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New Agent Alert: Stephen Barr of Writers House

Reminder: Newer agents are golden opportunities for new writers because they’re likely building their client list; however, always make sure your work is as perfect as it can be before submitting, and only query agencies that are a great fit for your work. Otherwise, you’re just wasting time and postage. He is seeking: "I'm a pretty omnivorous agent—I've got a permanent hankering for unexpected memoirs with itchy voices, narrative nonfiction that tackles hard-to-tackle issues, wry and rarely paranormal YA, laugh-until-you-squirt-milk-out-of-your-nose middle grade, sweet and wacky (but still logical) picture books from author/illustrators, and fiction that rewards the reader line-by-line and gets to know at least one character really, really well."

Reminder: New literary agents (with this spotlight featuring Stephen Barr of Writers House) are golden opportunities for new writers because each one is a literary agent who is likely building his or her client list.

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About Stephen: Stephen landed at Writers House in 2008, became its biggest fan about four seconds later, started taking on his own clients in 2010. He spent the first 21 years of his life in Southern California and was inspired to become involved in publishing after seeing Robert Downey Jr’s portrayal of Terry Crabtree in Wonder Boys. He loves working with writers and editing their manuscripts to get them ready for submission. He was recently profiled in the New York Times.

He is seeking: "I'm a pretty omnivorous agent—I've got a permanent hankering for unexpected memoirs with itchy voices, narrative nonfiction that tackles hard-to-tackle issues, wry and rarely paranormal YA, laugh-until-you-squirt-milk-out-of-your-nose middle grade, sweet and wacky (but still logical) picture books from author/illustrators, and fiction that rewards the reader line-by-line and gets to know at least one character really, really well (recent favorites include Jeff In Venice, The Lazarus Project, Diary of a Bad Year, and Horns, which was awesome). I'm also willing to be a sucker for smart, unconventional thrillers, mysteries that bend reality, ghost stories that blow reality to hell, fictional or not-so-fictional portrayals of abnormal psychology, and humor that's more than just an infinitely repeated gag in sheep's clothing."

How to contact: Send a friendly, honest e-query, anchored by the first five or ten pages of the manuscript. Send submissions to sbarr[at]writershouse.com with the word "Query" in the subject line.

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