Reassuringly, the last few years—the last six months in particular—has witnessed a flurry of announcements from publishers or imprints that were established with the aim of amplifying marginalized voices. Here is a list of those formed in the U.S. during or after 2016.Read More
Almost anyone who has spent time in the query trenches knows how challenging it is to capture the attention of a literary agent. Most agents, even new agents eager to build their client list, pass on over 90 percent of the queries they receive. In some cases, the reason is obvious: The agent doesn’t represent the writer’s genre; the writer has written a synopsis rather than a query letter; the agent isn’t accepting queries, at all.
The writer might be doing everything right—researching agents, following submission guidelines, querying only once they have a polished manuscript—but still experience radio silence. Or, maybe they are receiving requests for pages, or feedback from the agent along with the opportunity to resubmit, but an offer of representation just isn’t coming through. If the writing is good or at least shows potential—how else would they have come this far?—shouldn’t this be enough to land an agent? Does the writer’s professionalism count for something? I asked literary agents Linda Camacho and Jennifer March Soloway.Read More
Fortunately, there are writers’ conferences specifically geared toward marginalized writers, some of which are open exclusively to them. Here is a list of diversity-focused writers’ conferences, book fairs and festivals, summits and symposiums, retreats and intensives, expos and other events scheduled for 2019.Read More
Earlier this year, the book publishing world was rocked by stories of unethical behavior by literary agents. On the one hand, this news was disheartening to hear. On the other hand, it opened up a candid discussion on social media about how different agents communicate with their clients and approach the submissions process. This led to a bigger discussion about how to distinguish between an agent who is unfit for the job—and an agent who is fit for the job but a mismatch for a particular client, and vice versa.
These stories made me think about writers who are represented by reputable, successful agents but are quietly contemplating change. If you’re a writer, how do you know if it’s worth the risk of leaving your current agent? Does past representation impede your ability to find a new agent? I asked literary agents John Cusick and Holly Root.Read More
Heart was inspired in part by the metaphor of the heart, which represents both courage and love. “The Greeks thought of the heart as central locus of emotions of soul,” he explained. “Plato thought of it as a sentry, a guard of events that might be detrimental to the body.”Read More