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Call My Agent!

Yes, it's the name of a fantastic Netflix series - but it's also something I can now casually drop into conversations because . . . I have an agent! It was a long road, but I am now represented by Megan Carroll at Watson, Little. I am so happy to have a partner in the next big step of this writing adventure: getting published!

I appreciated the many blog posts and resources out there that got me this far and, rather than add my own how-to into the mix, thought I'd recommend the resources that were most helpful to me while I was querying.

  • I AM in print: A U.K.-based organization that offers global support to writers who are looking to learn more about writing skills, getting an agent, and getting published. Their "Agent 121" sessions are invaluable; through them I gained insight into how to improve my query letter and opening chapters. Most agents offer at least one free 121 session per cycle for writers in financial need.

  • Jericho Writers: This U.K.-based writers' group offers free information (e.g., how to write a synopsis), as well as members-only resources, including "Agent Match" to help you find agents who are open to submissions in your genre. They also have virtual events and videos on writing, finding an agent, and pursuing both traditional and self publication, as well as Agent 121 sessions.

  • NaNoWriMo: This nonprofit organizes "National Novel Writing Month" each November. When a colleague told me about it many years ago, I thought it sounded absurd: how could someone write an entire novel in one month? Now, after participating for the past three years, I'm so glad I found it. It's an amazing way to get yourself to sit down and write; the editing comes later. They have pep talks from other writers to help motivate you year-round, as well as live and virtual events throughout November to keep you writing and connect you with a writing community.

  • Writers' Blogs: I found helpful information from other writers who have navigated the process, including Katie Lattari (Dark Things I Adore), whose blog outlines "the path" from writing a book to getting published in a 6-part series of posts. I also appreciated posts from successful writers who were open about the challenges of getting where they are now. V.E. Schwab (The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue) wrote a great post a few years ago about the ups and downs of writing/publishing that was particularly inspiring.

As a final point, I'll admit that I started querying much too early, with a draft that just wasn't ready. I kept editing, kept seeking out feedback, kept querying, and eventually had a much stronger draft that helped me to find the right agent for me and my series. The process was hard and often dispiriting, but I kept at it. If you're querying right now, I encourage you to keep at it, too!

Photo of the author
(my new, "official" portrait)

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