June 16, 2012

How to Find a Literary Agent

Like Diogenes searching for an honest man, with his lantern lifted day and night in hope, writers are often in search of the perfect literary agent—someone who believes in their work, someone who will be able to sell it to the right publisher.

The process of finding representation is often long and full of rejections. You'll probably receive varying degrees of "form letter" politeness and will get excited by a rejection that actually has a human pen mark on it.

But you can increase your chances for success by doing some homework. Find the agents that are a good match for your genre and your writing style. Learn how to write the best query letter, synopsis, and outline. Have your polished chapter (and book!) ready. Seek some referrals that you can mention to the prospective agent—published writers who will speak to the quality of your work. Seek agents who are early- or mid-career who are actively looking for new clients.

Kimberley Cameron
Another path—the first step made easier—is to meet agents at quality writers' conferences. So, we invite you to the Paris Writers' Workshop on Thursday afternoon, June 28 and meet three committed literary agents. They'll talk about what they look for in manuscripts and in writers, as well as what services they provide after you've signed the contract.

Lorella Belli
Kimberley Cameron of Kimberley Cameron and Associates (Paris and New York), Louise Greenberg of Louise Greenberg Books Ltd (UK), and Lorella Belli of the Lorella Belli Literary Agency (UK) will be discussing the role of the agent, as well as the best ways to capture an agent's attention in this highly competitive world of writing and publishing. Paul Schmidtberger, a writer who has worked with an agent and without, will moderate this information-rich panel discussion.

Louise Greenberg
There are even a few spaces left for an individual consultation, so that you can "pitch" your story (synopsis and some pages of writing). Who knows? You might be successful, as several previous members of PWW have been, in signing with one of the agencies and selling your work to a publisher.

Whatever the outcome, you'll enjoy being part of the Paris Writers' Workshop community—meeting agents and authors and talking with like-minded passionate writers. Join us!

We invite you to any of the afternoon sessions at the Paris Writers' Workshop, from June 25–28. For more information about how to register, click here.

Posted by Meredith Mullins