Skip to main content

Are Older Agents Better?

Q. Can you tell me how I can find an agent with experience who is over 50 years old? I'm an experienced, published, academic writer (over 50) transitioning into lyrically-written fiction from scholarly, i.e., footnoted writing. I write literature with analytical, literary theory underpinnings and subtext, and feel that agents under 50 won't be able to understand my work. Any advice on this? And, in the guide books, do agents indicate their experience level? (Also, unfortunately, I cannot afford to travel to conferences, since I've been a low-wage adjunct.)
- Tamara

A. Tamara, I gotta say that this is one of the most unique questions I've ever gotten on the blog.
You can find an agent's experience level by looking at what books they've sold. This is the type of information you will have to look in multiple places for - namely WritersMarket.com, the agency's Web site, and Publishers Marketplace. It's not easy researching who sold what. Younger agents might have plenty of sales. Older agents may be brand new to the game.
Pretty much the only way to target "older" agents is to find pictures of them on their agency pages (or using Google images) and take a guess at who is over 50. But I don't think this is a good plan in the first place. It sounds like you're writing literary fiction, so I suggest you simply target agents who handle this category and strike your interest. Some may "get" your writing style while others don't. Something as unique as your project might require a lot of queries and sample pages e-mailed out before you find your perfect match.

Image placeholder title
Karen Hamilton: On Cause and Effect

Karen Hamilton: On Cause and Effect

International bestselling author Karen Hamilton discusses the “then and now” format of her new domestic thriller, The Ex-Husband.

Plot Twist Story Prompts: The Ultimatum

Plot Twist Story Prompts: The Ultimatum

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, have a character give or face an ultimatum.

6 Things Every Writer Should Know About Sylvia Beach and Shakespeare and Company

6 Things Every Writer Should Know About Sylvia Beach and Shakespeare and Company

Sylvia Beach was friend to many writers who wrote what we consider classics today. Here, author Kerri Maher shares six things everyone should know about her and Shakespeare and Company.

How Writers Can Apply Business Tools to Their Writing

How Writers Can Apply Business Tools to Their Writing

Author Katherine Quevedo takes an analytical look at the creative process in hopes to help other writers find writing success.

Nick Petrie: On Following the Most Compelling Story

Nick Petrie: On Following the Most Compelling Story

Award-winning author Nick Petrie discusses how he listened to the story that wanted to be told in his new Peter Ash thriller novel, The Runaway.

Poetry Prompt

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 596

Every Wednesday, Robert Lee Brewer shares a prompt and an example poem to get things started on the Poetic Asides blog. This week, write a punishment poem.

Jacquelyn Mitchard: On Forgiveness in Fiction

Jacquelyn Mitchard: On Forgiveness in Fiction

Award-winning novelist Jacquelyn Mitchard discusses the chance meeting that led to her new novel, The Good Son.

Sea Bound

Sea Bound

Every writer needs a little inspiration once in a while. For today's prompt, write about someone connected to the sea.

writersMarket_wd-ad_1000x300 (1)

Get Published With the Latest Market Books Editions

Get published and find more success with your writing by using the latest editions of the Market Books, including Writer's Market, Poet's Market, Guide to Literary Agents, and more!