You’re ready to approach an agent or publisher with your finished manuscript. You’re no doubt exhausted and relieved to have reached this point. But appealing to a publishing professional is a struggle of a wholly different kind. Which agent to email? Which publishing house to submit your first three chapters? Here are some ways you can improve your chances of finding the right agent or publisher for you.
An agent or a publisher?
Many writers ask me whether they need a literary agent. My answer is that it truly depends on your unique circumstances – and the quality of the agent.
There are infinite online articles debating the ‘merit’ of creative writing courses. This is evidenced, for example, by the many articles responding to Hanif Kureishi’s apparent declaration that creative writing courses are (despite the fact he teaches one) a ‘waste of time’ because most students are talentless and simply can’t tell a good story. Kureishi’s claim kicked off an entirely predictable debate where professional writers, writer-teachers, students and nobodies-in-particular argued whether writers are ‘born’ or ‘made.’
The following article is not going to engage in this debate because, as Nell Stevens notes, the debate has been ‘done…to death.’ What follows is simply a description of how formal writing courses are taught, and what they have done for me as a writer. View Post
I have never met my publishers. I have been signed with them for three years now and we have never been in the same room together. As I am based in Sydney, Australia, it is virtually impossible for me to pop into their office in Manila, Philippines, for a meeting. Strangely enough, the arrangement still works thanks to the power of technology. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me start from the beginning. View Post
A guest post by Vera Tobin, Case Western Reserve University
Recently I did something that many people would consider unthinkable, or at least perverse. Before going to see “Avengers: Infinity War,” I deliberately read a review that revealed all of the major plot points, from start to finish.
Don’t worry; I’m not going to share any of those spoilers here. Though I do think the aversion to spoilers – what The New York Times’ A.O. Scott recently lamented as “a phobic, hypersensitive taboo against public discussion of anything that happens onscreen” – is a bit overblown. View Post
Like most writers, I loved reading as a kid, and writing evolved from this as the prime means through which I understood and engaged with the world.
I pursued writing throughout secondary and tertiary education. These places gave me structure, peers, encouragement, feedback and – eventually – an income. Most importantly, these places taught me that writing is, first and last, very hard but very gratifying work.