WritingForums.com - Agent Roundtable

  • Agent Roundtable

    came across this roundtable interview featuring some of the industry's sexiest agents and thought i'd share. quotes i found particularly interesting:

    You are all deep inside this world, but so many writers aren't. If you were a beginning writer who lived out in Wisconsin or somewhere and didn't know anybody and you were looking for an agent, how would you do it?
    STEINBERG: I would not worry about looking for an agent. I would work on my writing for a long time. And then when I was finally ready, I would ask everyone I know what they thought I should do.

    MASSIE: I agree with that. I would concentrate on getting published in well-regarded literary magazines and, chances are, agents will come to you.

    RUTMAN: I wouldn't relish the prospect of looking for an agent if I had not come through a program, where a professor can often steer you in some helpful direction. I guess you'd start at the bookstore.
    Where are you finding writers, aside from referrals? Are you reading literary magazines? Are you reading blogs?
    MASSIE: No blogs.

    RUTMAN: Not for fiction.

    STEIN: Hell no.

    RUTMAN: Referrals are about 75 percent of how I find writers.

    MASSIE: A lot of my clients teach in MFA programs, so I get referrals from them. I get referrals from editors. I get referrals from other agents.

    RUTMAN: There's a big range of where referrals come from.

    STEIN: But every now and then there will be something in the slush—and I bet this is true for you guys, too—that's not just well written but is also well researched and shows that the person knows your list and is really appropriate for your list and also has published well.

    MASSIE: And sometimes when I read a short story that I like I'll send an e-mail. "Are you represented?" Once in a blue moon someone's not represented.
    STEIN: I don't even read synopses. Do you guys?

    STEINBERG: I skip right over them. I go to the first page.

    STEIN: I hate synopses. They're terrible.

    RUTMAN: It's hard to write a synopsis well. And when we're talking about literary fiction, it will probably not make or break an agent's interest going into page one. You're not like, "Oh, there's going to be an unexpected plot twist two-thirds of the way through. I'm going to hang in there long enough to find out how that goes."

    Link: Agents and Editors: A Q&A With Four Literary Agents | Poets & Writers
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Agent Roundtable started by strangedaze View original post
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