The Writer’s Digest Podcast, Episode 7: Ask the Agent — Interview with Barbara Poelle

In this episode of the Writer’s Digest Podcast, Gabriela Pereira talks with literary agent Barbara Poelle, and shares an inside look at the weird and wonderful relationship between author and agent. In this interview, they discuss how to write a query letter that gets agents wanting you, what questions you should ask an agent when you get an offer, and how to deal with your agent taking your book out on submission.
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Welcome, welcome, writers! From fiction to nonfiction, whatever your genre persuasion—be it shark thrillers written by marine biologists or upmarket literary novels about carts before horses—the Writer’s Digest podcast is for you.

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Today I have the pleasure of interviewing literary agent Barbara Poelle on the show!

Barbara has been an agent with the Irene Goodman Literary Agency for over 11 years, and represents a wide range of fiction, non-fiction, bestsellers, and debuts. The one things she’s always on the lookout for is quality storytelling.

Barbara also writes the column “Funny You Should Ask” (or FYSA) in Writer's Digest magazine, which features her mostly serious—but actually hilarious—answers to author questions.

So listen in as we dig into what an agent’s role in the publishing business really looks like, and how a good agent-author relationship can be the best thing from your writing career.

This episode of the Writer’s Digest Podcast is brought to you by indieLAB, an all-new, interactive event for entrepreneurial authors, freelance writers and independent publishers.For more info about this upcoming event check out

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In this episode Barbara shares:

  • What stumbling blocks writers run up against the most, and how to avoid them.
  • Finding the right comp titles for your book.
  • A query breakdown, the do’s and don’ts.
  • The three questions to ask when you get the call from an agent.
  • The weird and wonderful stages of the agent-author relationship.

Listen in to hear Barbara talk about all these things… and more!


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About Barbara Poelle

Barbara Poelle has been an agent with the Irene Goodman Literary Agency for over 11 years representing a wide range of fiction and non-fiction. Her client list is peppered with as many debuts as bestsellers, and she is always looking for quality storytelling. Barbara currently writes the column “Funny You Should Ask” in Writer's Digest magazine, which features her mostly serious answers to author questions.

Links and resources

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