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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: agent search, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 7 of 7
1. take the “am I ready for an agent?” quiz

Photo by Vicky Lorencen

Photo by Vicky Lorencen

You’ve seen those wedding dress shows, right? A bride-to-be goes on a chiffon frenzied quest for the perfect gown while a group of her BFFs sit semi-circled in the salon, waiting to boo-hoo or just boo over her selection. Once in a while, though, the hunter is simply a bride-wanna-be who is willing to throw gobs of moola at a dress, despite her groomlessness. To me, that seems sad, desperate, and at the very least, poorly timed.

When it comes to writers in search of an agent, sometimes it’s really not that different. There’s a time to focus solely on craft, to learning about the industry, reading and networking. But, if this has not yet resulted in a solid, polished product to sell, why would you spend time looking for an agent to represent you?

Let’s say, however, maybe you’re like me, and you’ve been polishing, learning and preparing for quite a spell and you’re wondering if seeking an agent would be a wise next step.Take this quiz to help you decide if you’re agent-ready:

True or False?

____I have at least one thoroughly polished, market-ready manuscript and more in progress.

____I am an active member of a professional organization for writers, such as SCBWI, and follow industry-related blogs, tweets and newsletters to stay current.

____I have a good understanding of the inner-workings of the children’s publishing industry (e.g., the role of publishers, editors, agents, reviewers and authors, the editorial and submission process, how a manuscript becomes a published book, etc.).

____I have sold articles or stories to respected children’s magazines, such as Highlights for Children and/or perhaps even come close to selling a book to a traditional publisher on my own.

____I am actively building a platform via my own web site or blog, as well as social media.

____I am a member of a critique group and/or have a critique partner and/or have received professional critiques from agents or editors.

____I have gone from receiving unsigned form rejection letters to more of the “champagne” variety (personalized notes or letters offering a specific explanation as to why the editor chose to pass on my submission or perhaps offering constructive feedback or an invitation to submit more in the future).

____I understand the role and benefits of an agent, as well as my role as a client.

____I have compiled a list of the qualities and qualifications I am seeking in an agent.

____I have done marketing research to determine where my book fits in the current market and what makes it stand out from similar works. I can explain this in my “elevator pitch” (and I know what an elevator pitch is!)

____I am prepared and enthusiastic to shift from solo writer mode into the role of a professional with a business partner (an agent) so that I can pursue all aspects of a writing career.

____I understand agents, while amazing, do not possess supernatural powers and cannot be expected to read minds, make me stinking rich or fulfill every literary success fantasy I can conjure.

How’d you do?

If you answered with 10 or more “True” responses, consider seeking a literary agent to represent you.

If you answered with 6 to 9 “True” responses, you’re getting closer!

If you answered with 5 or fewer “True” responses, that’s okay. Keep writing, seeking feedback, and using this list as a guide to help prepare yourself to become agent material.

Photo by Vicky Lorencen

Photo by Vicky Lorencen

All things are ready, if our mind be so. ~ William Shakespeare, Henry V

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2. LeeAnne Joseph, Third Place Winner, Summer 2013 Flash Fiction Contest

LeeAnne Joseph grew up a stone’s throw from Seaside Heights and was deeply influenced by the brash and nihilistic fairyland of her childhood haunt. She is heartbroken by the destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy, and recent fire, and wishes the Jersey Shore a full recovery so that it may continue to capture the public imagination and serve as a home, livelihood, and playground for all those in the Garden State, and beyond.

LeeAnne wants her readers to know that she is thrilled that “Geepus” has made the WOW! Top Ten and that this flash fiction is a preview of her dystopian dark comedy to be completed by Summer 2014. (Muffin readers, you can read LeeAnne's award winning story by clicking right here.) If any agents out there would like to learn more about Beck Carter and her evil GPS, LeeAnne would be glad to oblige.

When the author isn’t secretly writing stories and poetry, she serves as an Energy Policy wonk who writes respectable things like conference presentations, public relations copy, and super-cheesy environmental ads with baby ducks and terrible puns.

Again, she thanks the wonderful WOW! readers and judges whose lit-love keeps her motivated even on the dreariest autumn days in the Pacific Northwest!

WOW: Congratulations, LeeAnne, in winning third place in the WOW! Flash Fiction contest. What made you want to enter your story, "Geepus," in the contest?

LeeAnne: Hmmm. I suppose I was inspired by the neurotic potpourri that intoxicates many writers, a heady blend of boredom, validation-seeking, guerrilla test marketing, masochism, and a touch of schmaltzy greeting-card-esque hope. I had a good feeling about "Geepus" and wanted to see if others felt the same way. It makes me truly happy to see that it was well-received.

WOW: Your story is wonderfully funny (great last line!), and in your bio, it states, "This flash fiction is a preview of her dystopian dark comedy to be completed by Summer 2014." Can you tell us a little more about the novel-length work?

LeeAnne: Thanks for the kind words—truly! I’m so glad you liked the last line. My husband and I actually debated whether adding “smart ass machine” at the end was overkill. Glad I kept it there!

My novel Geepus is a dystopian parody, the bastard child of Ghost World and Brave New World with a snarky dose of 1984 added in to lighten the mood. It follows Beck, a teenage journalism drop-out who would have been the height of alt-rock, badass coolness in the 90s. In the 2045 Surveillance State, she’s considered dangerous and out of line. Beck skulks around her family’s vacant farm and tries to “rage against the machine.” She soon finds herself sucked head first into a world of skeevy reality stars, crooked cops, perky anarchists, scary psych exams, and a post-apocalyptic Seaside run by a woman who suspiciously resembles Snookie. Oh, right—

Beck’s also pretty sure her State mandated GPS is trying to kill her…

WOW: Sounds very intriguing! What made you want to write dystopian and/or comedy?

LeeAnne: It’s only now occurring to me that I wrote a comedy. I mean, yeah, I use the label, but honestly the book just came to m,e and I wrote from my heart—which is troubling if you think about it. It means deep down, I am a dark, cynical lady.

As for the dystopia—a colleague and I were driving to a conference, and the GPS kept giving us bad directions. Finally it told us to “pull to the side of the highway and proceed to our destination.” It sounded ominous. Shortly after that, my Geepus struck again and drove me in circle through this tiny town nestled in the Cascade Mountains. It was about 11pm, and no one was on the streets. It was creepy as hell, and I am not kidding, I turned on the radio and the old song “Flying Dutchman” came on the air. So that inspired the evil GPS. From there, it was just a matter of deciding what genre worked best. Dystopia seemed like a good fit, especially if you pay too much attention to the news…

WOW: Maybe it is time for you to get a new GPS! (smiles) How do you manage the balance between your full-time job writing "respectable things" and your love for writing poetry and fiction?

LeeAnne: I have no choice, really. Words are my oxygen. I write for business because I can use my words to affect change and convince others to enact good policy that helps the environment. I write at home, curled up in bed with my laptop to detangle all the hopes, frustrations, and snarky thoughts lurking around my brain. That way, I can be the calm, seemingly perky and optimistic go-getter I look like to the untrained eye.

WOW: Writing is saving your personality, then! (laughs) Your bio sounds like you are possibly on the search for an agent? What's this process been like?

LeeAnne: Truth be told, I haven’t sought one out yet. I want to get my novel looking its Sunday best. That means, I’ll add in a little more glue and duct tape before I send it out to prospective agents. In the meantime, I’ve had a lot of peer-review on several critique sites (more test marketing) and have had an editor work with me on the first two chapters to weed out any particularly annoying habits I might have. I had an ellipsis exorcism performed that makes the piece a great deal more enjoyable. That said, by Summer/Fall, I will likely start pursuing agents in earnest. Of course, if someone approached me sooner, I would gladly speed up the process. I’m in this to win this, man.

WOW: Those ellipsis can often be hard to get rid of! Any words of encouragement for writers reading this interview?

LeeAnne: Finding your voice as a writer is one of the most magical feelings in the world. It takes time; but if you listen very carefully, you’ll hear the little throb inside your gut that whispers to you as you drift off to sleep. That’s the voice that you have to harness. Once you do, the words come so much easier. So as they say in Finding Nemo, “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming.” (It helps if you picture that in a sing-song voice). Seriously though, treat your words as an extension of yourself, keep building, keep growing. If you do, you’ll have something beautiful to show for it.

WOW: Thanks, LeeAnne, for the fun interview.  Best of luck to you in your agent search and with your future works! 

0 Comments on LeeAnne Joseph, Third Place Winner, Summer 2013 Flash Fiction Contest as of 3/10/2014 6:16:00 AM
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3. The Answers: Publication, My Agent, and Dreams vs. Reality

I'd love to know more about your road to publication and how you found your agent.
I started writing in earnest almost thirteen years ago. This was before blogging and Facebook and critique groups on-line (at least that I knew of). I did a lot of stumbling around for years, learning through my mistakes, from the how-to guides I found at the library, and from the middle-grade novels I read and shared with my students.

During those years I'd faithfully send out queries to publishers who accepted unsolicited manuscripts. Most of the time my work would be an exclusive submission, and I would wait month after month for those rejections to come. I can still remember anticipating the mail, the surge of hope that accompanied every SASE in the mailbox, and the frustration that after months and sometimes years on submission, the answer was always no.

Because children's authors can still get published without an agent, I never consistently pursued one until 2009. I had just decided to stop teaching and try out writing full time, without a book deal, agent, or lead of any sort (yes, really). I queried a number of books to a number of agents, trying to match my books to each agent's preferences and got a good number of requests for fulls and partials. My strongest piece, this little verse novel thing, was one I only sent to a select few because honestly, who would want to represent a quiet literary historical for kids? 

After a few months of this, I decided I had to shop my best work. Whether is was salable or not, it was what I believed in, and I hoped it would attract someone who could see beyond its non-flashy surface to the story beneath. With my focus just on MAY B., more agents responded, and long story short, I signed with the super-wonderful Michelle Humphrey, who had just the right combination of risk, enthusiasm, and hard work to sell MAY B. at auction. 

I found Michelle through Chuck Sambuchino's Guide to Literary Agents blog. By the time I signed with her, I had received seventy-five agent rejections and over two hundred editor rejections over eleven years.

How is the reality of achieving your dream different than the dream itself?
The reality is one hundred times better. It's harder, too, but in a really, really good way. I've learned so much about writing this past year. Going through the revision process has been like going back to school, except this time around I've got the advantage of having my instructor's undivided attention, interest, and commitment. Even that rough patch, when my book was homeless for a few weeks, as

14 Comments on The Answers: Publication, My Agent, and Dreams vs. Reality, last added: 4/22/2011
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4. lonely...broken vow...

hei...I`m new comers ,my name maria goretti and just call me tjee,it`s my nick name,I`m 23 years old,and still single,I`m from Indonesia, I`m starting to making artwerk,I hope by join this group I can have many friend in the same hobby,u can visit my blog at maritjee.blogspot.com. or my Friendster in [email protected] and email at [email protected] or [email protected]!!!

0 Comments on lonely...broken vow... as of 9/28/2007 10:12:00 PM
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5. What Should I Expect of My Agent?

Stop by Moonrat's to find out!

4 Comments on What Should I Expect of My Agent?, last added: 12/9/2009
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6. Link Day

Check out this fabulous  promotional how to: An Incident We'd Rather Not Dicuss -- Your Bossy Self-Marketing Timeline Part I and Part II

Here's my Guide to Literary Agents' Blog article: How I Found My Agent

Have a great day!

6 Comments on Link Day, last added: 6/3/2010
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7. Sweet and Sour Things

After six weeks of starving - according to reports on the high street, local sweet and cake shops are in danger of closing down due to CateDeflation - I've dropped a dress size. Go me! And how do I celebrate, I go out and buy the prettiest cupcake baking book in the world. Fail. Deciding I need to hide the offending book, I've secreted it somewhere I visit daily. Double Fail.

Though it does help that I can't bake, cook, have even been known to fail at sandwiches. Goddess I may be, domestic never. Erm... Okay, I kind of fail at goddess too, but I'm certain the rejection gods worship me.

Received a partial rejection for Grim Glass Vein today - form, no hints. For about half an hour I went through the wailing phase: Oh, I'll never be good enough; I stink (sniffs armpits); My novel stinks (sniffs paper); I should give up, it's never going to happen; If you haven't cracked it in twenty years; Blah; Blah; Blah. And then I picked myself up (yay, for not being as heavy), continued working on Theatre and got over it. As I said on twitter:

Goodness, I've just bounced back from a rejection so fast, I met myself in the down lane and pinged right on past.

I want this, so I guess I'll keep fighting.

17 Comments on Sweet and Sour Things, last added: 6/11/2010
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