Finding a Literary Agent

16 May

The mere thought of finding a literary agent already makes me mentally hide under my bed. On the other hand, the thought of actually getting a good agent makes my muse put a gun to my head so I write like my life depends on it, but you know, in a good way. A while back I researched all literary agents in the UK to make a top three for myself, based on the kind of genres they represent. I’m quite the eclectic writer and want to try my hand at a wide range of genres. Why not? The stories that drop by my muse aren’t tied to a label, they just are. And they are also relentless, but again, in a good way.

Anyhow, when I started to slack off a little in the writing cave, I started looking up the website for my number one literary agency to check it out and get myself excited to finish my story. But when I saw the website and the info on the agents, I just wasn’t feeling it. I know I must have checked it out a while back, but I was looking at a lot of websites and focussed more on the genres they represented than their overall vibe. Now that I was actually looking into it and checking out their agents, I realised this wasn’t my number one choice anymore. I just always feel that you have to follow your instincts, especially with something as important as this. I mean, trusting your book with a stranger is quite scary.

So the hunt began again! I sharpened my spear, put some mud on my face and dove into the deep forest of literary agents. And now I’ve found two really good agencies that I’ll be contacting and my writing groove is back too. I guess it goes to show how important it is to research as many agencies as you can and find the right one. Because even though the original first-place agency seemed good on paper, it just didn’t seem to fit when I read more about them. In any case, the internet helps to explore the wonderful world of literary agents in great depth. And the only way to find out if an agent fits is to talk to them and for that I have to finish my story. So, excuse me while I tie my muse to my desk and get back to writing.

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2 Responses to “Finding a Literary Agent”

  1. Andrew Toynbee May 17, 2013 at 11:19 am #

    Don’t limit yourself to just one agency – get hold of a copy of the Artist’s and Writer’s Yearbook and go through it with a highlighter, selecting all the ones who are your-genre-friendly. Then go back and check out the their websites. Some stop taking manuscripts from time to time and you would do well to save yourself the postage. Also note down which agencies accept only paper and which prefer emails.
    Then you can begin. I sent my MS out in batches of five. I set up a spreadsheet of who I sent to, what I sent and when – plus there was a column for when (and if) they replied. I included an SAE, but for those (rude) agencies who don’t bother to tell you who they are when they reply (yes, it DOES happen), I marked the inside of the SAE with a letter of the alphabet that corresponded with their name on the spreadsheet so I’d know who sent it back. This might seem like a lot of work, but I ws able to determine who I still had to chase for a response eight weeks later…
    Looking forward to seeing how you get on. Best of luck! 😀

    • pfeatherstonehaugh May 17, 2013 at 4:01 pm #

      Thanks for the tip! I’ll keep you posted on my wild adventure to becoming a published author. 😀

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