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How I Got My Agent Columns

How to find a literary agent — hear stories from published authors as to how they came to sign with their agents.

How I Got My Agent: Tracy Solheim, Author of GAME ON

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“How I Got My Agent” is a recurring feature on the Guide to Literary Agents Blog, with this installment featuring Tracy Solheim, author of GAME ON. These columns are great ways for you to learn how to find a literary agent. Some tales are of long roads and many setbacks, while others are of good luck and quick signings. Tracy’s agent is Melissa Jeglinski of The Knight Agency.

GIVEAWAY: Tracy is excited to give away a free copy of her novel to a random commenter. Comment within 2 weeks; winners must live in Canada/US to receive the book by mail. You can win a blog contest even if you’ve won before. (UPDATE: oldestgenxer won.) Read more

How I Got My Agent: Elizabeth Huergo, Author of THE DEATH OF FIDEL PEREZ

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“How I Got My Agent” is a recurring feature on the Guide to Literary Agents Blog, with this installment featuring Elizabeth Huergo, author of THE DEATH OF FIDEL PEREZ. These columns are great ways for you to learn how to find a literary agent. Some tales are of long roads and many setbacks, while others are of good luck and quick signings.

GIVEAWAY: Elizabeth is excited to give away a free copy of her novel to a random commenter. Comment within 2 weeks; winners must live in Canada/US to receive the book by mail. You can win a blog contest even if you’ve won before. (UPDATE: wisetraveler13 won.) Read more

How I Got My Agent: Richard Ellis Preston, Author of ROMULUS BUCKLE

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“How I Got My Agent” is a recurring feature on the Guide to Literary Agents Blog, with this installment featuring Richard Ellis Preston, author of ROMULUS BUCKLE & THE CITY OF FOUNDERS. These columns are great ways for you to learn how to find a literary agent. Some tales are of long roads and many setbacks, while others are of good luck and quick signings.

GIVEAWAY: Richard is excited to give away a free copy of his novel to a random commenter. Comment within 2 weeks; winners must live in Canada/US to receive the book by mail. You can win a blog contest even if you’ve won before. (UPDATE: DanielJayBerg won.) Read more

How I Got My Agent: Monica Wesolowska, Author of HOLDING SILVAN

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“How I Got My Agent” is a recurring feature on the Guide to Literary Agents Blog, with this installment featuring Monica Wesolowska, author of HOLDING SILVAN [a memoir]. These columns are great ways for you to learn how to find a literary agent.

GIVEAWAY: Monica is excited to give away a free copy of her book to a random commenter. Comment within 2 weeks; winners must live in Canada/US to receive the book by mail. You can win a blog contest even if you’ve won before. (UPDATE: PGreene34 won.) Read more

How I Got My Agent: Rachel Coker

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“How I Got My Agent” is a recurring feature on the Guide to Literary Agents Blog, with this installment featuring RACHEL COKER, author of the novel INTERRUPTED. These columns are great ways for you to learn how to find a literary agent. Some tales are of long roads and many setbacks, while others are of good luck and quick signings.

GIVEAWAY: Rachel is excited to give away a free copy of her novel to a random commenter. Comment within 2 weeks; winners must live in Canada/US to receive the book by mail. You can win a blog contest even if you’ve won before. (UPDATE: sarahgene618 won.) Read more

How I Got My Agent: Brian McClellan

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“How I Got My Agent” is a recurring feature on the Guide to Literary Agents Blog, with this installment featuring Brian McClellan, author of PROMISE OF BLOOD: Book One of the Powder Mage Trilogy. These columns are great ways for you to learn how to find a literary agent. Some tales are of long roads and many setbacks, while others are of good luck and quick signings.

GIVEAWAY: Brian is excited to give away a free copy of his novel to a random commenter. Comment within 2 weeks; winners must live in Canada/US to receive the book by mail. You can win a blog contest even if you’ve won before. (UPDATE: burrowswrite won.) Read more

How I Got My Agent: J. Kent Messum

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“How I Got My Agent” is a recurring feature on the Guide to Literary Agents Blog, with this installment featuring J. Kent Messum, author of BAIT, a novel. These columns are great ways for you to learn how to find a literary agent. Some tales are of long roads and many setbacks, while others are of good luck and quick signings. If you have a literary agent and would be interested in writing a short guest column for this GLA blog, e-mail me at literaryagent@fwmedia.com and we’ll talk specifics.

GIVEAWAY: J. Kent is excited to give away a free copy of his novel to a random commenter. Comment within 2 weeks; winners must live in Canada/US to receive the book by mail. You can win a blog contest even if you’ve won before. (UPDATE: Glenn027 won.) Read more

How I Got My Agent: Lee Kelly

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“How I Got My Agent” is a recurring feature on the Guide to Literary Agents Blog, with this installment featuring Lee Kelly, author of MANHATTAN SAVAGES (2015, Simon & Schuster). These columns are great ways for you to learn how to find a literary agent. Some tales are of long roads and many setbacks, while others are of good luck and quick signings.

This installment from Lee Kelly is the story of how she found her literary agent, Adriann Ranta (Wolf Literary Services) and got a two-book deal at auction. Read more

How I Got My Agent: Wm. Luke Everest

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Ever since I could read, I’ve tried telling stories.

“Write a little every day, without hope and without despair,” wrote Karen Blixen. I was given this quote by my mentor, Scott Bradfield, on the first day of my MA. He stood over the seminar room, scrawled this on the whiteboard and said it was the most important piece of writing advice we’d ever receive. I disagreed with the entire quote save three words: “write every day.” Read more

My First 400 Queries Were Rejected: How I Persevered and Got an Agent & Book Deal

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Before I learned to ride my own motorcycle, I rode a hundred thousand miles on the back of my husband’s. I’d prop a book on his back and read during the boring stretches. One day, outside Kernville, California, a dog ran in front of the bike. After a gut-clenching scare, he trotted back the way he came. But it gave me a germ of an idea for a story that wouldn’t leave me alone.

I debated for over a year. Who was I to write a book? Authors were way smarter than I. One day, while staring at a blank Word doc, I looked down. Hey, I had a ‘delete’ key! I could write the book, and no one would ever have to see it. So that’s what I did. But a year and a half later, when I finished, I had a new goal. I wanted to hold a book in my hand with my name on the cover.

So I sent queries to agents — 170 of them. I had a few requests for full manuscripts, but ultimately, everyone turned me down. Read more

How I Got My Agent: Amy Gail Hansen

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“How I Got My Agent” is a recurring feature on the Guide to Literary Agents Blog, with this installment featuring Amy Gail Hansen, author of THE BUTTERFLY SISTER. These columns are great ways for you to learn how to find a literary agent. Some tales are of long roads and many setbacks, while others are of good luck and quick signings. Amy’s literary agent is Elisabeth Weed of Weed Literary.

GIVEAWAY: Kami is excited to give away a free copy of her novel to a random commenter. Comment within 2 weeks; winners must live in Canada/US to receive the book by mail. You can win a blog contest even if you’ve won before. (UPDATE: Debbie won.) Read more

How I Got My Agent: Natasha Yim

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“How I Got My Agent” is a recurring feature on the Guide to Literary Agents Blog, with this installment featuring Natasha Yim, author of pictures books, including SACAJAWEA OF THE SHOSHONE. These columns are great ways for you to learn how to find a literary agent. Some tales are of long roads and many setbacks, while others are of good luck and quick signings.

GIVEAWAY: Natasha is excited to give away a free copy of her picture book to a random commenter. Comment within 2 weeks; winners must live in Canada/US to receive the book by mail. You can win a blog contest even if you’ve won before. (UPDATE: burrowswrite won.) Read more

How I Got My Agent: Kerri Majors

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“How I Got My Agent” is a recurring feature on the Guide to Literary Agents Blog, with this installment featuring Kerri Majors, author of THIS IS NOT A WRITING MANUAL. These columns are great ways for you to learn how to find a literary agent. Some tales are of long roads and many setbacks, while others are of good luck and quick signings.

Kerri’s agent is Penn Whaling of the Ann Rittenberg Literary Agency. Read more

How I Got My Agent: Lori Roy

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“How I Got My Agent” is a recurring feature on the Guide to Literary Agents Blog, with this installment featuring Lori Roy, author of BENT ROAD and UNTIL SHE COMES AROUND. These columns are great ways for you to learn how to find a literary agent. Some tales are of long roads and many setbacks, while others are of good luck and quick signings.

Lori Roy is an award-winning novelist who signed with literary agent Jenny Bent of Bent Literary. Read more

How I Got My Agent: Taylor Jenkins Reid

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“How I Got My Agent” is a recurring feature on the Guide to Literary Agents Blog, with this installment featuring Taylor Jenkins Reid, author of the 2013 debut novel, FOREVER, INTERRUPTED. These columns are great ways for you to learn how to find a literary agent. Some tales are of long roads and many setbacks, while others are of good luck and quick signings.

GIVEAWAY: Taylor is excited to give away a free copy of her novel to a random commenter. Comment within 2 weeks; winners must live in Canada/US to receive the book by mail. You can win a blog contest even if you’ve won before. (UPDATE: ashbporter won.) Read more

How I Got My Agent: Jolina Petersheim

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“How I Got My Agent” is a recurring feature on the Guide to Literary Agents Blog, with this installment featuring Jolina Petersheim, author of THE OUTCAST. These columns are great ways for you to learn how to find a literary agent. Some tales are of long roads and many setbacks, while others are of good luck and quick signings.

GIVEAWAY: Jolina is excited to give away a free copy of her novel to a random commenter. Comment within 2 weeks; winners must live in Canada/US to receive the book by mail. You can win a blog contest even if you’ve won before. (UPDATE: Pulcetta won.) Read more

How I Found My Agent: Shoshanna Evers

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Our Meeting at the New Jersey RWA. I’ve always loved hearing about how authors found their agents. This is my story. In late 2011, I went to a New Jersey RWA meeting where they were having a panel of agents and editors talking. The whole thing was fascinating, and I ended up being late to the group buffet lunch that they had going on after.

By the time I got downstairs, every table was full, except for one seat next the lovely Courtney Miller-Callihan of Sanford J Greenburger Associates. So we spent lunch chatting about our toddlers, etc., and at the end of the day I asked if I could query her. No pitch, just if she wouldn’t mind if I emailed her a pitch. The next day she requested the full and followed me on Twitter. A few weeks went by, and she @-replied me on Twitter saying she was loving my manuscript and would get back to me ASAP. I called all my friends and asked what they thought ASAP meant in literary-agent speak. Ten seconds? Ten days? Ten weeks? Read more

How I Got My Agent: Amy Sue Nathan

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“How I Got My Agent” (this installment featuring author Amy Sue Nathan) is a recurring feature on the Guide to Literary Agents Blog. These columns are great ways for you to learn how to get a literary agent. Some tales are of long roads and many setbacks, while others are of good luck and quick signings. Author Amy Sue Nathan’s women fiction novel, THE GLASS WIVES, was released on May 7, 2013 from St. Martins. Read more

How I Got My Agent: Loretta Torossian

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Back to Basics After a Lesson Learned. After this lost opportunity, I knew that if I was serious about getting published I had to develop my craft and polish my style. I also learned that it wasn’t easy to catch an editor’s eye. I needed an agent. My goal – the next time any professional sees my writing, it needs to be my absolute best work. I embarked on a journey through four online critique groups, many SCBWI conferences and workshops, online Writers Digest tutorials, this amazing GLA Blog, a Mediabistro advanced novel writing class, many books on writing, and in-person critique sessions with writer friends I met at conferences. Read more

How I Got My Agent: Tiffany Hawk

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“How I Got My Agent” is a recurring feature on the Guide to Literary Agents Blog, with this installment featuring Tiffany Hawk, author of LOVE ME ANYWAY. These columns are great ways for you to learn how to find a literary agent. Some tales are of long roads and many setbacks, while others are of good luck and quick signings.

GIVEAWAY: Tiffany is excited to give away a free copy of her novel to a random commenter. Comment within 2 weeks; winners must live in Canada/US to receive the book by mail. You can win a blog contest even if you’ve won before. (Update: Marie Rogers won.) Read more

How I Got My Agent: Christian Schoon

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“How I Got My Agent” is a recurring feature on the Guide to Literary Agents Blog, with this installment featuring Christian Schoon, author of ZENN SCARLETT. These columns are great ways for you to learn how to find a literary agent. Some tales are of long roads and many setbacks, while others are of good luck and quick signings. (Christian’s agent is Adam Schear of DeFiore & Co.) Read more

How I Got My Agent: Erin Knightley

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“How I Got My Agent” is a recurring feature on the Guide to Literary Agents Blog, with this installment featuring Erin Knightley, author of A TASTE FOR SCANDAL. These columns are great ways for you to learn how to find a literary agent. Some tales are of long roads and many setbacks, while others are of good luck and quick signings.

GIVEAWAY: Erin is excited to give away a free copy of her novel to a random commenter. Comment within 2 weeks; winners must live in Canada/US to receive the book by mail. You can win a blog contest even if you’ve won before. (Update: Rachel29m won.) Read more

How I Got My Agent: Julie Kibler

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“How I Got My Agent” is a recurring feature on the Guide to Literary Agents Blog, with this installment featuring Julie Kibler, author of the literary fiction debut novel, CALLING ME HOME (2013). These columns are great ways for you to learn how to find a literary agent. Some tales are of long roads and many setbacks, while others are of good luck and quick signings.

GIVEAWAY: Julie is excited to give away a free copy of her novel to a random commenter. Comment within 2 weeks; winners must live in Canada/US to receive the book by mail. You can win a blog contest even if you’ve won before. (Update: alshultz won.) Read more

How I Got My Agent: Tessa Harris

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“How I Got My Agent” is a recurring feature on the Guide to Literary Agents Blog, with this installment featuring Tessa Harris, author of THE DEAD SHALL NOT REST, whose literary agent is Melissa Jeglinski of The Knight Agency. These columns are great ways for you to learn how to find a literary agent. Some tales are of long roads and many setbacks, while others are of good luck and quick signings. Read more

How I Got My Agent: James Markert

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“How I Got My Agent” is a recurring feature on the Guide to Literary Agents Blog, with this installment featuring James Markert, author of the novel A WHITE WIND BLEW (Feb. 2013, Sourcebooks Landmark). These columns are great ways for you to learn how to find a literary agent. Some tales are of long roads and many setbacks, while others are of good luck and quick signings. James’s story involves getting his book published with a publishing house and then approaching agents, including agent Dan Lazar of Writers House, who eventually signed him. Read more

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