Are you looking for a literary agent to represent you? The process can be confusing, laborious, and discouraging, but there are opportunities to consult with other writers who are willing to share their good and bad experiences. There’s no need to remain isolated.
Members of the Central & Southern Ohio chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators (COSCBWI) recognize the value of working with a writing critique group or partner, which gives them an advantage over many other writers. Aspiring authors who ask for critical feedback only from friends, family, or significant others who want to remain close to them will eventually learn that they’re only spinning their wheels. There’s really no substitute for serious criticism. The best writers learn to accept the feedback graciously, pay attention to what’s valuable, and dig into their manuscripts when revision is necessary.
I try to provide encouragement and praise as well as criticism when I reject a full manuscript that I’ve been given the opportunity to read, but in most cases, I won’t ask to see the work again. I know how many other good manuscripts are always waiting in my reading queue.
Susan Bradley, the regional advisor for COSCBWI, invited me to her group’s September 15, 2010, meeting at the Upper Arlington Public Library, 2800 Tremont Road, in Columbus, Ohio. At 7:00 that evening, I’ll be answering members’ questions about finding and working with a literary agent.
You might wonder (I did!) why children’s book authors would be interested in what I do. I’ve always accepted queries regarding young adult manuscripts written for older teenagers, and most of my clients write YA books in addition to adult fiction, but my experience is concentrated on adult fiction. Some aspects of literary representation will apply to all writers. However, to ensure I provide useful information to the group, I’m calling for questions now and during the thirty days leading up to the COSCBWI meeting.
If you’re planning to attend on September 15, 2010, please feel free to email your question to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or simply post it in the comments section below. (I’ll try to provide a brief summary of my answers here a day or so after the meeting.)
How a Book Is Made, published in 1988, might be a bit out of date now, but it’s still a fun read.
Questions? This is your chance to let me know what they are. If I don’t have an answer, I’ll do the research prior to the September COSCBWI meeting, so you’ll have the information you need.