgements.
I’m applying my philosophy guru to a non-fiction YA debut called The Person Project: A Guide to the Human Person (St. Martin’s/Macmillan, 2020), a work of YA non-fiction for the adult crossover market. I also am hoping to confirm an adult and YA fiction debut. Crazy, I know, but I write much, and scaffold much for good things.
Find a fiction excerpt here. (You can’t practice too much!) And also a general intro, though the final project differs muchly, to my non-fiction YA in this post here. Amy Einhorn is a rockstar, and I love her edited The Weird Sisters, and the work of St. Martin’s, so much that it hurts.
You can find, among many shorter published pieces, an article on the importance of certain science regarding women’s health around which I wrapped my mind in the non-profit context here; and a book review of Francis Oakley, PhD, president emeritus of Williams College’s memoir here, with more reviews forthcoming.
Agents can’t ever read too many actually published books, of course; I’m currently reading Mary Norris’ Greek to Me: Adventures of the Comma Queen, and hope to review it soon.
Originally from Kitchener, Canada–born to parents who legally migrated from Poland, via Germany–I moved with my family to the USA in 1998 (also legally, of course), and have lived in Wisconsin and Minnesota, where I finished high school (Eagan), and developed a Midwestern flair: I love kind hearts; 10,000 lakes; and driving on long highways with windows down and music ablaze. I have the rare gift of being a tri-citizen (Polish by blood and parentage, Canadian by birth, American by time and choice). Polish was my first language, and I’ve spent much time abroad; I love the international scene, diversity in cultures, and breadth of experience.
My three best friends from high school (the ‘Quad’).
In 2010, I moved to New York City to study at New York Univ.’s Gallatin School. There I finished a self-designed B.A. in the philosophy of the human person (Dec. ’13), which was a degree that answered the question, What is the human person?. Find an incipient intro to the structure of this degree here. During this time I also served on the boards of certain literacy and literary journals. (As an aside–consider checking these out: One of my favorite books from my undergrad is a work of sociology of the same title: What is a Person? by Univ. of Notre Dame scholar Christian Smith. Another, by professor emeritus at McGill Univ. Charles Taylor, is called Sources of the Self: The Making of the Modern Identity.)
Today I remain in NYC, deeply involved in a bunch of literary, academic, service-based, and other circles. This apple of a city has my heart.
In September 2019, I’ll begin a part-time M.A. at Gallatin to continue my philosophy. Given that the college is interdisciplinary in its orientation and structure, I can’t wait to build an extended thesis drawing on advances in philosophy, theology, psychology, neuroscience, and other fields, a follow-up to my undergraduate degree. I’ll give progress updates.
I have an addiction to developing frameworks and projects; have a father and brother who work as computer programmers/engineers, another brother who works as a data analyst, and a mother who was a trained mathematician-turned-engineer before she became a full-time stay-at-home mama; and self-taught myself coding as a child using books about HTML and HTML5 borrowed from the library.
In a very fundamental way, I have come to, over the years, think of myself as an ‘engineer of people-things or human-things,’ such as formation or healing programs, workflow and project management infrastructure contingent upon human/non-programmable elements, books (things about people, things about people’s experiences), and more. I’m the black sheep in an otherwise pure-maths family.
Bring me a Sudoku puzzle, a chess board, and/or a problem to solve, especially a human one, and I shall be happy. I also love Earl Grey tea and lattes, rivers, and pierogi with blueberries.