I'm in New York!

Hi Writers,
I’m reporting live from New York City, where I’m accompanying our annual competitions winners Alegra Clarke and Mary Feuer.

So Alegra and Mary and me are making the rounds to meet literary agents. This is part of their prize for winning our annual competition for the past two years. I was so happy to meet these two great ladies, really I couldn’t imagine this happening to two nicer, more deserving, talented writers.

Even though she won the contest in 2006, Mary has been tied up as a screenwriter on location in Hawaii for the TV series “Dante’s Cove.” Mary’s working on a novel length work stemming from the great “House on Fire” she won our competition with two years ago.

Alegra, who won our competition in the memoir category for her “Salamander Prayer” has completed a novel since she found out she won our competition less than a year ago, and she’s already working with a L.A. based screenplay agent Joel Gotler on the screen rights.

We have two days of meetings with literary agents lined up. Yesterday we met with Annelise Robey of the Jane Rotrosen Agency and Mollie Glick of the Jean V. Naggar Agency.

Both Annelise and Mollie were so enthusiastic and positive about the prospect of finding new talent, the meetings were really delightful; I got quite a charge from it.

A lot came out of these meetings and I learned quite a lot about the current state of the market. I don’t have time for a full report but here’s a bit of what each had to say.

Annelise Robey says literary fiction is selling, especially if it’s accessible, not overly intellectual and has crossover appeal.

Mollie Glick had each writer give her “elevator pitch.” She told Mary if you have a choice between writing the book as a series of linked short stories and a novel, definitely go with the novel as short story collections, even linked short stories, are incredibly difficult to sell.

We have four more meetings lined up today so I have to run, but I’ll report back tomorrow, with visual aids!

Keep Writing,

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7 thoughts on “I'm in New York!

  1. ann marquette

    Thank you so much Maria. I look forward to reading more about this subject next week.

    I know this is off the subject, but I feel moved to write. Hope no one minds. Aside from continuing to write, because I love writing, I have recently sent a 2000 word first person story in for a writers workshop competition, and currently working on a 350 word essay for another contest, the subject is My Next Chapter. Wow! it was hard enough to keep the first piece to maximum of 2000, but 350 words is even harder 🙂
    I am trying to sell my house and get moved to Greenville, SC where I have also connected with a few from the local Emrys Foundation Writer Group. They hold workshops, seminars, and invite published authors to speak. I am so eager to begin a new chapter in my life and learn more to improve my writing. Even at 62 I want to get an agent and have my work published.

    Okay, I’m done now 🙂

  2. Maria Schneider

    Hi Ann and thanks for distracting us from the I/Me issue.: )
    It’s purely coincidental that both Alegra and Mary have agents. Mary has been a screenwriter in L.A. for a few years and actually, I don’t think she has a screenwriting agent, she uses a manager and a lawyer to handle contracts. And we certainly didn’t know she was a screenwriter when we chose her entry as the winner in our competition. But Mary will likely tell you that screenwriting success has little to do with novel writing success. They’re completely different forms with their own logic and players.

    Alegra met her (potential) screen agent a month or so ago, and it was a contact through a mutual acquaintance of hers. I’m sure that winning our competition brought her some attention or at least an entree. I’ll write more on this in a post next week, but thanks for the thoughtful question.

  3. ann marquette

    Hm! I am going in a different direction from the I/Me issue.
    I notice that both Alegra and Mary are already in "the game" so to speak with Mary already being a screenwriter for a major series, and Alegra working with a screenplay agent.
    Is this something the rest of us who don’t have an agent learn from, that we need to be getting paid as writers in some form or another before looking for an agent?

    Thanks for all you words of wisdom and sharing your experience with us.

  4. Brian A. Klems

    Funny story: So I was reading Maria’s blog yesterday and noticed the "I/Me" error, shook my head and thought, "I’ll have to give Maria a hard time about that when she returns." Of course, today I brought it up in a conversation that went like this:

    Brian: "So Maria, you really botched the I/Me thing in your post the other day."
    Maria: "I did. Oh no!"
    Brian: "We can’t all be awesome, Maria."
    Maria: "Wait, I didn’t post that. That was YOUR post, Brian."
    Brian: "Not it was… or … er … Fudge."

    My (not mine) complete apologies to 1. Maria’s readers, 2. Maria and 3. My wife. She doesn’t care if I get the I/Me thing correct, but she’s mad that I forgot to take out the trash this morning.

    (ps-I have no "I/Me" recollection from my Catholic upbringing about this subject, though I do remember diagramming sentences. That sucked.)

  5. Tom

    Okay, I’m glad it wasn’t just me…or I(?) that noticed this one. I was pretty sure that was way wrong, but the incongruity of it vs yesterday’s chiding was making my eye twitch.

    I’m wondering when this whole latent backlash of Catholic school upbringing is going to unleash itself upon me. I don’t seem to have suffered any ill affects as yet. When me starts using "I" instead of "me," let I know.

  6. Maria Schneider

    I fear the "me" vs. "I" issue is a leftover problem from a Catholic schooled childhood. Brian and I both suffer from this affliction, I’m afraid. 😉 We’re trying to recover.


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