Chuck Sambuchino’s Guide to Literary Agents Blog

Chuck Sambuchino is an editor and published author who runs the Guide to Literary Agents Blog, one of the biggest blogs in publishing. His site has instruction and information on literary agents, literary agencies, query letters, submissions, publishing, author platform, book marketing, and more.


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The “Starman” Synopsis

Now, while wasting some time on Wikipedia the other day, I came across the page for the 1984 sci-fi movie, Starman. I've heard of the movie, sure, but never seen it. Anyway, upon reading the plot, I was captivated - and wanted to show you an example of an excellent synopsis. Read it...

Cover Band Soap Opera: Poison's 'Talk Dirty to Me'

For anyone who follows the ridiculous adventures of my Cincinnati rock cover band, you may have noticed that I don’t put video up on us.  Truth is, I’m self-conscious.  Someone missed a note, or this didn’t sound right, or that’s blurry, blah blah blah.    Well, no more of that. This is my band playing...

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Successful Queries: Agent Michael Bourret and ‘Wake’

This new series is called "Successful Queries" and I'm posting actual query letters that succeeded in getting writers signed with agents. In addition to posting the actual query letter, we will also get to hear thoughts from the agent as to why the letter worked. The 14th installment in this series is with agent...

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How I Got My Agent: Tabitha Olson

"How I Got My Agent" is a recurring feature on the GLA blog. Some tales are of long roads and many setbacks, while others are of good luck and quick signings. If you have a literary agent and would be interested in writing a short guest column for this GLA blog, e-mail me at...

Middle Grade vs. Young Adult: What's the Difference?

The MigWriters site has an amazing post breaking down the difference between the two children’s categories of middle grade and young adult.  To define the two, they pull a lot of good info from a variety of different sources – editors, agents (such as Lucienne Diver of The Knight Agency) and writers alike. It’s just...

Pitch Your TV Idea to Agents, Execs, and Producers… on Oct. 5!

Hey, folks—   Just wanted to let you know, I’m hosting and moderating Mediabistro’s “Pitch Slam” next Monday, October 5… and for anyone working on an idea for the next “Royal Pains,” “30 Rock,” or “Kitchen Nightmares,” this is an incredible opportunity!   Here’s how it works: we bring in a panel of TV...

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New Agent Alert: Teresa Kietlinski of Prospect Agency

Reminder: Newer agents are golden opportunities for new writers because they’re likely building their client list; however, always make sure your work is as perfect as it can be before submitting, and only query agencies that are a great fit for your work. Otherwise, you’re just wasting time and postage. She is seeking: "As an...

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Agent Advice: Matt Bialer of Sanford J. Greenburger Associates

his installment features Matt Bialer of Sanford J. Greenburger Associates. Matt has been in the publishing community since 1985, including 14 years in the book division of the William Morris Agency. He is looking for: fantasy, science fiction, thrillers, and mysteries as well as a select group of literary writers. He represents many veteran authors,...

Chris Morehouse Leaves Dunham Literary

I just got word that agent Chris Morehouse of Dunham Literary has stopped agenting.  I am going to pull Chris’s interview with me off the blog so readers don’t query Chris by mistake. But that said, I wanted to post a few of the Q&A’s from that interview that I thought would help writers....

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How I Got My Agent: Kate Douglas

"How I Got My Agent" is a recurring feature on the GLA blog. Some tales are of long roads and many setbacks, while others are of good luck and quick signings. If you have a literary agent and would be interested in writing a short guest column for this GLA blog, e-mail me at...

Why Do Agents Have 30- or 60-Day Cancel Clauses?

I’ve always wondered the answer to this question, and it was answered over the weekend by an agent at the Writer’s Digest Conference: The Business of Getting Published.  What I’m talking about are cancellation clauses in agent contracts – meaning, if you want to end the relationship, they ask for one last stretch of...

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Recap: New York and The Writer’s Digest Conference

Just got back from New York. The first-ever Writer's Digest Conference: The Business of Getting Published went very well (and was, dare I say, a success?). Everyone seemed pleased with the event and I got to meet one-on-one with more than a dozen people to look over queries and first pages.

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Agent Advice: Lucienne Diver of The Knight Agency

This installment features Lucienne Diver of The Knight Agency. Lucienne joined The Knight Agency in 2008, after spending fifteen years at Spectrum Literary Agency. She has sold more than 600 titles to every major publisher and has built a client list of more than 40 authors spanning the commercial fiction genres. Her...

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5 Quick Tips for Writer/Agent Negotiations

Just because you're excited someone wants to represent you doesn't mean you should let them take advantage of you. Beware of these red flags when negotiating contracts with agents. 1. Watch for red flags. Reputable agents don’t charge reading fees or require other upfront payments, they don’t sell (or at least, don’t brag about sales)...

What's In a Pitch? Examining 'The Undomestic Goddess'

What’s In a Pitch? is a new series that takes actual novel pitches and examines why they work successfully. This series is designed to help writers who need help composing the pitch paragraph of their query letter, or pitching an agent in person. By the way, since I read mostly kids fiction, it will be...

Agent Ted Malawer Joins Upstart Crow Literary

Literary agent Ted Malawer has joined Upstart Crow Literary.  Ted was previously with Firebrand Literary, but with Firebrand’s recent closure, he will join four other former Firebranders in forming Upstart Crow. He specializes in children’s fiction. The Upstart Crow agency webpage is not completely updated yet, so I will post some info about Ted below. For...

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Agent Advice: Natanya Wheeler of Nancy Yost Literary

This installment features Natanya Wheeler of the Nancy Yost Literary Agency. Previously, Natanya was an agent at Lowenstein-Yost Associates. She seeks: literary fiction that touches on current events or multicultural issues; family sagas; dark and edgy thrillers with a great new hook, moody mysteries and cozy mysteries. She loves to find new...

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How I Got My Agent: Robert Hicks

"How I Got My Agent" is a recurring feature on the GLA blog. Some tales are of long roads and many setbacks, while others are of good luck and quick signings. If you have a literary agent and would be interested in writing a short guest column for this GLA blog, e-mail me at...