Writer’s Digest’s Guide to Literary Agents Blog

This excellent blog is dedicated to sharing the latest and greatest instruction and information on literary agents, literary agencies, query letters, submissions, publishing, author platform, book marketing, and more.


Brianna Shrum, How to Make Out

5 Tips for Querying & Choosing a Literary Agent

So you’re in the query trenches. You’ve been gritting your teeth through this process for months, weeks, years, millennia, and suddenly, an e-mail comes in with the golden ticket: OFFER OF REPRESENTATION. The call goes beautifully, you are ready to sign. Then your inbox dings again. And so it begins.        ...

Eric Scott Fischl

7 Things I’ve Learned So Far, by Eric Scott Fischl

“7 Things I’ve Learned So Far” (this installment written by Eric Scott Fischl, author of Dr. Potter’s Medicine Show) is a recurring column where writers at any stage of their career can talk about writing advice and instruction as well as how they possibly got their literary agent—by sharing seven things they’ve learned along their writing...

You're Welcome Universe, Whitney Gardner

Successful Query: Whitney Gardner & You’re Welcome, Universe

This post is part of a series called Successful Queries. It features actual query letter examples to literary agents that were successful for authors. In addition to the query letter, you’ll also see the thoughts from the writer’s literary agent as to why the letter worked. Today’s features debut novelist Whitney Gardner and her...

New Literary Agent Alert: Quressa Robinson of D4EO Literary

Reminder: New literary agents (with this spotlight featuring Quressa Robinson of D4EO Literary) are golden opportunities for new writers because each one is a literary agent who is likely building his or her client list. About Quressa: Quressa Robinson joined the D4EO Literary Agency in 2016 and is actively building her client list. Quressa was an acquiring editor...

Josh Barkan

Breaking In: Josh Barkan

Josh Barkan is the author of Mexico (January 24, 2017; Hogarth/Crown Books), a collection of short stories that capture the beauty, strangeness, and brutality of life in modern Mexico. He’s also published two other books: a novel, Blind Speed, and a collection of stories, Before Hiroshima. His writing has appeared in Esquire and as...

Paul Lucas, agent

Meet the Agent: Paul Lucas, Janklow & Nesbit Associates

Paul Lucas came to Janklow & Nesbit in 2007 not as an agent, but as a paralegal who’d been working in the corporate division of a large law firm. A longtime book lover, he soon gave up legal texts for queried manuscripts, officially donning the agent hat at Janklow in 2011. “I love projects...

GLA News

If you're an agent looking to update your information or an author interested in contributing to the GLA blog or the next edition of the book, contact Cris Freese at cris.freese@fwmedia.com.

Literary Scouts: How to Get Your Book Directly to a Publisher

Note: The following is a guest post from Stephanie Stokes Oliver, an author, editor, and scout for Simon & Schuster’s Atria Books. For more information on Stephanie’s scouting guidelines, see below. You can find her online at stephaniestokesoliver.com. Cheers! You’ve finished your manuscript, and are preparing to begin your search for the perfect agent...

Helen Adams, Zimmermann, Agent, Literary Agency

Meet the Agent: Helen Adams, Zimmermann Literary

Helen Adams (formerly Zimmermann) got her start in publishing more than 20 years ago: first at Random House—where she became Director of Advertising and Promotion—then as Author Events Director for an independent bookseller, where aspiring writers would often ask her how to get published. “I would always say, ‘You need to find an agent,’”...

New Literary Agent Alert: Aimee Ashcraft of Brower Literary

Reminder: New literary agents (with this spotlight featuring Aimee Ashcraft of Brower Literary) are golden opportunities for new writers because each one is a literary agent who is likely building his or her client list. About Aimee: Aimee has always loved books. She loved them so much that as a child, she was often caught sneakily reading Roald Dahl...

7 Literary Agents Seeking Women’s Fiction NOW

Sometimes it’s difficult to pinpoint which agents are open to submissions at any given time. So with that in mind, I’m creating some new vertical lists of agents seeking queries right now, as of early 2017. This list is for women’s fiction. All the agents listed below personally confirmed to me as of early...

New Literary Agent Alert: Shana Kelly of Einstein Literary

Reminder: New literary agents (with this spotlight featuring Shana Kelly of Einstein Literary Management) are golden opportunities for new writers because each one is a literary agent who is likely building his or her client list.     About Shana: Shana started her publishing career in the literary department of the William Morris Agency, where she worked for ten...

6 Tips for Reading Like a Writer

I’m willing to offer this generalization: whatever level we’ve attained in our development as readers, we always lag behind that standard as writers. I’ve never met a good writer who wasn’t also a great reader. The more broadly and deeply we read, the more we recognize excellent writing in its endless guises and the more examples...

38 Query Letter Tips from Literary Agents

(This is Part 2 of a three-part series to kickstart your awesome 2017. Part 1 is a roundup of what to do before you submit, and Part 3 is a list of literary agent pet peeves.) Your first contact with a literary agent is crucial, and the margin for error is slim. Is your...

Collaborating with your Subconscious

Do you want readers to love your protagonist? Or to be inspired by her? A powerful tool for achieving the strong visceral responses you want is outside your conscious mind, but it’s not out of reach. Everything you write, especially a first draft, is a collaboration with another writer: your subconscious. You can micromanage...

Write Short Fiction

The Strategic Use of Short Fiction

The new world of self-publishing options calls to mind the golden age of the pulp magazines. During that era, roughly 1920–1950, writers could earn decent money pounding out stories and novellas for a penny a word. Later, the 1950s boom in mass-market paperbacks provided another source of lettuce for the enterprising author. Production and...