Thursday, August 1, 2013

2013 Guide to Literary Agents

From the Editor 

Ah, Google. It's quite the game changer, yes? Sure, it can help writers research target agents and markets, but it can also do the reverse. It can allow agents and editors to take a closer look at you before deciding to respond your e-mail or offer you a writing gig.

So WILL agents Google you? And if they will, what exactly are they looking for? That was the question I posed to 8 different literary agents recently. The resulting variety of answers is now a new guest column I wrote for The Write Life. Check out the column and see what agents had to say. Leave a comment while you're there. I'll pick one random commenter after a week and send them a free copy of CREATE YOUR WRITER PLATFORM.

And what's better than one book giveaway? How about a second one? I also recently got interviewed on agent Andrea Hurst's "Authornomics" Blog to discuss all aspects of writing. Pop on over to the interview and learn about how to sell humorous books, common query mistakes, and some secrets to successful blogging.

Comment on either column or both, and I hope you win a free book.

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

Chuck Sambuchino
Editor, 2013 Guide to Literary Agents
Editor, 2013 Children's Writer's & Illustrator's Market
Author, Red Dog / Blue Dog: When Pooches Get Political
Author, How to Survive a Garden Gnome Attack
Author, Create Your Writer Platform
Twitter: @chucksambuchino
Chuck on Facebook
2 New Agents Seeking Writers

These two literary agents below have all been interviewed or profiled on the GLA Blog in the past 2 weeks. Check out their mini-profiles by clicking on their links below, and see if they are a good fit for a query.

1. Beth Campbell of BookEnds, LLC

She is seeking: Beth is particularly interested in seeing romance, cozy mystery, YA, fantasy, science fiction, and women's fiction submissions.

2. Sarah Nego of Corvisiero Literary

She is seeking: "I am only accepting middle grade and young adult fiction manuscripts. I'm open to any genre within those age groups, but prefer speculative fiction. Contemporary is not my favorite, but I will look at it. I am not interested in seeing poetry, novels in verse, short stories/novellas or anything focused on saving the environment (I'm all for recycling, but don't want to represent it)." 
Got a Pressing Question? Submit it to Our WD Column!

Got a question about writing/publishing you want answered? (Who doesn't?)

WD is always looking for good questions on writing/publishing/life for literary agent Barbara Poelle (Irene Goodman Literary) to address in her recurring magazine column, Funny You Should Ask . If you want your question answered with a  splash of humor from a wise literary agent and printed on the pages of WD, see instructions onhow to submit at this blog post here
Let Agent Kate McKean Critique Your Query Letter (Aug. 1Webinar)

It's no secret that a writer's query letter is extremely important in their quest to get a literary agent and get published. Agents evaluate dozens of queries a day, and make requests for more material from the few letters that impress them. They're crucial, and that's why people never get enough articles or advice or samples concerning them. If you're having trouble with your query letter, why not let a literary agent not only instruct you, but also critique your letter, as well? Sounds pretty sweet to me. The agent in question is the awesome Kate McKean, and the webinar is "The Anatomy of a Query Letter" at 1 p.m., EST, Thursday, Aug. 1, 2013. Don't forget that at least 3 agents have signed clients after critiquing their work as part of a WD webinar!


All attendees can turn in their query letter for an agent critique from Kate. This is a big perk! Naturally, if she likes your query, she reserves the right to request more material. Note that at least 3 literary agents have signed clients after seeing their work through a WD webinar.


All Kate's webinar description and info is on the official webinar page. That said, know immediately that Kate will teach you the following in this intensive:
  • Why a query must always strive to be informative.
  • Silly gimmicks to avoid, such as writing the voice of your character.
  • Common mistakes that make an agent send a rejection.
  • Why it's more important to keep it simple rather than strive to pack in too much.
  • How much to say about yourself as well as your plot.
  • How and when your previous publications matter.
  • And much, much more.

Kate McKean is a literary agent at Howard Morhaim Literary. She has taught several very popular webinars for WD before, and represents clients who write fiction and nonfiction.

Learn more and sign up for the webinar!
The Best of 2013! New Evergreen Helpful Articles For Writers

Previously I had always included some 2012 evergreen articles on writing in my newsletter. Well it's finally time for an update (and double-checking that all links work!). Enjoy some of my most popular articles on the craft and business of writing from 2013.

1. What NOT to Do When Beginning Your Novel: Advice from Literary Agents.
2. What to Write in the "Bio" Section of Your Query Letter.
3. Query Letter FAQs: 10 More Questions Answered.
4. How to Support an Author's New Book: 11 Ideas For You.
5. How to Write a Screenplay: 7 Tips For Adapting Your Own Novel.
6. Eight Tips For Writing & Selling to Magazines, Websites and More.

Enjoy the evergreen content and catch up on some helpful stuff from the past six months. 
Tons of Book Giveaways!

Right now, there are tons of guest columns with active giveaway contests on my GLA Blog. Feel free to comment on any or all for an easy chance to win a free book (and learn about writing at the same time).

1. "7 Ways a Writing Career is Like a Theme Park" -- guest column by J.J. Howard, author of THAT TIME I JOINED THE CIRCUS.

2. "My 7 Best Pieces of Writing Advice" -- guest column by Kate Maddison, author of THE INCREDIBLE CHARLOTTE SYCAMORE. (My favorite tip is #3: It's the conflict that keeps readers turning pages.)

3. 6 Simple Keys to Revising Your Fiction -- guest column by Jenni Fagan, author of THE PANOPTICON.

4. (A different) "My 7 Best Pieces of Writing Advice" -- guest column by Kay Kendall, author of DESOLATION ROW. (My favorite tip is #3: Keep note-taking material beside your bed.)

And don't forget about the 2 different contests happening right now that give you a chance to win a copy of CREATE YOUR WRITER PLATFORM. (Details in this newsletter's Editor's Letter section.)
Agent-Conference Opportunities

There are plenty of opportunities for writers to meet agents face to face at writers' conferences and pitch their work in 2013. 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. 

Cape Cod Writers ConferenceAug. 4-9, 2013, Cape Cod, MA
Attending agents: Sorche Fairbank (Fairbank Literary); Miriam Allen (Allen O'Shea); Ann Collette (Rees Literary); and more.

Killer Nashville (Mystery/Crime Writers)Aug. 22-25, 2013, Nashville, TN
Attending agents: Brooks Sherman (FinePrint Literary); Jill Marr (Sandra Dijkstra Literary); Clay Ezell (ICM Partners); and Evan Gregory (Ethan Ellenberg Literary).

American Christian Fiction Writers Conference , Sept. 13-15, 2013, Indianapolis, IN
Attending agents: Chip MacGregor (MacGregor Literary); Karen Ball (Steve Laube Agency); Sandra Bishop (MacGregor Literary); Alice Crider (Wordserve Literary); Rachelle Gardner (Books & Such Literary); Joyce Hart (Hartline Literary); Athena Kern (Natasha Kern Literary); Mary Keeley (Books and Such Literary); Jessica Kirkland (The Blythe Daniel Agency); Mary Sue Seymour and Nicole Resciniti (The Seymour Agency); and more.

Northern Ohio SCBWI Conference
, Sept. 20-21, 2013, Cleveland, OH
Attending agents: Linda Epstein (Jennifer De Chiara Literary); and Karen Grencik (Red Fox Literary).

SCBWI Midsouth Conference, Sept. 20-22, 2013, Franklin, TN
Attending agents: Josh Adams (Adams Literary); and Michael Bourret (Dystel & Goderich).

Montana (Big Sky) SCBWI Conference, Sept. 28-29, 2013, Bozeman, MT.
Attending agents: Tricia Lawrence (Erin Murphy Literary).

Writer's Digest Conference West, Sept. 27-29, 2013, Los Angeles, CA
Attending agents: 15-25 literary agents will be there. Confirmed agents so far include Charlotte Gusay (The Charlotte Gusay Literary Agency); Ken Sherman (Ken Sherman & Associates); Angela Rinaldi (Angela Rinaldi Literary); Susan Finesman (Fine Literary); Paul S. Levine (Paul S. Levine Literary); Dan a Newman (Dana Newman Literary); Annie Bomke (AB Literary); Taylor Martindale (Full Circle Literary); and Steven Hutson (Wordwise Media); Gordon Warnock (Foreword Literary); Terrie Wolf (AKA Literary); and more.

Oklahoma SCBWI "Agents Day," October 5, Chandler, OK
Attending agents: Natalie Fischer Lakosil (Bradford Agency); Danielle Smith (Foreward Literary); and Ann Behar (Scovil Galen Gosh Agency).

Emerald City Writers Conference (RWA)Oct. 18-20, 2013, Bellevue, WA
Attending agents: Courtney Miller-Callihan (Sanford J. Greenberger); Judith Engracia (Liza Dawson Associates); and Sarah Younger (Nancy Yost Agency).

Mid-Atlantic SCBWI Conference, Oct. 25-26, 2013, Sterling, VA
Attending agents: Brooks Sherman (FinePrint Literary); John Cusick (Greenhouse Literary); and Susan Hawk (The Bent Agency).

Missouri SCBWI Conference
Nov. 2-3, 2013, St. Charles, MO
Attending agents: Lori Kilkelly (Rodeen Literary); and Regina Brooks (Serendipity Literary).

Atlanta Writers ConferenceNov. 8-9, Atlanta, GA
Attending agents: Janell Walden Agyeman (Marie Brown Associates); Linda Epstein (Jennifer DeChiara Literary); Kate McKean (Howard Morhaim Literary); Pooja Menon (Kimberly Cameron & Associates); Eric Ruben (The Ruben Agency); Brooks Sherman (FinePrint Literary Management).

San Francisco Writers ConferenceFeb. 13-16, 2013, San Francisco, CA
Attending agents: Andrea Brown (Andrea Brown Literary); Kimberley Cameron and Elizabeth Kracht (Kimberley Cameron and Associates); Lara Perkins (Andrea Brown Literary); Rita Rosenkranz (Rita Rosenkranz Literary); Katharine Sands (Sarah Jane Freymann Literary); and Ken Sherman (Ken Sherman and Associates).
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