How To Get A Literary Agent

What is a literary agent and why are they necessary?

Where do I find literary agents?

  • Google Search can help if you are just searching “literary agents for X genre” or if you are searching for the agent of a writer whose work or career you admire.
  • Twitter is helpful because so many people in the literary world use it. Use the search feature and check out people’s bios to see who is a literary agent and what agencies they work for. There are also plenty of Twitter lists too that can help.
  • Publishers Marketplace is a longstanding tool that was used before the internet. Can be found at pretty much any franchise bookstore.
  • Query Tracker is a useful way to find agents and to see other writers’ past experiences while querying and submitting portions of their manuscripts. This tool is amazing for helping you keep track of how many people you’ve queried as well.
  • PitMad is… “the original Twitter pitch event, where writers tweet a 280-character pitch for their completed, polished, unpublished manuscripts. No previously published works. Agents and acquiring editors make requests by liking/favoriting the tweeted pitch.”
  • Conferences or workshops sometimes host events where writers and literary agents meet up or do “speed dating”. I’ve seen variations of this as Associations of Writers and Programs Conference, as well as Breadloaf Conference (which has an application that is open now and due by February 15, 2022)

How do I learn to write a query letter?

How much do they charge?

What are some questions I should ask them during “The Call”?

Why do some people have numerous agents?

What are the rules about contacting numerous literary agents at the same agency?



AUTHOR of WHEN THEY TELL YOU TO BE GOOD (Tin House Books, Oct ’22) | The Creative Hour Podcast | Twitter @prshakur |

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