"I wish to be cremated. One tenth of my ashes shall be given to my agent, as written in our contract." Groucho Marx
When you're in the trenches sending out queries and waiting (and waiting, and waiting, and waiting) it's natural to wonder what the heck do literary agents DO all day other than feast on the souls and dreams of hopeful writers? In this business you can choose to have an agent or go it on your own. Neither of these are bad choices.
If you've ever wanted to understand what an agent does, we've pulled together some resources for you.
What Literary Agents Do (And Don’t Do) For Writers is a quick read with a no-nonsense list of what you can expect from an agent, and a few things not to expect, like, "They often offer moral support, but they are not interested in being your therapist."
Janet Reid is a literary agent who seems to spend an awful of time sharing helpful info with writers, including the infamous Query Shark site. This is her blog. It has links to more dangerous waters.
Jonny Geller, Chief Executive of the literary agency Curtis Brown answers questions about the relationship between creativity and commerce and how agents identify it and promote writing talent in today’s rapidly changing world. Check it out in What do literary agents do?
~ New this week ~
New on our YouTube channel
Award-winning and multi-published short story author, Gregory Brown shares his thoughts on writing short and the value of contests. He says, writing compelling short fiction is a process of "paying attention to what feels most urgent, moment-to-moment...and cutting away what's not going to lead the reader into the next, most urgent thing." Hear his whole conversation with Donna on YouTube.
~ For Creative Academy Members ~
New in our Members' Only community
A new author Q+A has been posted. Get to see Donna go a bit fangirl with multi-passionate entrepreneur, sci-fi author, wordsmith, artist, unapologetic progressive, lightworker, truthsayer and occasional badass, Carissa Andrews. Oh, and Carissa is also a mom of 5 kids. This woman sets a new bar for commitment to growing a career as an author.
Eileen did not host office hours this week but we're pretty sure there's something in her Happy Hour archive that you've not seen since she has well over 100 hours of crafty smartness right here.
Crystal came back! In her office hours this past week she talks about website domains, the revision process, goal-setting, and self-care. Go get some Strategic Author tips right here.
Office hours, writing sprints and special topic gatherings
Reminder about our Quarterly Goal-Setting retreat
This Saturday, March 23, from 10 AM to 1 PM Pacific.
If you participated in our first planning retreat, you know what you're in for! Time focused on you and your writing goals for the next quarter. Come ready to celebrate wins and set new champagne milestones—and learn a trick or two from Eileen, Crystal and Donna to help make this writing journey even more fun and rewarding.
Join us in our Office Hours Zoom room.
Our regular programming week starts on Sunday. Hope to see you at lots of sprints and office hours!
Not a Creative Academy member yet? Learn all you need to know to become a member here.
~ Creative Advice Prompt ~
One of the best ways to understand the publishing industry is to listen to what the pros have to say. Your challenge—should you choose to accept it—is to create a list on Twitter of at least five literary agents and start following their accounts. Notice when they agree on topics and when they don't. When they use a term you don't know, take time to learn it and add it to your bank of industry knowledge. File away any great advice. And who knows, you might even discover an agent that you may want for your very own someday!
Eileen, Crystal and Donna