Upcoming Agent Spotlight Interviews & Guest Posts

  • Sarah Stephens Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveawawy on 10/10/2022
  • Eve Adler Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 10/17/2022
  • Adria Goetz Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 11/14/2022
  • Kelly Dyksterhouse Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 12/12/2022
  • Savannah Brooks Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 12/19/2022

Agent Spotlight & Agent Spotlight Updates

  • All Agent Spotlights & Interviews have been updated as of 7/15/2020, and many have been reviewed by the agents. Look for them to be fully updated in 2023.

AGENT SPOTLIGHT INTERVIEW WITH CONNOR ECK AND QUERY CRITIQUE GIVEAWAY

Today I’m thrilled to have agent Connor Eck here. He is a literary agent at Lucinda Literary.

Hi Connor! Thanks so much for joining us.

About Connor:

1. Tell us how you became an agent, how long you’ve been one, and what you’ve been doing as an agent.
I started my career in journalism and film then found my niche in publishing at Lucinda Literary, where great mentorship and learning experiences propelled me into an agenting role in 2017. I’ve since had the opportunity to build an eclectic list. It’s been extremely rewarding editing and selling books across different genres and formats—from children’s to adult to poetry and more. I like to keep my palate guessing! 
About the Agency:
2. Share a bit about your agency and what it offers to its authors.
We’re really unique in what we offer authors. We coin ourselves as a hybrid in that we do a lot more than provide representation. We have a speakers bureau and add a wealth of marketing experience along with personalized author care. Not only are we very hands-on editorially, we like to be friendly and transparent with our clients, which can pleasantly surprise a lot of people. 
What He’s Looking For:
3. What age groups do you represent—picture books, MG, and/or YA? What genres do you represent and what are you looking for in submissions for these genres?
I represent all children’s genres. More picture books, MG, YA, and illustrators, please! I don’t go for high-concept fantasy stories that overpower character development. I mostly look for contemporary or magical realism. For picture books, the sillier the better, or heartfelt stories that tap into some universal nerve. For all books, I look for that commercial hook. I’ll also ask, “What moral value does this bring?” or “What new, fresh idea does this present?”. 
4.  Is there anything you would be especially excited to seeing in the genres you are interested in?
You don’t know until it’s in front of you!
What He Isn’t Looking For:
5. What types of submissions are you not interested in?
Anything that might not be ready for agency submission. Too often writers query manuscripts before they’ve been properly (and thoroughly!) revised many times over. Also, poor grammar from the outset is never fun to see. Good writing starts at grammar. 
Agent Philosophy:
6. What is your philosophy as an agent both in terms of the authors you want to work with and the books you want to represent?
Take on good people whose work moves me powerfully. Work incredibly hard, make people’s dreams come true, build lasting relationships. And don’t forget to enjoy the process. (That was long-winded for a mantra—I do apologize!). 
Editorial Agent:
7. Are you an editorial agent? If so, what is your process like when you’re working with your authors before submitting to editors?
Indeed. I’ll begin by providing broad-strokes feedback then narrow into line editing as we approach submission. 
Query Methods and Submission Guidelines: (Always verify before submitting)
8. How should authors query you and what do you want to see with the query letter?
Query me by email (connor@lucindaliterary.com). Include a brief query letter; 250 words is ideal, and copy and paste the first 25 pages below your signature. Thank you, kindly!
9.  Do you have any specific dislikes in query letters or the first pages submitted to you? 
Long-winded letters feel daunting. Charmin Ultra, less is more. Grammar mistakes in the first pages hurt my soul. It’s a very sensitive soul. 
Response Time:
10. What’s your response time to queries and requests for more pages of a manuscript?
It’s impossible to respond to every query! I’ll try my best to respond to requests for pages in timely fashion but sometimes, depending on the time of year and volume of projects I’m working on, it might take longer than I intend. 

Self-Published and Small Press Authors:
11.  Are you open to representing authors who have self-published or been published by smaller presses? What advice do you have for them if they want to try to find an agent to represent them?
Yes, though typically only in adult nonfiction. 
12. With all the changes in publishing—self-publishing, hybrid authors, more small publishers—do you see the role of agents changing at all? Why?
I think there’s more opportunity to find authors nowadays with so many writers self-publishing and using mediums like Medium (ha!), Wattpad, podcast forums, and the like. For scouting, these avenues are great. I don’t see them negatively affecting an agent’s role, because people still yearn to be published with major houses—that’s where the money, prestige, and enduring career live. Agents are the avenues that make this happen. 
Clients:
13. Who are some of the authors you represent?
Why thank you for asking. I guess it would make most sense to mention the ones whose books are forthcoming… Dylan “Hornswoggle” Postl, the greatest WWE midget wrestler of all time, has a memoir publishing in September, LIFE IS SHORT & SO AM I, about his improbable journey to stardom. Karla Clark’s picture book, YOU BE MOMMY, publishing with Feiwel & Friends in March, is an adorable role reversal story where a tuckered out mother is too tired to be mommy at bedtime so she asks her daughter to be mommy and tuck her in, kiss her chin, and so forth. It’s a tender rhyming story, if you can’t already tell! And then there’s Emily Dalton, a talented young writer living in Brooklyn. BE STRAIGHT WITH ME, written in verse, documents how she and her male gay best friend unexpectedly fell in love in college. You can find this on the shelves next spring. 
Interviews and Guest Posts:
14. Please share the links to any interviews, guest posts, and other links, such as to Manuscript Wish List, you think would be helpful to writers interested in querying you.
Links and Contact Info:
15. Please share how writers should contact you to submit a query and your links on the Web.
Email me (connor@lucindaliterary) and be sure to follow our submission guidelines: http://www.lucindaliterary.com/representation-guidelines/
Additional Advice:

16. Is there any other advice you’d like to share with aspiring authors that we haven’t covered?
Common convention tells writers to read and write a lot to become better writers. I believe you need to do more than that. If you don’t know what to look for or what mistakes you’re making, how can you improve? You need to deeply study the mechanics of writing—grammar, syntax, structure, character development, poetics, simplicity, pacing, I could go on… This can be done by devouring on-writing and on-editing books, getting your own work edited or your hands on professionally edited manuscripts, taking classes, engaging a writing coach, etc. 
Thanks for sharing all your advice, Connor.

Connor is generously offering a query critique to one lucky winner. To enter, all you need to do is be a follower (just click the follower button if you're not a follower) and leave a comment through July 27th. If your e-mail is not on your Google Profile, you must leave it in the comments to enter either contest. If you do not want to enter the contest, that's okay. Just let me know in the comments.
If you mention this contest on Twitter, Facebook, or your blog, or follow me on twitter, mention this in the comments and I'll give you an extra entry. This is an international giveaway.
Have any experience with this agent? See something that needs updating? Please leave a comment or e-mail me at natalieiaguirre7@gmail.com
Note: These agent profiles and interviews presently focus on agents who accept children's fiction. Please take the time to verify anything you might use here before querying an agent. The information found here is subject to change.

53 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

If I wrote in those genres, he need not fear a long winded query letter from me!

Susan Johnston Taylor said...

Great interview! I look forward to querying Connor. (susanejohnston AT gmail)

Kristin Lenz said...

I'm so guilty of long-winded query letters! Thanks for the reminder and for continuing to provide these opportunities, Natalie!

kathrynjankowski said...

I'm not sure if he's interested in fantasy, but I'd love feedback on my query nonetheless. Thanks! author AT kathrynjankowskibooks.com

Ann Finkelstein said...

I think my last comment got lost in cyberspace. Here's hoping Firefox is more agreeable. Thank you for another great interview and contest opportunity, Natalie.

Nick Wilford said...

Connor definitely seems to cover all bases as an agent. Great interview.

Elizabeth Seckman said...

Grammar hurts the soul. LOL. Love it.

Reading Mama K. said...

I would love to be considered! Thank you for this opportunity.

BetW said...

Hi Connor, I would love to be considered too. I adore quirky and silly also. Great interview!

Fyl Frazee said...

Lot's of good insight. I'm the first to admit my grasp of grammar isn't always the greatest.

Elizabeth McBride said...

Thank you for these great interviews and opportunities, Natalie! I love his question about the moral value of a piece. We all can contribute to the uplifting of the world in some way.

Maria Antonia said...

Good interview! I understand seeing errors in grammar and spelling as hurtful to the soul!

Snuffalupagus said...

Very insightful!

Unknown said...

Keeping this agency on my radar!

Rita said...

I think I will try a male agent for once. I loved the way he stressed that not only reading is important for a writer to write but also all the other specifications he mentioned.I would love to win the critique. Thank you rita@ritaborg.us

Mary Rudzinski said...

Thank you for the opportunity, Natalie! Adding Connor to my query list. Truly appreciated his comments on craft. Thanks!

An American in Florence said...

Thanks for sharing! It's interesting to see a hybrid agency. I use to work for a speakers bureau but we weren't a lit agency too (kimberde at gmail)

feecaro said...

Thank you for the advice from Connor and the chance to enter the giveaway! I will also spread this on Twitter.

Judith L. Roth said...

Love this: "It's a very sensitive soul."

Heather said...

Great interview. Love Connor's advice to pay attention to grammar and syntax as well as craft - spot on! Would love a query critique: heathermcappsauthor@gmail.com. And - I tweeted!
https://twitter.com/HMCWrites/status/1149317183236952066?s=20

Claire Bobrow said...

Thanks for sharing this excellent interview with Connor. I like his advice to go beyond extensive reading and dive deep into the mechanics of the writing. I'll be working on that!

Laura Stewart said...

Great interview! Thank you for providing such a great service Natalie. I appreciate Connor's helpful direction and look forward to submitting a query.

laurastewartstories.com

Therese said...

Thanks for providing such a great service for your readers! (paperfaces (dot) therese (at) gmail (dot) com)

Angela said...

Thanks for the great insight.

Amy Leskowski said...

Great interview! Thanks for the insight and opportunity.

Amy Leskowski said...

Thanks for the insight and opportunity! amyleskowski (AT) gmail (dot) com

Lynn Baldwin said...

Great interview! Thank you so much. lynn (AT) lynnbaldwinbooks.com

Lori S. said...

Thanks, Natalie for a great interview with Connor

Erin said...

Thanks for the advice and the generous critique giveaway!

Diane T said...

Poor grammar hurts my soul as well. Thanks for the interview!

Kirbi Fagan said...

Great interview and helpful reminders! Thanks!

Rosi said...

What a terrific interview. So many good tips in this one. Thanks!

Unknown said...

"Charmin Ultra, less is more." Well said! Thanks for sharing these insights, Connor. They're incredibly helpful as I begin the querying process.

Unknown said...

My email is jonathan (dot) ochart (at) gmail (dot) com. Thank you for this opportunity!

Janet Heller said...

Dear Natalie Aguirre,

This is a very helpful interview! Thank you for posting this and for emphasizing agents who are interested in manuscripts for children. Best wishes for the summer!

Sincerely,
Janet Ruth Heller
e-mail is janetheller@charter.net
website is https://www.janetruthheller.com/

Ashley Adkins said...

So much great information! Thank you for taking the time to share with us all.

Mary Zychowicz said...

Great interview. Thanks for the information. These spotlights are so helpful.

TerryMac said...

Thanks, Natalie, for this wonderful interview and opportunity. It was great to learn about Conor Eck and his unique agency.

Kelly said...

What a great interview! I've come to this website a few times before to re-read the post about word counts, but this is the first time I'm nosing around a bit. What wonderful resources and connections. Thank you!

Judy Mc said...

Nice to meet Connor - thanks, Natalie! Terrific interview. Hot fun in the summertime wishes to both of you!

Nancy P said...

Very generous. Follow on GFC.

Unknown said...

Thanks for the great interview and nice to meet you! Happy summer to you both!

Liesbet said...

I enjoyed the interview! Thank you, both. A 250-word query letter. That IS brief! My current one is 500 words (one page) long. I assume Connor just wants to read the synopsis of the book and maybe a short author's bio?

Every agent seems to prefer a different approach, which makes this process hard. Some also want a one-paragraph summary about the marketing plan or the author's platform or an outline. And, how about the market and a personalized introduction. Obviously, I'm still struggling with my query letter, so please sign me up for that free critique. :-)

Unknown said...

I really enjoyed this, it was very insightful. My email is maeedak@gmail.com!

Vercingetorix said...

Thanks for your comments on the importance of good grammar. As a professional copy editor, I couldn't agree more. I'd love the chance for a critique.

Unknown said...

Thank you for doing these interviews! As an aspiring author looking for representation, it's handy to have so many resources all on one page!

Unknown said...

Just in case, my email is brittanyjomack@outlook.com

Christina Baker said...

Thanks for this enlightening interview. Hoping to win the critique!

Katherine A Rayne said...

I couldn't have read this interview at a better time! Thank you for all the information. I've recently written a children's book and I am now focusing on the next steps towards publication. Thank you for this opportunity. Katherine kitkat65@aol.com

Unknown said...

This is such an awesome resource. Super excited for a possible critique. Fingers crossed. dahliafisher24 at gmail.com

Tamar said...

250? I can definitely try and cut my current query by half!

Michael G-G said...

As usual, a tremendous interview. Connor Eck sounds like a great agent. I particularly like his answer to #16.

Lauri Meyers said...

Great interview!