Sunday, June 28, 2009

Advice from Agents

Last Friday I had the privilege of having lunch with three literary agents at a great new restaurant, XO, in downtown Denver. First of all, the food and fresh juice drinks at XO were outstanding. I had a apple, cucumber, mint drink and it was suprisingly good. For lunch I ate every bit of my delicious chicken pad thai. I know this sounds like a commercial, but if you are ever looking for a good restaurant in Denver, you should definitely try this one.

The conversation with agents Kristin Nelson, Kate Schafer-Testerman, Rachelle Gardner obviously revolved around the publishing world. We talked about the state of publishing, what is selling right now and why it doesn't matter where an agent lives. When I asked them to share some advice for new writers here are some of the things they said.

Don't expect your first novel to be a big hit. You should write for the sake of learning how to write better. Then submit your best and cleanest (highly edited) manuscript.

Don't query too soon which refers back to the previous paragraph. You need to make sure you are sending out your best work.

All three agents are looking for clients who have to write, who feel lost if they don't write and who are passionate about it. That part of the conversation led to my favorite piece of advice which came from Rachelle Gardner who said, "If you can quit writing--quit."

I will end with that for now, because I think it is worthy of deep thought. What do you think?


1 comment:

Amy Sue Nathan said...

"If you can quit - quit" is a great quote. Sometimes I wonder if I can quit, then something else - either a blog post, a poem, an essay, a character sketch or a paragraph or scene pops into my head and I have to write it. That's when I know quitting is not an option - and it's good to be reminded of the internal drive sometimes, since there are so many external forces at work when you're a writer.

Thanks for sharing your experience with us.

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