Upcoming Agent Spotlight Interviews & Guest Posts

  • Rebecca Williamson Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 7/8/2024
  • Sheila Fernley Agent Spotlight Interview, Critique Giveaway, and One-Hour Zoom Call on 7/29/2024
  • Erica McGrath Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 8/12/2024

Agent Spotlight & Agent Spotlight Updates

  • Agent Spotlights & Interviews have been updated through the letter "K" as of 3/28/2024 and many have been reviewed by the agents. Look for more information as I find the time to update more agent spotlights.

2009 Goals - March Review

I'm going to do a quick review of my goals (as I do every month) since it's the 31st already! The original set for 2009 is here.


Still on track to have my WIP finished by the end of May.
Still on track for my end-of-year goals.
Read four books.
Blogged regularly.
Continued my usual learning and researching.
Reviewed my goals for March!

For April, on top of the usual, I'm charging myself with:

Finish the 30k in 30 (one) days challenge (on time.)
Continue writing daily (minus weekends, perhaps).
One book review.
One teaser or excerpt.
Practice reading out loud on my children.

Anyone else want to post some April goals? Don't forget to check back for our weekly goal post tomorrow - Wednesday's Words!

Goals, goals, goals. I seem to be all about goals this year, don't I?

Writer's Envy

I'm reading THE BOOK THIEF by Markus Zusak and I'm having a serious case of writer's envy.

Reading is both a blessing and a curse, it seems. It's what fuels much of my writing but it can also make me stall. Puts a nasty dent in my complex. I think, gosh... how I'd love to write a book like this. And man, my book is far, far, far from ever being this awesome. Why aren't I this brilliant? Why do I even bother? Bwaaaa!

I love me a fantabulous book as much as the next reader/writer, but geez, it does sting the self-confidence a little. Or a lot.

Does everyone else deal with this? Do you have a coping mechanism? I guess I just hunker down with my writing and remind myself that I have my own unique story to tell, in a way that no one else can, and try to take comfort in that.

But I'm allowed to stick out my lip and stomp my foot a little while doing so, right?

Question Box

This is going to be my Question Box post. I know there are a lot of new writers out there, people new to blogging, and people with questions they've just never asked about the writing biz. Asking questions, no matter how trivial or silly you think it might be, is not stupid. Questions are seeds of knowledge and can help a person grow in a lot of ways.

So, I'm inviting you to leave your questions in the "box" and I'll see if I (or other readers) can answer them for you by posting them up on the blog (as many agents do, for example). They can be about writing, the publishing business, querying, blogging, me, anything! As long as they are appropriate.

Anonymous questions are welcome, if you feel more comfortable that way. And you can always e-mail me at agentspotlight(at)gmail(dot)com, if you'd prefer.

I'm going to put a link to this on my sidebar, so it will always be accessible. If it gets too long I'll make a Question Box II, and so on.

Ask away!

Blogger of the Week!

Happy Friday!

I'm being featured as Blogger of the Week on Alice's CWIM Blog. Alice Pope is the editor of the invaluable Children's Writer's and Illustrator's Market. I'm so honored! Please check out her fabulous blog and consider following her. There is plenty of greatness to be had.

Thanks so much Alice!

Agent Spotlight: Faye Bender

This week's Agent Spotlight features Faye Bender of The Book Group.
Status: Open to submissions.

Screen shot 2011-02-08 at 12.17.22 AM  About: "With a focus on strong collaborative working relationships with her authors, Faye Bender represents fiction for readers aged eight to adult. Her authors have won numerous awards and honors, including the Newbery Medal, the Schneider Family Book Award, the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, the Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award, the Indies Choice Book of the Year Award, the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize, the Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award, and the International Latino Book Award, and have been finalists for the National Book Award and the Impac Dublin Literary Award. Her clients' books have been #1 New York Times bestsellers, New York Times Book Review Notable Books, and selected for Best Books of the Year lists by Publishers Weekly, The Washington Post, School Library Journal, NPR, the Wall Street Journal, the American Library Association, and the New York Public Library, among others.

"Faye is always eager to discover authors with a strong narrative voice and an eye for imaginative storytelling, and she works with her authors for the length and breadth of their careers. Born and raised in Denver, Faye lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two children." (Link)

What She's Looking For:
Genres of Interest:  Middle grade and young adult as well as literary, commercial, and women's fiction.  Non-fiction interests include pop culture, women's issues, narrative, health, memoir, biography, and popular science.

What She Isn't Looking For:
Faye does not represent picture books, genre fiction for adults (western, romance, horror, science fiction, fantasy), business books, spirituality or screenplays.

About the Agency
"Since its launch in 2015 by publishing industry veterans Julie Barer, Faye Bender, Brettne Bloom, and Elisabeth Weed, The Book Group's mission has been to seek out and cultivate talented writers, and to serve as their champions throughout their careers.

"We represent a wide range of distinguished authors, including critically acclaimed and bestselling novelists, celebrated writers of children's literature, and award-winning historians, essayists, memoirists and journalists." (Link)

Editorial Agent?
Yes. I've seen Ms. Bender's clients mention revisions and the web site claims:

Web Presence:
The Book Group
The Book Group Twitter
AgentQuery, QueryTracker.

A list of clients is available on the website.  Clients include: Natalie Anderson, Kristin Cashore, Deborah Davis, Catherine Friend, Ariel Gore, Nicole Helget, Patricia Henley, Jennifer Anne Kogler, Liane Moriarty, Rebecca Stead, Francisco Stork, among others.

Query Methods:
E-mail: Yes.
Snail-Mail: No.
Online-Form: No.

Submission Guidelines (always verify):

Send a query letter and ten sample pages by e-mail (no attachments). See The Book Group website for complete, up-to-date submission guidelines.

Query Tips:
Please keep your letters to the point, include all relevant information, and have a bit of patience with us.

Response Times:
Ms. Bender only responds if she is interested in reading more.

What's the Buzz?
Ms. Bender has great buzz in the online writers' community.  She has years of experience in the publishing industry and some truly fabulous clients and titles on her list.  She's a member of the AAR and has built a great reputation.
There was some concern over the controversy that ensued when her client, Margaret B. Jones (Peggy Seltzer,) admitted her memoir was actually all fiction. I did quite a bit of digging on this and found nothing that suggests Ms. Bender's capacity or reputation as an agent has been jeopardized. In fact, everyone involved, except the author herself, seems to have been unaware of the falsities.
Her clients seem very happy with her representation and have described her as "fabulous," "smart," "highly professional," "eager," "enthusiastic," "lovely," and much more.  See the comments!

Worth Your Time:
Agent Advice Interview with Faye Bender at Writer's Digest (02/2011).

Please see The Book Group website for contact and query information.

Profile Details:
Last updated: 12/30/2022
Agent Contacted For Review? Yes
Reviewed By Agent?  N/A
Have any experience with this agent? See something that needs updating? Please leave a comment or e-mail me at natalieiguirre7(at)gmail.com

Note: These agent profiles presently focus on agents who represent children's fiction.  They are not interviews.  Please take the time to verify anything you might use here before querying an agent. The information found herein is subject to change.

Wednesday's Word Count

Here we are at another last Wednesday of the month. Next Wednesday is April 1st! Wow. This year is flying. I know, I know. I keep saying that but it certainly feels that way!

Prior Goal:
7,000 words.

Achieved: 7570 words.

Goal for new week: 7,000.

Excuses / comments: Last Friday and Saturday were rough writing days for me. I've still managed to write every day since the start of our writer month, but on those two days I only squeaked out a couple-few hundred words. So, in making up for those days, my word count isn't as high as it would and could have been but it's still above my goal, so I'm quite happy with it.

Anyone making any progress in daily and/or weekly goals? Even if you aren't doing so hot with the 30k in 30 (one) days challenge or your daily writing, please leave an update! I'm rooting for you no matter how much you get done!

The key is to keep writing, even if it's just a little when you can find the time.

P.S. Don't forget to check back tomorrow for an Agent Spotlight on Faye Bender. Also, we'd love to see more people over at Flashy Fiction. It's a great place to get some writing practice in!

Agent News: The McVeigh Agency

Former Simon & Schulster/Aladdin editor Mark McVeigh has announced the formation of his agency, The McVeigh Agency. He'll be representing both children's and adult literature.

"I'm looking for select picture books (think character driven, funny, or with a totally kid-centric hook to work in today's PB market), chapter books of all kind, middle grade for both boys and girls--think everything from BEACON STREET GIRLS and FRINDLE to TUCK EVERLASTING and KIRA KIRA (especially things that can be turned into series), YA of all sorts, from comic to angst-y, from envelope-pushing issue-based to romantic, graphic novels for both kids and adults, unusual or very topical nonfiction, and select adult. If a person has a unique idea, concept, or vision AND a voice, I'll do all I can to help them shape it into a manuscript that can work in todays market."

Update: Mr. McVeigh's web site is now up. You can find it here. Also a Q&A with Mark McVeigh at Alice Pope's CWIM Blog here. And more recently, another interview here.

Queries can be sent to: mark(at)themcveighagency.com

So Tell Me: What's in Your Notebook?

It seems like a lot of writers keep a notebook.

The only time I actually use a physical notebook is when I'm brainstorming. I can't write longhand for the life of me, but I brainstorm on paper better than I do on a Word document. I also jot down names and ideas in my notebook when I come across ones I just have to remember.

My favorite English teacher from college once mentioned she keeps notebooks full of quotes and metaphors she likes from the books she reads. I was thinking about this yesterday, when I came across a descriptory sentence I just loved, and began wondering why I don't do the same. I think, if I kept a notebook full of great writing to review when I'm needing inspiration, my writing would be better for it.

So, just curious. What's in your notebook?

Ahh, the Sweet Sanity of Organization

Heather introduced me to Document Map in Word the other day. Oh my. Am I the only person who didn't know this wonder has been available in Word all this time? I've only been using it for a couple days and I already can't beleive I've been writing for the last five years without it. If you set it up right, it's like having a mini-outline right on the side of your document. No more scrolling through pages forever. And I can keep track of all my notes and thoughts. I feel so much more organized and sane, like I might actually be able to get through this draft without losing my mind.

So... if you haven't tried it, I'm officially recommending it. The same goes for Windows Live Writer. I started using Live Writer last week for my Agent Spotlight entries and it's a huge help. I can write up the post, link all my links up ahead of time, upload any pictures I want to use, and avoid any formatting issues between Word and Blogger.

With these two things working for me, my writing world suddenly feels so much more together and streamline.

You might not have a need for Live Writer, but really, seriously, try the Document Map if you aren't already. Plus, you can e-mail me if you want an easier run-down on how to use it.

KT Literary: Live-Blogging Queries

Agent Kate Schafer Testerman of KT Literary is live-blogging as she goes through queries today.

Check it out!

Wednesday's Word Count

I'm feeling rather happy today. The weather looks to be beautiful. I'm actually getting out of the house to spend time with a friend. This is my 150th post. I have several new followers. My one-year blogiversary is right around the corner (April 3rd.) Tomorrow is our third Agent Spotlight (Maya Rock.) And, I have a great word count to report for Wednesday's Words this week!

Prior Goal: 7,000 words.

Achieved: 9215 words.

Goal for new week: 7,000 to keep up with our WriMo.

Excuses / comments: There really is something to writing every day. One of my goals for our writer month (MarPrilWrimo) was to write daily. The first couple of days it was a breeze. I'm always amped up when I start something new. The next few days, however, proved to be more challenging. I managed to write every single day but getting my goal of 1k a day onto the page was becoming more difficult. I did it. There hasn't been a day since we started that I've ended up under 1k, but there have been a few days where I've had to stop and come back to my writing two or three times to get it done. This is day ten and now that I've gotten into the routine of writing daily, I'm finding that it's getting easier. I was looking over my writing log this morning (I keep a daily word count log) and noticed that I've actually crept up to about 1300 words a day. Now I'm wondering, if I keep writing daily, will it keep getting easier? Will that word count keep creeping up? I think it just might but I'll have to wait and see.

For those of you doing MarPrilWrimo, how is it going? As our mid-month-to-mid-month writing challenge progresses, is it getting easier or harder for you to keep up with the demand?

For those of you not doing MarPrilWrimo, how is your writing going? What are you working on? Any goals you'd like to share?

I hope everyone is having a great Wednesday today! Check out the Query Tactic post from yesterday and chime in if you haven't already. I've enjoyed reading everyone's take on querying!

So Tell Me: Your Query Tactic

This is something I've wondered about for awhile but I always forget to blog about it.


What was/is/will be your course of query-action?


Specifically, did you query your top agents first?  Did you do any exclusives on the off-chance that your dream agent would want to take you on?  Did you hold off on querying favs in order to see how your query would do elsewhere first?   Or did you just query across the board and hope for the best?


Whatever your tactic, I'm curious!  How did you approach the monumental task of querying?  And, is there anything you regret or have learned that you'd like to share?  Please do!

Lindsey Leavitt Contest: Get Lucky!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Lindsey Leavitt is having a Lucky You! Contest on her blog in honor of all things lucky and unlucky, so get over there and try to luck-out!

What's the deal? Tell her about a time you got lucky (keep it PG!) and why it was important or awesome or...whichever.

She's giving away four books and a Lindsey critique on whatever you like. Fun!

Good luck!!

Bookshelf Muse: Contest Extension

I meant to blog about this earlier, but I guess that didn't work out. Better late then never, they say!

Anywho, The Bookshelf Muse is having a contest for their followers. They are looking for 1-2 sentence book blurbs from either a completed novel or a work-in-progress. The key is to hook them with your blurb. The prize? One of three double critiques on your first chapter or first 3000 words (whichever comes first.)

This is a great opportunity to get feedback on your writing! So, if you're a follower of The Bookshelf Muse, get over there and give it a go. If you're not a follower, you should be! Their thesauri are fabulous and they'll be doing more follower-only competitions in the future.

They've extended the contest to March 20th in order to get more entries, so you've got four more days to enter.

Good luck!


I was thinking about my various pursuits this morning. From all the different careers I've considered to all the different hobbies I've tried, and how each has been a small journey that has affected me in one way or another. Choices. Essentially, how I've changed.

In recent years, I feel like I've really crawled into myself. I don't handle socialization outside the Internet very well anymore, and the thought of doing things outside of this world freaks me out. I think about doing things like... going back to school, establishing a writer's group, going to writing conferences, etc., and it honestly gives me anxiety just thinking about it. A lot of this probably has to do with how isolated I am these days. I work at home, all my hobbies are in my home, I have only a few friends who have these things called lives (hey, how do I get one of those?), and I have two children that make it challenging to get out without feeling like I'm dragging a circus and all its cargo with me.

I guess I've been trying to figure out where this began, how it developed. Was it when I started taking online college courses 90% of the time for my degree? Was it when I started working from home? When I had my daughter and found myself getting out less and less? Did it start back in high school when I decided to go into Independent Study to finish early? Or has it all just compounded? I don't know. I've always been fairly introverted but the difference between then and now is that I used to try.

I think about things I tried to get into in the past - choir, voice lessons, drama, dance, modeling classes, etc. - and I just boggle over it. I look at that list and think, hey! that person's an extrovert. But I'm not and really never have been. I just tried to be, and the person I am now can't imagine doing any of those things. But you know what? Those experiences, no matter how distant they feel now, remind me that I have it in me somewhere. I just have to find it again.

So what does this have to do with anything? The rest of my life. Promotion, marketing. The frightening prospect of eventually having to sell myself. I'm pretty young in the scheme of life and I feel like I've really gone downhill in this regard. If I've let this much go already, where are the next few years going to take me? The next twenty, even? I don't necessarily want to change for the sake of becoming published, but I'm definitely going to have to muster up some of that can-do (or at least, can-try) attitude. Otherwise I'll be shooting myself in the foot and this, becoming a (successful) published author, is a huge part of who I want my future-self to be.

So, for the sake of my introspection, share with me some of the ways you've changed, things you've had to overcome for your dreams, or fears you have or had about becoming published.

I'd love to hear what you have to say.

Next Week's Agent Spotlight

Hello everyone!

Rather than make a post every week announcing the next week's Agent Spotlight, or adding it to the bottom of the previous, I've decided to put it in my sidebar. I've added an Agent Spotlight link list on the side there, and every week you'll find an agent listed as "Up Next."

So keep an eye on that list!

And remember, if you have any experience with the upcoming agent that you're willing to share, but do not want to post in the comments when the Spotlight goes up, or you think I should have the information prior to the post's launch, please e-mail me at agentspotlight@gmail.com.


Agent Spotlight: Michael Bourret

This week's Agent Spotlight features Michael Bourret of Dystel, Goderich & Bourret LLC.
Status: Open to submissions.
staff_mikeAbout: "Michael Bourret began his career as an intern at the agency while studying film and television production at New York University, joined full-time in 2000, opened the West Coast office in 2009, and became a partner in 2016. He represents a wide range of genres and age groups; his children’s list is broad, spanning from picture books to young adult, while on the adult side he represents narrative nonfiction, memoir, and commercial and literary fiction. Across the board, he has a special affinity for offbeat projects that break the mold, and a particular interest in queer and BIPOC literature and writers. His diverse and critically acclaimed authors include several New York Times bestsellers, as well as winners of the National Book Award, the LA Times Book Prize, the Michael L. Printz Award, the Margaret A. Edwards Award, the William C. Morris Award, the Lambda Literary Award, the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, the Stonewall Book Award, and finalists for many others. His clients’ works have been translated into over fifty languages and adapted into major motion pictures." (From the agency website)
About the Agency: 
"Dystel, Goderich & Bourret LLC is a dynamic literary agency boasting an impressive client list and a sterling reputation. Led by Jane Dystel, who founded the company in 1994, our agents are smart, hardworking, compassionate, and focused on their authors’ success. We are a full-service enterprise known for our business savvy and integrity. We don’t just sell books. We build careers."
(From the agency website)
Web Presence:
DG&B website.
Twitter @MichaelBourret.
Manuscript Wish List.
DG&B Facebook.
What He's Looking For:
Genres / Specialties:
Fiction, African-American, Gay + Lesbian, Historical, Horror, Mystery, Thrillers, Women's Literature, Non-Fiction, Biography, Memoir, Business, Investment, Crafts, Hobbies, DIY, Health, Diet, History, Politics, Current Affairs, Pop Culture, Entertainment, Science, Technology, Picture Books, Early Readers, Middle grade, Young adult. (Link)
"He specializes in children's books, from picture books through young adult. He is actively seeking children's books of all kinds, but especially commercially-minded (though not necessarily commercial) young adult and books for boys." (Link)
Also see Mr. Bourrett's Manuscript Wish List detailed information about what he is looking for.
From an Interview (03/2013):
“I'd love to see anything that's new, original, daring, different, out-of-the-ordinary, that pushes boundaries, that's uncompromising. I'm actively looking for both MG and YA, and I like a challenge. If you've written a book that breaks the mold, that doesn't sound like other things on the market, please be in touch. It can be realistic or fantasy, but it can't be familiar.” (Link)
What He Isn't Looking For:
Christian Literature, Erotica, Poetry, Puzzles, Games, Romance, Textbooks, Dramatic Works
Editorial Agent?
A list of clients is available on the website.
Marcy Beller Paul, Emma Carlson Berne, Bryan Bliss, Z Brewer, Preeti Chhibber, Gayle Forman, James Hankins, Dave Holmes, Rhoda Janzen, A.S. King, Stephanie Kuehn, Malinda Lo, Lisa McMann, Carrie Mesrobian, Emily X.R. Pan, Jewell Parker Rhodes, James Riley, Francesco Sedita, Suzanne Selfors, N. H. Senzai, Bernadette Shustak, Andrew Smith, Nova Ren Suma, Molly Wizenberg, Sara Zarr, among others.
Query Methods: E-mail: No.Snail-Mail: No.
Online Form: Yes.
Submission Guidelines:
Send a query and the first 20 pages of your manuscript. No attachments. Query only one agent at the agency. 
See the DG&B website for complete, up-to-date submission guidelines and tips on how to query them.
Query Tips:
"I hate when my name is spelled wrong, I hate typos in the first sentence, I hate being queried by writers who haven’t done their research.  But in the end, none of that really matters if the query is compelling.  As I’ve mentioned on our blog, the details aren’t the most important thing, the idea, the narrative, the storytelling – that’s what hooks me." (Link)
Response Times:
The agency's stated response time for queries is 8 weeks. If you do not hear back within the stated timeframe, feel free to resend if referencing the original query. (From the agency website)
What’s the buzz?
Michael Bourret has been with DG&B since 2010 and has a very impressive list of authors and sales. He is regularly a Top Dealmaker on Publisher’s Marketplace and his clients are very loyal, suggesting happy partnerships all around. For what it’s worth, Bourret makes my personal list of tip-top agents.
I recommend following him on Twitter @MichaelBourret for further insight.
Worth Your Time:
Interviews and Posts:
Michael Bourret Podcast at Sara Zarr’s THIS CREATIVE LIFE (12/2022)
Michael Bourret Podcast Interview at Inside the Writer's Head (01/2019)
Interview with Agent Michael Bourret at All the Write Notes (03/2013)
Around the Web:
Before querying, I recommend reading all the pages on the DG&B website, including a great FAQ section and his Manuscript Wish List.
Please see the Dystel, Goderich & Bourret LLC website for additional contact and query information.
Profile Details:
Last Updated: 1/7/2023.
Agent Contacted for Review? Yes.
Last Reviewed By Agent? 2/8/2023.
Have any experience with this agent? See something that needs updating? Please leave a comment or e-mail me at natalieiaguirre7(at)gmail(dot)com

Note: These agent profiles presently focus on agents who accept children's/teen fiction. They are not interviews. Please take the time to verify anything you might use here before querying an agent. The information found herein is subject to change.

Wednesday's Word Count

Merry Wednesday! How's the week-to-week writing going?

Prior Goal:
Write like a mad woman - ha!

Achieved: 5858 since last Wednesday. 3316 since MarPrilWriMo started Monday.

Goal for new week: 7,000 to keep up with our WriMo.

Excuses / comments: I'm happy with my word count for the week and having a blast with my new novel. Have to do a bit more for the next 3 1/2 weeks to keep up with our little WriMo though! So far I'm keeping my head above the proverbial water.

How is everyone else doing?

Psst: The second Agent Spotlight goes up tomorrow!

Stuff and Things on a Tuesday

MarPrilWriMo is going great. We now have, I beleive, eight people participating.

Tyler made us a Facebook group. If you want to jump in and join us, you're still more than welcome to. Or, if you'd like to join the group just to watch and encourage, that'd be super cool too.

If you're already participating in the 30k in 30 (one) days challenge and don't normally come by, stop by tomorrow for a Wednesday Words check-in!

Reminder: The live chat with Agent Michael Bourret happens tomorrow, if anyone is interested.

And... my first prompt is up on Flashy Fiction. Head on over. I'd love to see what you come up with!

MarPrilWriMo or 30k in 30 days

Tyler, Heather, and I are doing a 30k in 30 days challenge. The same rules as NaNoWriMo apply except we're shooting for 30k (at least) and the challenge runs from 3/09/09 (today) to 04/09/09. That's roughly 1k a day, not too bad.

We're all working on first drafts. I think Heather is about a third into hers and Tyler and I will be working on new novels. Gotta get those awful first drafts cranked out somehow.

Want to join in? Please do!

Let us know in the comments, throw a counter up on your blog, and get to writing! We'd love more company.

Side note: I feel way to cheery for a time-change Monday, but then, I didn't stay up late because of it. How's the time change treating you?


I've been meaning to post some of these for awhile but I actually had a week full of stuff to blog about. Hey, not complaining about that!

So you might have already read them, but if you didn't....

$13.99 + (head) tax over at Janet Reid's blog (LOVED this.)

When You Really Mean That the Work is Not Right For You over at Pubrants.

Confident or Delusional at A Newbie's Guide to Publishing.

A couple new entries in the Publishing Dictionary over at Editorial Anonymous.

If you missed it, catch up on #Queryfail day, started by Colleen Lindsay at The Swivet, which was awesome! Miss Snark's First Victim posted some examples and thoughts if you don't feel like digging through Twitter (also, plenty to find with a Google search.) A lot of it was head-desk worthy, really.

Ten Commandments for the Happy Writer over at Nathan Bransford's blog.

Book Comparisons was a short, informative post regarding log lines at Janet Reid's.

And... some great recent posts over at Redlines and Deadlines, including one just today about Queryfail day.


Michael Bourret: Next Week's Agent Spotlight & Live Chat

Update: If you'd like to read Michael Bourret's Agent Spotlight click HERE.

I'm working on next week's Agent Spotlight, which will feature Michael Bourret of Dystel & Goderich Literary Management, and let me tell ya, there is a ton o' info out there on him. Yowza. I didn't realize he was such a hotshot until I started researching him!

Two things:

If you have any experience with Michael Bourret that you're willing to share, but do not want to post in the comments when the Spotlight goes up, or you think I should have the information prior to the post's launch, please e-mail me at agentspotlight@gmail.com.

Michael Bourret will be doing a live chat over at Editor Unleashed (run by former WD editor Maria Schneider) on Wednesday, March 11 from 1-2 p.m. I wanted to let everyone know in advance since his Agent Spotlight post will being going up the day after this and I *beleive* you have to register to be able to access that portion of the forum. Also, they are asking that questions be posted for him on the forum in advance.

Happy Friday everyone! Don't miss my earlier post about the new group blog Flashy Fiction.

Flashy Fiction Fun - Join us!

More news and newness!

I'm part of a new group blog called Flashy Fiction! We give you prompts seven days a week, you give us flash fiction in the comments!

The crew:

Miss Monday: Patti Tucker
Miss Tuesday: Moi!
Miss Wednesday: Trish Doller
Miss Thursday: Heather Hansen
Miss Friday: Suzanne Young
Miss Saturday: Christy Raedeke
Miss Sunday: Amanda Morgan

(I so just added the miss-day thing in so we could feel like hot calender girls!)

Here's the 411!

Are you struggling to find the words? Have you lost your desire to write? Need to remember how fun it is to create without criticism? This is the site for you!

What is Flashy Fiction?

Flashy Fiction is a blog designed to motivate you to write. We will give you prompts, your job is to write a flash piece and post it in the comments. The prompts can be anything – pictures, a series of words, a news article, a sentence, or quote.

Make this process something creative for you! Use it as a jumping off point to get back to your manuscript.

How does Flashy Fiction work?

Anyone can participate in Flashy Fiction. Read or view the prompt and then spend 10 to 20 minutes writing your flash piece. We do not care about your level of experience.

What can you write?

ANYTHING! It can be silly, or cute, or downright sad. Language is your choice as well. The only thing we ask is that it be on topic.

As a matter of courtesy, we do ask that all comments be nice. This is NOT a critique site and should not be treated as such. The participants are sharing pieces for fun.

Come check it out!

Agent Spotlight: Sara Crowe

This week's Agent Spotlight features Sara Crowe of Sara Crowe Literary.
Sara CroweAbout: "Sara always had a book in her hand, and is still amazed that she gets to help make them. She has 25 years of experience in the publishing world, with 8 in foreign rights, and 20 representing clients.  After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania and the Radcliffe Publishing course, she started her career at The Wylie Agency, where she went on to sell foreign rights in Wylie’s London office. She was a foreign rights manager at Trident Media Group, and an agent and foreign rights manager at Harvey Klinger, before becoming a senior agent at Pippin Properties.  
She represents a diverse group of children's and adult fiction and nonfiction; everything from picture books to graphic novels to literary fiction and adult romcoms.  Her clients include Newbery and Printz medalists and honorees, National Book Award Finalists, Lambda award winners and finalists, and NYT Bestsellers."
(From the agency website)
Status: Update on 11/10/2023: Sara is currently closed to submissions. Please check the agency website to find out when she will reopen to queries.
What She’s Looking For:
Genres of interest: Author-illustrated picture books and graphic novels, MG and YA fiction and nonfiction, and select adult fiction, specifically rom-coms and literary fiction. She is especially interested in underrepresented voices. (From the agency website.)
What She Isn't Looking For:
Picture book text and adult Sci-Fi/fantasy, or commercial thrillers (From the agency website)
Editorial Agent?
About the agency:
"Sara Crowe Literary is dedicated to nurturing and developing careers, championing new talent, and representing works from diverse backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives.
We are committed to inclusive practices that value richness in diversity and create spaces for creativity and innovation that enrich the lives of our agents, clients, and communities." (From the agency website)
Web Presence:
Sara Crow Literary.
Publisher’s Marketplace page.
AgentQuery, QueryTracker.
Check the agency website for a list of her clients.
Query Methods:
Email her at submissions@saracrowelit.com with a query and 10 pages of text
Check the agency website for up-to-date submission guidelines.
What’s the buzz?
Sara Crowe is a highly sought after agent who is very polite and professional. She has great experience in the industry, fabulous clients, and impressive sales. Her clients seem extremely pleased with her representation. Definitely follower her on twitter.
Worth Your Time:
7 Questions with Literary Agent Sara Crowe at Middle Grade Ninja (04/2011)
Interview with Sara Crowe at Laurie Thompason's blog (03/2010)
Please see  Sara Crowe Literary's website for contact and query information.
Profile Details:
Last updated: 4/25/2023
Agent Contacted For Review? Yes
Last Reviewed By Agent 5/22/2019
Have any experience with this agent? See something that needs updating? Please leave a comment or e-mail me at natalieiaguirre7(at)gmail(dot)com.

Note: These agent profiles presently focus on agents who accept children's fiction. They are not interviews. Please take the time to verify anything you might use here before querying an agent. The information found herein is subject to change.

Introducing...Agent Spotlight!

Researching and querying literary agents is extremely time consuming, and when you’re trying to put together a personal query for each agent (which you should be) it’s even more so. And this is only after you’ve compiled a list of agents who represent your genre, which takes its own share of time.

I’m here to help!

At least once a month I'll do an Agent Spotlight Interview with an agent who represents children's, middle grade, and/or young adult literature. I will ask them about what they're looking for, whether they're an editorial agent, how to query them, other helpful interviews they've done, how to query them, and more. These interviews contain all the helpful information that are in the Agent Spotlights and additional helpful information. 

I also offer a query critique giveaway with the agent so that you can get feedback to strengthen your query letter when you are ready to query. You do not have to write in a genre that the agent represents or want to query the agent to be eligible to enter my query critique giveaways. The purpose of them is to give you feedback to make your query letter stronger and to get experience communicating directly with a literary agent.

I also try to keep the Agent Spotlights and Agent Spotlight Interviews up-to-date because many agents switch agencies, start their own agencies, and change what they're looking for. All the agent spotlights were updated in July 2020. I am going to try to update them every three years.

You can help, too!

Please e-mail at natalieiaguirre7(at)gmail(dot)com if you have any suggestions, requests, agent news, or information regarding an agent I've spotlighted or will be spotlighting in the future. I encourage everyone to contact me or leave a comment—good or bad, open or anonymous—about the agents you've had experience with.

If you are an agent and would like to do an Agent Spotlight Interview, please e-mail me  at natalieiaguirre7(at)gmail(dot)com. 

Thanks so much! Good luck with your querying!

Wednesday's Word Count

Golly gosh, it's March people! Any exciting spring plans?

Prior Goal: Finish last week's chapter and writer another.

Achieved: Finished last week's chapter and other (see comments.)

Goal for new week: Write like a mad woman?

Excuses / comments: I have news. I started a new novel. I can hear your collective groans, BUT this novel is really more worth my time and I have my critique partner's blessing. I might still plink away at my MG, but I'm definitely switching focus. I'm both excited and frustrated at once. I'm starting over AGAIN and it's going to throw off my goals (unless I write like a mad woman - MarchWriMo anyone?) but I'm excited about the potential! I feel like this is "the one." We'll see!

So what are you working on? Have any specific goals this week?

P.S. Later today I'll be announcing my new blog series-thing, so check back!

Blog Topics for Writers

Awhile ago I made a post about blog topics for writers. At the time I wanted to start blogging more but didn’t really know what to blog about. Apparently other writers are wondering the same thing because I keep getting hits on that post. Since I’ve put together a list for myself, and I love to be helpful, I’ve decided to expand on the topic for others.

Blog Topics for Writers:

Talk about Your writing: Seems like a no-brainer, huh? Really though, a lot of writers don’t spend much time talking about their writing (me included). Maybe we should. The writing community is incredible. Since joining the blogosphere, I've found that fellow writers are a great source of feedback and encouragement.

Post Excepts or Teasers: Feedback is extremely important to a writer’s progression. It’s really hard to learn without it, so post some excerpts and reap the benefits!

Open Discussion Questions: Have a question about the publishing biz? About writing? About anything? Post it! Get input, opinion, and/or feedback.

Book Reviews: If you’re writing, I hope you’re doing some reading, too. Book reviews are always great for a writing blog and good reviews mean a lot to authors. Review the books you love!

Interviews: Have any author friends? Any contacts in the publishing business? Been following any up-and-coming debut authors? Ask to interview them! Interviews are always fun and informative.

Discuss Current Events: Seriously. If you’re completely stumped for blogging ideas, there is a wealth of publishing news to draw from. From book releases to big sales to lay-offs and the economy, there is always news you can spew words about.

Discuss Other Blog Posts: Unless you’re bran-spanking-new to blogging, you’re probably following some great writing blogs and/or publishing professionals (if not, see my sidebar). Keep a folder on your computer where you can bookmark posts that interest you. Like publishing, there is always something discussion-worthy out there!

Friday Five: Popular among all sorts of blogs is the Friday Five. And, although no one has spelled out the “rules” of the Friday Five to me, I get the impression you simply list five things you’d like to share on a Friday.

Lists: List and discuss your favorite books, authors, characters, even your favorite book covers, etc. And don’t forget, you can discuss your least favorites as well!

Inspiration: One of the questions that published authors often get asked is: “Where do you get your ideas?” It’s a pretty good question, too. Where the heck do we get the inspiration to create fictional worlds and characters? Start thinking about it now and maybe blog about your inspirations as you become inspired.

Here are some other topics/questions you can consider addressing:

Do you write with music? Why or why not?

What are your comfort books, books you can read again and again, that foster and rekindle your desire to write?

What is your ideal or dream writing space like?

What or who inspired you to write?

Do you belong to a critique group? Writing organization? Tell us about it!

Going to any conferences? Make a shout-out and see if you can find other writers to meet up with.

What are your favorite writing blogs? Why?

Are you querying? Share your journey through rejection and (hopefully!) acceptance.

What are your favorite kinds of characters to write? To read?

What are you doing to improve your craft?

How do you stay motivated?

Are you an outliner or a seat-of-your-pants writer? Why?

Would you like to be a bestseller or have a smaller, more manageable following?

Do you have any fears about becoming published? Why not talk them out?

What are your marketing plans? Are you working on your platform?

Do you have a writing “process?” Do share!

And so on…

That should give any writer a pretty good start, but I’ll be adding to this list as I have time.

Feel free to add suggestions or other topics in the comments. Are you a writer here looking for blog topics? Post your blog in the comments and I’ll check it out!

Marketing Contest: Comment Your Butt Off. Win a Free Web Site!

Shelli over at Market My Words is having an awesome competition for writers (published and pre-published) through March called "Comment Your Butt Off." She is trying to bring her lurkers out of the woodwork and gain new interest by offering the choice of one of three marketing prizes:
  • A five-page custom designed web site valued at $1,000.
  • A branding package which includes custom business cards and stationary design.
  • Five hours of marketing consultation by phone or in person.
Check out this blog post for details on prizes and participating, as well as an example of a web site she designed. I don't know about you, but I'd love to have a web site designed for me for free!

Book Poll - Closed and Open

My book poll is closed. Thanks to your input, I've just purchased the following:

I HEART YOU, YOU HAUNT ME by Lisa Schroeder.
THE BOOK THIEF by Markus Zusak.


I'm going to start REBEL ANGELS by Libba Bray today.

Also, I'm putting up a new book poll. It will be up for the next two weeks, so whenever you feel like weighing in, please do!