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  • Seminar
  • Online: Zoom
  • Adult (18+)

Novel Essentials: Finding, Signing, and Dealing with Agents

No Longer Enrolling

  • $75.00 Non-Member
  • $65.00 Member

Class Description

For writers hoping to find representation, agents can seem like insoluble mysteries. How do you get their attention? What makes them pursue some authors and not others? What are they looking for in a manuscript? Beginning writers often don’t realize that, even after they’ve signed with an agent, they may still find themselves with a lot of unanswered questions. The publishing world is complex and confusing, and it’s not always clear why agents do what they do.

This seminar is designed to provide helpful information and advice to writers seeking an agent. The session will be divided into three parts. The first part will focus on the query letter—what to include and what to avoid—and on the basic requirements for manuscripts submitted to agents. The second part will cover helpful questions to ask on choosing an agent: the agent’s preferences in genre and style, the pros and cons of bigger vs. smaller agencies, etc. The third part will introduce the students to strategies for dealing with an agent once they’ve had the good luck to sign with one. What should authors expect from agents, and vice-versa? What obligations do agents have to their agencies? When should writers decide for themselves, and when should they listen to their agents’ advice?

Drawing on my own experience in working with three different agents, as well as on discussions I’ve had with a range of editors, agents, and fellow writers, I will try to give students a thorough guide to the world of literary representation, with the ultimate aim of helping them find representation for their own work.

Part of GrubStreet's Novel Essentials Series, led by Ursula DeYoung and dedicated to exploring the fundamental building blocks of the novel. Classes include:

Scholarships Format/Location

Thanks to the excellent literary citizenship of our donors, scholarships are available for all GrubStreet classes. To apply, click the gray "APPLY FOR SCHOLARSHIP" button. In order to be considered for a scholarship, you must complete your application at least one week before the start date of a class. Please await our scholarship committee's decision before registering for the class. We cannot hold spots in classes, so the sooner you apply, the better. Scholarships cannot be applied retroactively.

For more detailed information about GrubStreet scholarships, including how to contribute to scholarship funds for other students, click here.

This class will take place using Zoom videoconferencing. About 15 minutes before your class is scheduled to begin, you'll receive an email from your instructor with a link to join the class meeting!

Zoom Participation:

Students are not required to turn their camera on, but are encouraged to participate any way they feel comfortable through functions such as the live chat, emoji reactions, and unmuting the microphone. Learn more about using Zoom here.

Zoom Accessibility:

We ask that instructors enable closed captioning and send a transcript of the session after class. You can also enable closed captioning at any time during the meeting. If your instructor forgets to send the transcript, just send ’em an email!