July/August 2023

Our annual Literary Agents Issue offers advice on writing a compelling book pitch, guidance on the art of comp titles, best practices for connecting with agents on social media, and tips from editors on finding an agent; a profile of Kate Zambreno, author of The Light Room; our twenty-third annual roundup of the summer’s best debut fiction; information on scams targeting self-published authors; tools for building a writing practice while living with limitations; a novelist’s perspective on the editorial process; writing prompts; contest deadlines; and much more.  


Radical Attention: A Profile of Kate Zambreno

by Brian Gresko
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In her latest book, The Light Room, published by Riverhead Books, Kate Zambreno celebrates the ethical work of caregiving, the small joys of ordinary life, and an engagement with the natural world within human spaces. 

Finding a Literary Agent: Expert Advice for Connecting With Your Book’s Best Advocate

Pitch Like a Pro: An Agent’s Advice on Talking About Your Book

by Kate McKean
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The vice president at Howard Morhaim Literary Agency breaks down different ways to construct a compelling pitch, inviting the right readers and editors into the world of your book.

The Art of the Comp Title: Positioning Your Book for Success

by Mariah Stovall
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A book’s comp titles affect how people understand it, from querying all the way to publication. An agent shares her expertise in using comps to your advantage, better connecting your book to its audience at every step.

Thank You for Being a Friend: Agents and Social Media

by Amy Elizabeth Bishop
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Social media is an invaluable tool for writers—not just for building community but for getting acquainted with agents. A veteran agent sets out best practices for agent interactions on social media, from scouting the field to asking questions.

What Editors Want You to Know About Agents: Advice From Insiders on the People Selling Your Manuscript

by Katie Arnold-Ratliff
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There’s no such thing as a perfect agent, but there is an agent that’s perfect for you—and editors have advice on how to spot them. From their unique vantage on the industry, editors discuss what makes an agent an asset to their writers.

News and Trends

South Korean poet Kim Hyesoon reading at a clear podium with the Griffin Poetry Prize logo, with translator Don Mee Choi behind and on the left.

Big Change to Canadian Poetry Prize

by Spencer Quong

After more than two decades, the prestigious Griffin Poetry Prize will no longer divide its award into Canadian and international categories, drawing mixed responses from the Canadian literary world.


The Practical Writer

An Author’s View of the Editorial Process: From Manuscript to Published Book

by Jimin Han
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The publication process doesn’t end at signing the book deal. The author of The Apology shares her and other writers’ experiences with what comes next, charting a book’s journey from manuscript to finished copy.  

The Literary Life

The Time Is Now: Writing Prompts and Exercises

by Staff
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Write a poem addressed to your younger self, a story about two characters entangled in a summery whirlwind affair, or an essay built around a road trip. 

The Productivity Equation: Building a Writing Practice While Living With Limitations

by Esmé Weijun Wang
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The author of The Collected Schizophrenias explains how to take stock of your available resources, assets, and tools in order to develop a robust and sustainable writing practice that acknowledges limitations.