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Ideas on finding an agent building a list (literary fiction)?

(9 Posts)
LilyPapps Fri 28-Nov-14 23:44:51

Pretty much what the title says - I write literary fiction, have a novel ready to send out, and am trying to think intelligently about whether there might be ways I hadn't thought of to identify agents who are list-building and will welcome debut novels...? Have had a highly encouraging refusal from an agent with a too-full list, and I think I need to think more strategically.

Any pointers welcome. Thanks.

TheCountessofFitzdotterel Sun 30-Nov-14 20:45:26

Find out which agents go to writing festivals and contribute to creative writing courses, because they would be doing that in part for the opportunities to talent-spot which suggests they are looking.

Look at agent websites and see who is new and young and only has a few writers so far.

LilyPapps Sun 30-Nov-14 22:50:06

Thanks, Countess. I'm all over the websites, but that's an excellent idea about seeing who's involved in creative writing courses and festivals.

Incidentally, has anyone on here ever used one of those 'pitch to an agent' slots at festivals?

MythicDay Mon 01-Dec-14 17:46:14

I assume you have the Writer's and Artist's Yearbook that lists all the agents? I find the best way for information is by following the agents on twitter. Chat to them, they're very friendly and approachable. Now and again one will say they are looking for submissions.

I pitched to an agent this weekend. It was a positive experience and although only ten minutes, I got some good advice and I shall certainly send my work to the agent once finished as she was interested in what I had to say. I would definitely recommend pitching. Not only for the confidence it gives you, but to chat about your novel with an industry expert is a way to open avenues you haven't thought about - they may suggest other agents within their company who might be interested. I'll do it again.

Good luck!

LilyPapps Mon 01-Dec-14 19:21:48

Mythic, was this the Mumsnet event? Annoyingly, I was only half a mile away but without childcare, and I didn't feel the most enthusiastic agent would really have given me the time of day as I pitched literary fiction with a two year old doing the Bob the Builder theme tune fortissimo on my knee...

Was the day useful in general? Were all the agents there from Janklow and Nesbit?

MythicDay Tue 02-Dec-14 13:43:25

LilyPapps - Yes it was the Mumsnet event. It was an all day event so definitely no children. I was fortunate to leave my three with their Dad while I had my big day out (rare). That's the difficulty isn't it - accessing these events when you have small children.

The day was extremely useful. I learnt plenty about agents and the publishing industry. The five agents were all from Janklow & Nesbit. I'm sorry you couldn't make it.

LilyPapps Tue 02-Dec-14 14:38:20

Grr. DH was unavoidably working all day, and I've no one in London to abandon an obstreperous toddler with, otherwise I'd definitely have attended.

kerrymumbles Sun 18-Jan-15 14:36:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

squeezycheesy Tue 20-Jan-15 16:54:57

I was looking for a new agent last year - I've published a lot of non-fiction and plan to (maybe/possibly/hopefully) do fiction at some point. What amazed me was that they all wanted the unwritten fiction but were a bit unfussed about the stuff that I have a track record in, so I think they really are looking. I tended to email some, phone others, depending on how approachable they seemed online. If you're in a genre that is selling lots just now, there are definitely openings there.

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