Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Guide To Literary Agent

        For ahicks4298@q.comJuly 25, 2012        



2012 Guide to Literary Agents

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Writer's Digest Magazine

Writing Workshops

Live Webinars

Critique Services

It was about two years ago when my wife and I were sitting at a restaurant and she suggested combining about two of my greatest writing interests: politics & dogs. The result of that unexpected date night conversation finally comes to fruition this Monday with the release of my second humor book, RED DOG / BLUE DOG: WHEN POOCHES GET POLITICAL, a humorous photo collection of dogs doing stereotypical liberal and conservative things. I'm so very excited for this week to finally be here! The book's official release date is July 31, but Amazon has already delivered pre-orders and Barnes & Noble locations are slowly getting it in stock.

When you have a book coming out, a big thing you find yourself doing during the book release time frame is little promotional things -- blog interviews, contacting local media members, and spreading the word. If you're interested in learning more about book publicity and promotion, I recently wrote a guest column for Writer Unboxed all about 7 tips on promoting your book. (There's even a giveaway contest with the post. Ssshhh.)


Until next time, good luck writing, agent hunting, and building your platform! 

Chuck Sambuchino

Editor, 2012 Guide to Literary Agents
Editor, 2012 Children's Writer's & Illustrator's Market
Author, Red Dog / Blue Dog: When Pooches Get Political (July 2012)
Author, How to Survive a Garden Gnome Attack
Author, Create Your Writer Platform (Nov. 2012)
Chuck on Facebook

The synopsis is a tricky thing, and writing one is a dreaded endeavor in the writing world. How do you explain all about your story in such a limited amount of space? How do you explain the important story beats and leave out the extraneous material? What's the best way to begin one?

Well, for starters, I suggest you check out a previous column I wrote, giving a few tips on writing a synopsis for a novel or memoir. It's one of my most popular guest columns ever.

If you want more help, perhaps I can be of assistance. This Monday, July 30, 2012, I am offering a special webinar called "Critique Series: Novel Synopses." It's an intensive 90-minute class, and each attendee is guaranteed a comprehensive synopsis critique from me after the event. If you're writing adult fiction, children's fiction or memoir, and can't seem to get your synopsis in order, I can put your work under the microscope and give feedback that will help you on your journey to getting an agent.

Sign up for the synopsis webinar here. Hope to "see" you there!

As usual, there are OODLES of author guest columns on the GLA Blog that include a giveaway contest. It's simple to enter. Just comment on any of the columns (or all!), and a winner is chosen at random for each contest. You can win a contest even if you've won before. 

1. John Verdon, author of the thriller LET THE DEVIL SLEEP, wrote the guest column, "The More You Write For Yourself, The Better Your Book Will Be," and hosts a giveaway.

2. Leah Bobet, author of the novel ABOVE, shares "7 Things I've Learned So Far," and gives away a free book.

3. Julie Klam, best-selling author of YOU HAD ME AT WOOF, is thelatest dog author in my dog author interview series, and she is giving away a free book.

4. Sara Foster, best-selling Australian author of BENEATH THE SHADOWS, wrote the guest column, "Don't Get Rejected Before Agents Even Read a Word," and gives away a free book.

To command the attention of agents, editors and readers, your story must start strong. You must draw the reader in with excellent writing and characters, without relying too much on description or dumping tons of info on readers. The good news is WD has enlisted literary agent Kate McKean (Morhaim Literary) to teach a great new webinar on Thursday, July 26, 2012 called "Awesome First Pages: How to Start Your Story Right." 


All registrants are invited to submit the first 500 words of their novel in advance of the event. All submissions are guaranteed a written critique by literary agent Kate McKean. Kate reserves the right to request more writing from attendees by e-mail following the event, if she deems the writing excellent.

You only get one chance to make a first impression—and that one chance with a reader lasts only minutes. It's no longer acceptable for a book to "get good on page 40." From your first sentence to the first pages of your novel, it's critical to hook readers immediately—whether that reader is an agent, editor, or patron in a bookstore. Not only do you want to quickly pull readers in with your story, you also need to establish your narrative voice as reliable, believable, talented, and authoritative.

So how do you best accomplish this? In this brand new webinar, instructor and literary agent Kate McKean will show you how to catch a reader's eye with your first sentences and pages. After sharing her own best principles, Kate will examine first pages from published books to show you the dos and don'ts of opening your novel/memoir (including: never start with your main character getting out of bed), and the common mistakes that drive agents crazy and stop them from reading the rest of your work. Sign up here.

  • Why it's important to hook the reader from the first sentence
  • Why a prologue may do you more harm than good
  • Common mistakes of first sentences and first pages
  • Overused beginnings and clich├ęs that can drag down a work
  • The benefits and pitfalls of starting with action
  • How to hone the compelling details of your initial story set up
  • How writing awesome first pages is simpler than you think. Sign up here.
Kate McKean is a literary agent at the Howard Morhaim Literary Agency in Brooklyn, NY, where she has agented for 6 years. She earned her Master's in Fiction Writing at the University of Southern Mississippi before starting her publishing career, and enjoys both the creative and business aspects of her job. Her clients include the New York Times bestselling humor book I CAN HAS CHEEZBURGER?, YA and Adult fantasy writer Delilah S. Dawson, and blogger, designer, and creativity expert Noah Scalin. She is most interested in contemporary women's fiction, middle grade and young adult fiction of all stripes, craft, sports, and pop culture.

Sign up here.

Sneak a peek at the GLA Blog often, because I post an announcement of a new agent seeking writers about once a week, and said new reps are golden opportunities for writers seeking an agent. Here are the most recent two alerts. A new alert is coming within days!

1. Jennie Goloboy of Red Sofa Literary

She is seeking: History–must have a commercial (non-academic) focus; early American history is preferred, but will consider all projects. Biography–no personal memoirs. Genre Fiction–science fiction/fantasy or paranormal, especially with a literary flair. young adult and middle grade fiction, especially science fiction/fantasy.

2. Brenna Barr of Dystel & Goderich Literary Management

She is seeking: Brenna is attracted to true crime/adventure, the occult, humor, historical pop culture, and social issues. Regarding fiction, she is enthusiastic about graphic novels, steampunk, and alternative literature. Having recently been diagnosed with multiple food intolerances, she's also interested in cookbooks that take these issues into account.

Besides an author website, many writers build their platform, visibility and circle of friends through blogging. If blogging is up your alley, check out these blog-related columns online.

(Note: To open these in a new window and not close this newsletter, remember you can always right click and choose "Open in a New Window.")

1. So You Have a Blog -- Now What?

2. Create a Breakout Blog and Build Your Platform

3. How to Backup Your Blog and Save Content

There are plenty of opportunities for writers to meet agents face to face at writers' conferences and pitch their work in 2012. Remember: Meeting agents in person is a great way to get past the slush pile. If an agent is interested in your work and requests a sample or book proposal, you can write "Requested Material" on your submission, making sure it gets a fair read and consideration.

Know that there are two types of conferences. There are general writers' conferences, that address a variety of subjects, and then there are specialized conferences, which usually tend to focus on a single genre—such as western, romance, or mystery. You will find both kinds in this list below.

Midwest Writers WorkshopJuly 26-28, Muncie, IN
     Attending agents: Kathleen Ortiz (Nancy Coffey Literary); Brooks Sherman (FinePrint Literary); J.L. Stermer (NS Bienstock); and Sarah LaPolla (Curtis Brown).

Mendocino Coast Writers ConferenceJuly 26-28, Fort Bragg, CA.
    Attending agents: Elizabeth Pomada and Michael Larsen (Larsen-Pomada Literary Agents); and Gordon Warnock (Andrea Hurst Literary Management).

Killer Nashville (MWA)Aug. 23-26, Nashville, TN
    Attending agents: Jill Marr (Sandra Dijkstra Literary); Holly McClure (Sullivan Maxx Literary); and Nicole Resciniti (The Seymour Agency).

Chicago Writers Conference, Sept. 14-16, Chicago, IL
   Attending agents: Jennifer Mattson (Andrea Brown Literary); Danielle Egan-Miller and Joanna Mackenzie (Browne & Miller); and more to be announced.

Northern Ohio SCBWI Conference (Children's Writers), Sept. 21-22, Cleveland OH
    Attending agents: Tina Wexler (ICM Partners); Quinlan Lee (Adams Literary); as well as a few acquiring editors from houses.

Writer's Digest WEST ConferenceOct. 19-21, Los Angeles, CA
   Attending agents: Mary Kole (Movable Type Management); Sara Sciuto (Full Circle Literary); Ken Sherman (Ken Sherman & Associates); Jamie Weiss Chilton and Jen Rofe (both Andrea Brown Literary); Dana Newman (Newman Literary); Paul S. Levine and Loren Grossman (Paul S. Levine Literary); Thao Le (Sandra Dijkstra Literary); and more as the months go on.

Pet Writing ConferenceFeb. 9, 2013, New York, NY
   Attending agents: Several TBD.

San Francisco Writers ConferenceFeb. 14-17, 2013, San Francisco, CA
   Attending agents: Kimberley Cameron (Kimberley Cameron & Associates); Verna Dreisbach (Dreisbach Literary); Mandy Hubbard (D4EO Literary); Michael Larsen (Larsen/Pomada); Taylor Martindale (Full Circle Literary); Jill Marsal (Marsal-Lyon Literary); Laurie McLean (Larsen/Pomada); Elizabeth Pomada (Larsen/Pomada); Katharine Sands (Sarah Jane Freymann Agency); Ken Sherman (Ken Sherman and Associates); Nephele Tempest (The Knight Agency); Gordon Warnock (Andrea Hurst & Associates); and Ted Weinstein (Weinstein Literary)