Why Can't I Find a Agent In Town?

Publish date:

Q. No matter what I do, I cannot find an agent in Missouri for fiction. What am I doing wrong?
- Margie

A. You're doing nothing wrong. There are just no agents in Missouri. Seriously, I've only met one literary agent who came from the state and that agent was one of the "20 Worst," as labeled by Preditors and Editors.
If you're searching for an agent in Missouri, you probably believe that you need an agent near you, proximity-wise. You don't. Most agents are in New York City or California, with a smattering of reps spread out all across the country. Yes, it would be great to drvive downtown and meet an agent for lunch to talk about your project, but that's just not going to happen. Agents choose to live in those hot spots because they are centers for publishing and entertainment. It isn't important that an agent be close to her writers, but rather to editors who will buy those writers' work.
On this note, realize that small-town agents sprinkled around the country may be just as powerful as Super Manhattan Agents, depending on their connections and clout. If someone was an editor-turned-agent with 20 years experience, but now they live in Toledo and have recently started an agency, they can still sell your work effectively. It's all a matter of who they can get to pick up the phone.

As they say in Missouri: Show me.

Image placeholder title

The 2020 Writer's Digest Poetry Awards Winners

Congratulations to the winners of the 2020 WD Poetry Awards!


Your Story #113

Write a short story of 650 words or fewer based on the photo prompt. You can be poignant, funny, witty, etc.; it is, after all, your story.

E.J. Levy: When Your First Draft is Your Best Draft

E.J. Levy: When Your First Draft is Your Best Draft

Author E.J. Levy discusses her journey with drafting and redrafting her historical fiction novel, The Cape Doctor, and why her first draft was her best draft.

Poetry Prompt

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 569

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

Writer's Digest July/August 2021 Cover

Writer's Digest July/August 2021 Cover Reveal

The July/August 2021 issue of Writer's Digest features a collection of articles about writing for change plus an interview with Jasmine Guillory about her newest romance, While We Were Dating.

Lacie Waldon: On Writing What You Know ... But Keeping it Interesting

Lacie Waldon: On Writing What You Know ... But Keeping it Interesting

Debut novelist Lacie Waldon discusses how her agent encouraged her to write what she knew, but then her editor made her realize that what she thought was boring might not be the case.

Pedal vs. Peddle (Grammar Rules)

Pedal vs. Peddle (Grammar Rules)

Learn when to use pedal and peddle with Grammar Rules from the Writer's Digest editors, including a few examples of correct usages.

Marissa Levien: On Pinning Down Your Novel's Middle

Marissa Levien: On Pinning Down Your Novel's Middle

Debut author Marissa Levien discusses how she always knew what the beginning and the end of her science fiction novel The World Gives Way would be, but that the middle remained elusive.