Searching for a Literary Agent

For the past month or so, I have been working diligently on editing my young adult manuscript. I found a wonderful editor, who taught me a lot about what is important and what isn’t, pertaining to certain characters, as well as paying attention to detail. (I’m still horrible with comma usage).

I had cut a huge section out of one area which wasn’t really important to the story; sometimes, too much detail is just that, too much detail and it has to be cut. I then added more here and there to help strengthen certain areas. I also changed a character’s name after seeing it closely resembled another character’s name.

After deciding my manuscript was finally polished, I began to send out query letters to literary agents in hopes of finding someone to represent me and my work. This can either be hard, or easy. I have a book called, ‘A Guide to Literary Agents’. Over half of the book is nothing but agencies and agents. I started out with a few, checked out their websites, then checked out each agent’s bio, as well as their submission rules. It’s crucial to follow their submission guidelines.

Though I’ve received two rejections so far, I’m not letting that bring me down. It just tells me that there’s someone else out there, I just have to find them. Plus, it also tells me that someone actually read my query letter; some agencies receive over 100 query letters a day, so they don’t have time to read every one of them.

If you are in the same boat as I am, searching for a literary agent, I wish you the best of luck, and remember to stay positive.

Here is a synopsis of my manuscript, it is a urban fantasy for young adults:

Eighteen year old Noelle Bailey didn’t believe in supernatural beings like werewolves, vampires, or Bigfoot. You couldn’t tell her sixteen year old sister, Anya, that, though. She believed everything she read or saw on TV. So, when her uncle told Noelle she was part shifter, she didn’t think anything of it. She never showed signs of being supernatural, so she thought he was just telling her a story. Then one day she had a premonition.

She rode with her uncle James, the town’s sheriff, to work. Before they could arrive, though, he received a message about a homicide that had just occurred. With no time to drop Noelle off, he took her with him. Though she stayed in the car, it wasn’t long before she knew the details of the homicide. The what, where, when, and how were entirely felt by Noelle from her seat as a premonition of the murder.

As James tried to put pieces of the investigation together, a part of his past comes back and he is painfully aware that he can no longer hide his supernatural abilities, even from himself. To make matters worse, another murder happened under James’ watch that both his nieces were a witness of. This murder caused Anya to be kidnapped by a rogue werewolf. One thing lead to another, as a doorway to Anya and Noelle’s future opened, pulling them inside.

Now that I am done with this manuscript and am in the query process, it’s time to begin working on manuscript number two, which is book two. Book two picks up where book one ends. So, yes, the manuscript I just finished it the first book of a series. I already have twelve chapters sketched out and three of those chapters are already typed up. Spring Break begins this Saturday for me, but I have plans to keep myself busy, busy in hopes of getting manuscript number two finished soon. It took me four years to have the first one complete and in first rough draft form, so I don’t want want it to take even half that time to complete this next one.


9 thoughts on “Searching for a Literary Agent

  1. Pingback: A Letter To a Literary Agent | Adult & Teen Fiction

  2. Amos M. Carpenter

    Best of luck finding that agent, Jennifer! Just a word of warning, you may want to clean up your synopsis a little, you’re mixing your tenses every now and again. Pick one and stick to it (you’re switching between present and past tense in a few places). Personally, for a synopsis I’d choose the present tense. Try and be extremely critical of your own synopsis; don’t include anything that doesn’t absolutely need to be there to make someone else understand what your story is about. And have fun writing Book Two 🙂

  3. neal wooten

    Good luck, Jenn. I see it’s been several months since you posted this, so how goes the search? To be honest, I’m beginning to suspect that literary agents are like werewolves, vampires, and Bigfoot. You hear stories about them, but do they really exist? If all of my rejections were in paper format, I could wallpaper the inside of my house.

    1. JennNAdams Post author

      It has been awhile since I’ve been on here too lol! Thanks for the comment. I’ve actually added over 11k more words to my manuscript, crossing my fingers that that will do the trick. I’ve been told by a couple of publishers that they wouldn’t publish anything below 50K, so now I’m at a little over 54K. Good luck to you in all your writing endeavors.


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