Agent Advice: The Complete Series


Twenty-six of the industry’s best and brightest agents responded directly to readers’ questions in this column that ran from 2010 to 2022. 

Howard Yoon of the Ross Yoon Agency
The agent answers questions about mentioning positive feedback in a query letter, how much plot to include in a query, and agents for teen writers.

Monica Odom of Odom Media Management
The agent answers questions about attracting agents using self-published books and whether to use a summary or a writing sample to pitch a memoir.

Larissa Melo Pienkowski of Jill Grinberg Literary Management
The agent who represents writers TJ Alexander and K. Tempest Bradford, among others, answers questions about being ghosted by agents and how to query for nonfiction books.

Jade Wong-Baxter of Frances Goldin Literary Agency
The agent representing Chris Belcher, Kate Broad, Delia Cai, Duy Doan, and others offers advice about working with a coauthor, changing a memoir to fiction, why agents don’t consider previously published work, and how to become an agent.

Amy Elizabeth Bishop of Dystel, Goderich & Bourret
The literary agent answers questions about how to seek representation as a self-published author, break into the agenting business, and more. 

 Iwalani Kim of Sanford J. Greenberger Associates
The literary agent answers questions about submitting story collections, getting an agent’s attention, and querying two agents at the same agency.

Jody Kahn of Brandt and Hochman
A literary agent answers questions from writers about genre, age, costs, and client lists.

Priya Doraswamy of Lotus Lane Literary
An agent answers questions on obtaining the copyright of a self-published novel and seeking a U.S. publisher from abroad.

Regina Brooks of Serendipity Literary Agency
An agent answers questions on referrals, pitching a self-published book, and what to do if you’re dropped by an agency.

Annie Hwang of Folio Literary Management
A literary agent answers readers’ questions—from how seriously agents consider a writer’s previous sales to how to responsibly seek new representation.

Kirby Kim of Janklow & Nesbit Associates
A seasoned literary agent offers valuable counsel on when to query, how to keep revising, and whether horror fiction is a genre worth pursuing.

Anna Ghosh of Ghosh Literary
Anna Ghosh answers readers’ questions—from why poetry agents are seemingly nonexistent to whether or not it is possible to be “too young to write.”

Betsy Amster of Betsy Amster Literary Enterprises
The agent of authors such as María Amparo Escandón and Joy Nicholson offers advice on query letters, editing, and what not to do when submitting a manuscript.

Danielle Svetcov of Levine Greenberg Rostan
Should you pay to have a manuscript edited beforehand? Are there benefits to querying via snail mail versus e-mail? Danielle Svetcov of Levine Greenberg Rostan answers readers’ questions about what (and what not) to do when trying to find an agent.

Meredith Kaffel Simonoff of DeFiore and Company
An agent representing authors such as CJ Hauser and Cecily Wong answers questions about writing in multiple genres, agents’ fees, and publishing work in online journals.

Amy Rennert of the Amy Rennert Agency
The agent of authors such as Diana Nyad and Herman Wouk answers questions about self-publishing, age restrictions, and working with an agent remotely.

Chris Parris-Lamb of the Gernert Company
Chris Parris-Lamb of the Gernert Company offers advice on submitting query letters and manuscripts, and when to embrace or eschew self-promotion.

Lucy Carson of the Friedrich Agency
Lucy Carson of the Friedrich Agency discusses e-book publishing, when to send a sample to an agent, and more.

Matt McGowan of Frances Goldin Literary Agency
Literary agent Matt McGowan, who represents Eula Biss, John D’Agata, Brian Evenson, and many others, answers writers’ most commonly asked questions.

Rebecca Gradinger of Fletcher & Company
Literary agent Rebecca Gradinger explains why writers need agents and offers tips about best practices for finding one.

Douglas Stewart of Sterling Lord Literistic
The agent of Jami Attenberg, David Mitchell, Carolyn Parkhurst, Matthew Quick, and others offers guidance about publishing credits, MFA programs, and unagented submissions.

Jenni Ferrari-Adler of Brick House Literary Agents
Does your book need to be finished before you seek representation? Do agents really read synopses? Agent Jenni Ferrari-Adler, whose clients include Lauren Shockey and Emma Straub, answers these questions and more.

Terra Chalberg of the Susan Golomb Literary Agency
When is the best time in your career to look for representation, and when should you call off an author-agent relationship? Terra Chalberg, whose clients include Lori Ostlund and Glenn Taylor, tackles these questions and more.

Jennifer Carlson of Dunow, Carlson & Lerner
The agent of authors such as Kevin Brockmeier and Marisa de los Santos offers her thoughts on self-publishing and what she looks for in the first five pages of a writing sample.

PJ Mark of Janklow & Nesbit Associates
The agent of authors such as Samantha Hunt, Dinaw Mengestu, and Josh Weil offers advice on shaping a query letter and when to follow up after pitching your book.

Katherine Fausset of Curtis Brown, Ltd.
Agent Katherine Fausset answers questions from readers about the agent's role in submitting work to literary magazines and how writers can choose agents based on their client lists.