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  • Guide to Literary Agents

Chuck Sambuchino’s Guide to Literary Agents Blog

Chuck Sambuchino is an editor and published author who runs the Guide to Literary Agents Blog, one of the biggest blogs in publishing. His site has instruction and information on literary agents, literary agencies, query letters, submissions, publishing, author platform, book marketing, and more.

Agent Advice: Christine Witthohn of Book Cents Literary


This installment features Christine Witthohn of Book Cents Literary Agency, LLC.

She is seeking: Fiction areas of interest: Single Title Romance (Contemporary, Romantic Comedy, Paranormal, Mystery/Suspense), Women’s Lit (must have a strong hook), Young Adult, Mainstream Mystery/Suspense, Medical or Legal Fiction (something that hasn’t been done before), Literary Fiction. Nonfiction areas of interest: We are looking for very specific NF. Women’s Issues/Experiences, Fun/Quirky Topics (particularly those of interest to women), Cookbooks (fun, ethnic, etc.), Health, Gardening (herbs, plants, flowers, etc.), Books with a “Save The Planet” theme, Entertaining, Reference, How-To Books. Read more

10 Things NOT to Do in a Query

My awesome coworker, Alice Pope, recently posted 10 Helpful Tips on Writing Query Letters on her blog.  The catch?  It was April Fools’ – so the tips are helpful, but only if … Read more

Agent Donald Maass Talks Originality and Craft

Donald Maass is one of the most well-known, successful agents out there.  He’s ghostwritten books, written other books about writing books, and sold a bazillion novels to publishers.  He’s a wealth of … Read more

AgentFail! – and QueryFail II: Queries Never Die

You probably remember Queryfail, where editors and agents Twittered in real time for a whole day as they attacked their slush pile or unsolicited queries.  Well, Queryfail II is set for April … Read more

Cover Band Soap Opera: Lead Singer So Anxious to Sing One Song That He Cuts Prior Song Way Short

The lead singer of my cover band once described himself as “vain.”  From my point of view, it’s hard to argue with that.  For a case in point, let me take you … Read more

Conference Spotlight: Las Vegas Writers’ Conference

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It’s time to give a shout-out to the next conference I’ll be teaching at – the Las Vegas Writers’ Conference. The conference is coming up fast – April 16-19, 2009. The event only accepts 150 attendees in an effort to give plenty of personalized attention to writers. Read more

Agent Advice: Meredith Kaffel of Charlotte Sheedy Literary Agency


This installment features Meredith Kaffel of Charlotte Sheedy Literary Agency.

She is seeking: “or children’s books, my first love is YA. And my YA tastes run the gamut from the highly literary (especially fish out of water tales, outsider stories told teetering from the edge, high concept novels taking on themes with gravity, up-market historical fantasy and stories involving the arts in some way), to the highly commercial (teen paranormal with a twist, high school dramas and friendship sagas, anything with sass and attitude, etc). I also enjoy smart middle-grade fiction, and I will take on the occasional quirky picture book manuscript. I’m actively looking for new illustrators as well — for both the picture book and graphic novel/comic markets. As for adult manuscripts, I’m primarily looking for narrative nonfiction (specifically books dealing with food, science, international themes, feminism, cultural trends, art and literary history, music, and general “juicy” history and biography), and the rare literary novel that steals my heart. I tend to be drawn more toward darkly wry and edgy fiction than novels brimming with sugar-and-sunshine, but my rule about taking on a project is that there are no set rules. I just have to love it.” Read more

Around the WD Properties: 3-30-2009

Here are some cool thingsgoing on around Writer’s Digest Webinar: Query Letter Writing        How to Write a Book Query Letter that Gets a Response         Live Event: Thursday, April 9, … Read more

Agent Blogs: The Best of the Best

As I mentioned in the last post, the May/June 2009 issue of Writer’s Digest has the information brainbomb article “101 Best Web Sites for Writers.” One of the categories is called “Agent … Read more

May/June Issue of WD Has Interview with Stephen King, Interview with Jerry Jenkins, 101 Best Websites for Writers – Just Brimming with Awesomeness

I’ve been reading Writer’s Digest magazine since well before I was ever working for F+W Media here, and I have to say – this issue just looks like one of the coolest … Read more

Pitch Your Idea to Producers & Agents… Next Tuesday!

Hey, guys– Huge thanks to everyone who came to last night’s pilot-writing seminar at mediabistro… it was a terrific turnout, and I really appreciate everyone coming and being so interested! For those … Read more

New Agent Alerts: Stacia Decker and Danielle Chiotti of Firebrand Literary

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Editor’s Note: Firebrand Literary closed in July 2009. Three agents from Firebrand Literary have broken off to form a new agency: Upstart Crow Literary. It will be headed up by Michael Stearns, who was formerly a prolific children’s book editor. Also on board are agents Chris Richman and Danielle Chiotti. Between the three of them, they handle adult fiction, lots of kids fiction, and some nonfiction, too. Stacia moved on to Donald Maass Literary. Read more

Cover Band Show Postponed; Weekend Plans Collapsing; Just Me and the Dog

Ugh.  My band’s show for this weekend was postponed because some guy at some bar wrote down wrong dates for when we were supposed to play.  Buzzkill.  And to think, we were … Read more

Conference Spotlight: Southeastern Writers Association Writers Workshop

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I’m giving an early shout-out to a June conference at which I’ll be presenting: the Southeastern Writers Association 34th Annual Writers Workshop. It all goes down from June 21-25, 2009, at St. Simons Island, GA. Read more

Cover Band Soap Opera: Lead Singer Blanks; Praises Non-Existant Band

My cover band usually plays three sets of music, with about 16-18 songs in each set.  The set list is always in flux – new songs added, old songs taken away, stuff … Read more

Check Out Interviews With Two Agents: ICM’s Tina Wexler, and Curtis Brown’s Ginger Clark


I came across Gretchen McNeil’s Seanchai blog recently, and saw it had posted two recent interviews with top-notch agents. Read more

Agent Advice: Joanna Stampfel-Volpe of New Leaf Literary


This installment features Joanna Stampfel-Volpe of New Leaf Literary.

She is seeking:”chap books to upper YA (non-fiction, contemporary, humor, historical and fantasy *fantasy/sci-fi needs to really stand out, unique), romance (historical, paranormal, contemporary), fantasy (women’s, urban, steampunk, unique), up-market fiction (dark, literary, horror, dark comedies, speculative fic), narrative non-fiction (pop culture, environmental, foodie).” Read more

My Thoughts on Seth Godin's Piece Regarding Literary Agents

Seth Godin, best-selling author and all-around successful business guru, recently posted a column called “Where Have All the Agents Gone?”  In it, basically, he talks about how “middlemen” such as stock brokers, real … Read more

Roundup: News From the Agent & Publishing Worlds

This cool new Web site called Filed By looks like a MySpace-like site where writers can access a template page and create a writer profile. Read more

What is Upmarket Fiction? Defining the Classification.

I’ve spent a good amount of time recently getting agents (and a few editors) to sign on to a ginormous Agent Pitch Slam, which is part of our writers’ conference in NYC … Read more

The WD Writing Conference in New York! (and Other WD News and Opportunities, Too)

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Every year, Writer’s Digest Books puts on an awesome one-day writers’ conference in conjunction with BookExpo America. This year’s BookExpo event is in Manhattan in late May, and our writers’ conference is on Wednesday, May 27, 2009. Read more

A Children’s Agent Talks Marketing Your Work


An interview here with agent Sarah Davies of Greenhouse Literary. Read more

Agent Nathan Bransford's '10 Commandments for the Happy Writer'

Out of all the agent blogs out there (and there are plenty of them, big and small), probably the biggest blog is Nathan Bransford’s.  He is an agent with Curtis Brown out … Read more

Taryn Fagerness Forms Own Agency; Stops Taking Queries

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Taryn Fagerness is a literary agent out in San Diego; I met and interviewed her a while back when we crossed paths at the La Jolla Writers Conference. She contacted me today and said that after five years at the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency, she is branching out and going on her own. Read more

What is "Queryfail"?

There’s been a lot of chatter around the net recently about a project called Queryfail, and I had two people in the publishing house here ask me about it yesterday, so I … Read more

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