Jennifer Carlson of Dunow, Carlson & Lerner


Do you think it’s a good idea for people who are not completely confident in their work to make an attempt at soliciting an agent? Is it worth the effort to try? Which raises the question: What evidence would one need to consider oneself worthy in the first place?

Jon from New York, NY
Jennifer Carlson
Dunow, Carlson & Lerner Literary Agency
27 West 20th Street
Suite 1107
New York, NY 10011

Think about it this way: If only supremely confident people attempted to put their work out there, then we’d hardly have any books. Is it worth the effort to try? As I once heard Andrei Codrescu, in an NPR commentary, quote Heraclitus: Who can stop the sea from rising? Which is to say, though sadly lacking his thick Romanian accent, this is a rhetorical question. So why not try? As for your last question, I fear it is too existential to take on in this brief format. I’m going to refer you to my colleague Betsy Lerner’s blog,, where you can see an agent who is also a writer deliver counsel to writers with humor and honesty.

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