Little Known Ways to Grab the Attention of a Literary Agent 

Many of you know that I spend a lot of time speaking with literary agents back in the day, before COVID. We used to have lunch or coffee. Nowadays, we do those virtually. 

One of the things that I can tell you across the board is: Yes, they still want an engaging story and yes, your piece still needs to have a marketability aspect. 

But what are agents acquiring these days? What kind of author really gets their attention? One of the things that they’re looking for when they are looking at the author is if they are part of the industry. 

What does that mean? 

Literary agents want to see if you are actively putting out your writing. Have you published recently? Have you been publishing poetry? Are you keeping a regular blog? 

They want to see if you are active in your writing life. 

Here’s a really big hint that you might not know: literary agents are taking a gamble on you when they take you on as a client. See, you’re not paying the literary agent. They’re earning money by what they negotiate with the publishing house on your behalf. 

So, they want a long-term relationship and not just a one-time client. They want to help you, as we do here in the Writing Gym, to create the author lifestyle and have a long-term career. 

Where do you start before querying? Or, if you’ve already started querying, have you already submitted short stories, poems, personal essays, and the like to smaller publications?

You need to be publishing and creating that nest for yourself that says you’re serious about writing and that you want to be a part of a writing community. 

What have I been doing to help authors’ visibility, to help them find literary agents that are interested in their writing? 

One of the things that I do is I send out weekly publishing opportunities. I found that these are hard to find. If you google “publishing opportunities” or something along those lines, you are likely to be directed to expired contests, contests in which you are not eligible for, contests that are in another country, and scams that are disguised as contests. 

All of these are just a whole bunch of nonsense. So, what we do over in the Writing Gym is we vet these publications so we know that they are legitimate. 

We send these newsletters out every week. If you are serious about publishing and creating that author lifestyle, I strongly suggest that you get on our list of vetted publishing opportunities. 

Drop your email in this form and we’ll send you the list right away. 

Keep up the good work and until next time. Happy writing.

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