17 October, 2022

How I Got My Agent

How I Got My Agent

I recently saw a tweet that I think is appropriate: so much of writing success is persistence. If I had stopped writing after my first manuscript, or my second, I wouldn’t have reached this milestone. In the end, it was my fourth manuscript that received multiple offers and resulted in me signing with Josh Adams of Adams Literary.

Josh is an agent I’ve wanted to work with for a long time. In fact, he read my third manuscript (a young adult fantasy) when I first started querying. He passed on that project with an invitation to share future work, and I knew I wanted to approach him again.

In the meantime, I completed my fourth manuscript, an adult thriller. An editor friend of mine loved it so much that she offered to send it out to her colleagues at various Australian publishing houses. I booked in through Jericho Writers to receive agent feedback on my pitch, synopsis and opening chapters – and received requests to read the full. This interest prompted me to selectively send out my fourth manuscript, and the response was overwhelmingly positive.

After I had finished revising my second manuscript (another young adult fantasy) I submitted it to Josh, believing that he only represented young adult work. A week later, I had my first offer of representation – for my adult thriller.

The offering agent was incredibly enthusiastic about my manuscript – she read it in one day! After speaking to her over Zoom, I asked for two weeks to consider her offer and allow other agents the chance to finish reading.

Soon after, I had another call – and an offer – from an agent who represents one of my favourite thriller writers! Then came interest from agents who had the young adult fantasy I originally queried, including an offer, and an enthusiastic response from Josh based on my adult thriller.

In the end, I received multiple offers from amazing agents and positive responses from others who may have offered if I could have extended my deadline. Everyone I spoke with was dynamic, professional, and would have made passionate advocates for my manuscripts. But I was impressed by Josh’s strategic vision for my body of work and the whole ethos of family-owned Adams Literary. I’m very much looking forward to working together and being out on submission.

For those writers currently querying or planning to, I hope this is helpful. Here are some useful links for researching agents and polishing submission materials:

Jericho Writers

Manuscript Academy

Manuscript Wish List

Publishers Marketplace

Query Tracker

Querying can be a testing process, but at the end of the day, there is no such thing as failure in writing. So long as you keep writing, so long as you keep honing your craft, you’re succeeding.

Love,

Alina

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