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.


Partner with Your Publicist: Why You Need Literary Publicity

Every author wants his or her book to be a success. Dreams of best-seller lists, grand book tours with sold out speaking engagements, and that coveted interview with Oprah, luxuriate in the backs (and often fronts) of many the writerly mind. But the process of connecting the dots between first draft...

The Five Little Secrets of Memoir Writing: A Contrarian POV

A memoir can be a massive undertaking. As writers, we sometimes take pride in this complexity. It makes us seem, well, more professional. It can also alienate us from real people. And real people have stories to tell. Very real stories. So it becomes important that we set aside our biases...

Three Keys to Selling a Children’s Picture Book Biography

I love picture book biographies. I love reading them and being inspired and thinking, “Wow, that’s an amazing story. How come I didn’t know that?” And I love writing them. Why? Because picture book biographies are all about inspiring kids to their own greatness. This is important to me. In addition...

Meet the Agent: Christopher Rhodes, The Stuart Agency

Christopher Rhodes began his literary career as a teenager, working at bookstores in New Hampshire and then in New York City, where he landed a job at Borders’ flagship location in the World Trade Center. Three years later, Rhodes migrated to Simon & Schuster, working in sales and marketing before becoming...

How to Transform Funny Stories into Comedy Writing Gold

Funny stories that comedians perform in clubs are called anecdotal stand-up. These stories can be based on real-life experiences or they can be made up. In either case, there are three keys to transforming a funny story that your friends enjoy into anecdotal stand-up that can entertain an audience. Build frequent...

5 Literary Agents Discuss the Horror Genre

A special treat on this Halloween morning: Five literary agents, who all represent the horror genre, took a break from reading manuscripts to answer a few questions on horror, including what they’re seeing a high demand for, what about a submission inspires confidence, and common weaknesses they see in writing. If...

Transforming a Short Story Into a Novel

When I first wrote my short story, “Escaping Time,” I intended for it to be a standalone piece about a teenage girl attempting to escape from a military brothel during World War II. I was satisfied with the final draft and even submitted it for publication in my creative writing program’s...

Agent Spotlight: Wendi Gu of Janklow & Nesbit

Reminder: New literary agents are golden opportunities for new writers because each one is a literary agent who is likely building his or her client list. While Wendi Gu is not a new literary agent, she is actively seeking new clients. About Wendi: Wendi grew up in the sleepy suburbs of...

An Interview with Award-Winning Author Bernice L. McFadden

Bernice L. McFadden takes a break from penning award-winning novels to tells us about her literary journey. Bernice is the author of nine critically acclaimed novels including Sugar, The Warmest December, Gathering of Waters (one of The New York Times Editors’ Choice Books of 2012), and Glorious, which was featured in...

Research Tips for Writing Nonfiction

I recently moved into a new house and office, and was faced with carting along decades of writing research in the process. Books, albums, boxes of photos, cassettes—that was the easy part. Assembling the stacks of files, the collapsed cartons of photocopies, insect-infested pamphlets and newspaper clippings, the 10,000 pages of...

Agent Spotlight: Jennifer Chen Tran of Bradford Literary

Reminder: New literary agents are golden opportunities for new writers because each one is a literary agent who is likely building his or her client list. While Jennifer Chen Tran is not a new literary agent, she is still actively seeking new clients. About Jennifer: Jennifer Chen Tran is an agent...

The Great Debate: To Prologue or Not to Prologue?

As many of you know, book publishing industry professionals and readers alike have openly expressed their dislike of prologues. Act first, explain later. Great advice from James Scott Bell. Be careful with backstory and prologues. #writetip — Nat Russo (@NatRusso) September 30, 2017 Yes! Prologues don't work all the time, do...

Marketing & Sales Perspectives for Indie Authors

I’ve considered myself a professional writer for a little over three years now, and I’ve learned a great deal about the publishing industry in that time. Much of how I think and what I do as an independently published author parallels the experiences of my traditionally published friends, but there are...

New Literary Agent Alert: Lexi Wangler of Massie & McQuilkin

Reminder: New literary agents (with this spotlight featuring Lexi Wangler of Massie & McQuilkin) are golden opportunities for new writers because each one is a literary agent who is likely building his or her client list. About Lexi: Lexi Wangler is a junior agent and foreign rights associate at Massie &...

How I Got My Agent: Julia Walton

When I graduated from college in 2007, the economy tanked and it was viewed as unwise to seriously pursue any artistic endeavors. My family was thrilled that I had managed to secure a stable job in uncertain times and even though my heart was broken at the thought of working at...

Debut Authors Tell All: Ellie Terry, Middle-Grade Novelist

Every year the editor of Children’s Writer’s & Illustrator’s Market compiles a handful of debut authors with unique stories to feature in the latest edition. In my first year as editor, I interviewed 21 debut authors for the 2018 book. And while you’ll have to pick up the latest copy of...