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Agents & Editors
When I started to read Michael Szczerban’s interview with agents Claudia Ballard, Seth Fishman, Melissa Flashman, and Alia Hanna Habib (Agents & Editors, July/August 2015), I thought, “Oh, they look so young.” By the next page I said, “Wow! They work so hard, care so much, and know their trade!” It’s great to peek into the working lives of these dedicated people. I am thankful for this necessary information. My anxiety regarding the writer-agent relationship is greatly reduced, my fear of messing up a query letter is better managed, and my confidence and ability to trust an agent to care about what matters to me is increased. My experience growing up in an orphanage after World War II allows me to impart an authentic story in my writing, and I thank Habib for highlighting the value of authenticity. The four agents did a fine job of articulating what is such a deep mystery to so many writers. They lifted the veil and showed us that agents, editors, and publishers are real people with real interest in stories well told. They are true assets to the literary world, and I can’t thank them enough for their thoughtful responses. Poets & Writers Magazine has done us all a great service.
Excerpted from a comment posted on pw.org by thebestdigger
Thank you, Michael Szczerban. I have experienced everything you described in the interview you conducted with the four literary agents in the July/August 2015 issue. I am a self-published author and am constantly working on improving my writing. It is not easy, but I love it. Although I am not a well-known writer yet, I recently gave a talk at Valley College in San Bernardino, California, on self-publishing and what to expect after having written a book. I am glad to say that I covered most of what those four agents said about the writing world today. Things certainly have changed in the publishing industry. I’m hoping that more writers have this knowledge and share it with others. Thank you once again.
Excerpted from a comment posted on pw.org by davgam007
Fun piece about young lit agents. Happy to see “editors do edit!” unanimity here.
Great discussion with 4 agents and an editor that covers the gamut of modern-day publishing.
The Positively Framed Tweet
Benjamin Percy’s article in Poets & Writers Magazine (“Preparing for the Worst: The Negatively Framed Outline,” July/August 2015) is exactly what I needed.
“Know your worst-case scenario and you know the way of the samurai.” Super helpful article in @poetswritersinc.
I like the idea of loving one’s characters enough to nearly destroy them.
“As in life, it’s difficult to appreciate success without first experiencing failure.”
Melissa Scholes Young
Fail and fail and fail better! Says @Benjamin_Percy (more or less).