RWA Nationals – Agent/Editor Panel #1

6 Aug

Most of my time at nationals was spent listening in on Agent/Editor panels. There were a couple of agents there who currently have my partial and at least one I knew I was pitching to.  Also, I’ve been lucky enough to go to several craft workshops and retreats so, beyond Lisa Gardner’s revision workshop (which, if you haven’t heard Lisa’s big “overnight success” story – hunt it down) most of my time was spent learning about industry.

Ah yes, I hear all those “So what did you learn”s being whispered into screens.

So, PLEASE take the following information for what it is, my summarized high-points of my transcribed notes from Agent/Editor Panels.  THIS IS NOT THE FINAL SAY – MAKE SURE YOU CHECK THEIR WEBSITES TO SEE HOW/WHAT/WHERE TO SEND THEM STUFF.  Ok, disclaimer done 🙂


One of the questions was “Who represents African-American lit?”

While all the agents seem to agree they’d consider rep’ing anything that struck them and was really well done, Barbara Poelle and Jennifer Schober both said they’d love to look at AA lit.


One questions I thought was interesting and never would have had the guts to ask was: “Do you have a weeder reader?”

Barbara Poelle said yes, she JUST got one this spring. She seems really pleased with him and how well he grasps her ideals.

Laura Bradford, Nathan Bransford, Laurie Mclean and Jennifer Schober all read everything sent to them. In addition, Ms Schober often reads the founding agent, Karen Solem, queries as well.


One of the best questions in there centered around: How do you see your role as an agent.

The general consensus was that being a Business Partner is the most all encompassing answer – their willing to get “elbow deep” working with your work if that’s what you want (or need)

Laura Bradford added that she’s personally looking to work with people who are serious about their career as an author and have a plan.


Someone asked what they want to see – the answers varied so I’m going to be lazy and say: Look it up. They have sites, agentquery and querytracker.


The final question for that panel: Response times

All ask that we remember these are not hard and fast rules as they (just like us) are balance work-life and life-life.

Laurie Mclean: 1-8 weeks

Barbara Poelle: 6-8 weeks

Laura Bradford: Tries to keep the current turnaround time on her website, she’s pretty caught up right now, but check there

Nathan Bransford: That day – 2 weeks

Jennifer Schober: 6-8 weeks


One last thing, everyone is constantly asking each other “Will Nathan Bransford take this or that?” He stressed again to just query him and then cleared that up a little on his super-awesomeness blog HERE.


Tomorrow I’ll summarize what I learned from….. The AGENT CARTEL (pretend that was in movie announcer guy voice)


What have you heard from your agent or editor that people should know?

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