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mykdsmomy 05-18-2008 02:42 AM

I was hoping someone here would know My dd13 (homeschooled) wants to publish a book she is writing. She is truly talented (yes I'm biased).

How does one go about finding a literary agent for a child/teen? Any suggestions?

Also does anyone have any websites for teen writers? Thanks

crunchymomofmany 05-18-2008 11:31 AM

I would suggest that your daughter get a copy of Writer's Digest and take a look at how to formulate query letters, etc. Also, do a google search for various literary agents that represent her genre - many accept online or emailed submissions now. First off, all of this research is an excellent experience and gives her some idea of what it's like to be a writer submitting work. Then, I would have her start submitting her stuff - not as a "13-yr-old" but just as a writer. If she is truly talented, the writing will stand out.

stirringleaf 05-30-2008 03:48 AM

i am of the opinion that agents arent needed in this age. i could be wrong as i dont really write fiction. but i am a small press activist , and so i see agents as a hoop you CAN jump through, but you can also just submit work directly to publishers. or publish it yourself.

Getting published has soooo much to do with networking. Look up the Writers Collaborative in your area. They are all over the country and they are working writers that go into the schools and teach. Those people have passion for both young writers and thier craft and if you could find someone like that they would be a great resource

does she have short works that can be submitted to magazines? if she does that first ( or at the same time) she might attract attention to her writing and then make connections. while sylvia plath was a depressed individual and has a sad personal story, she DID submit work to places like Harpers at a young age. So that sort of thing is done. I agree with the previous poster, that depending on the genre of your DDs writing, she should submit it without explaining her age.

but if you are trying to get her into juvenile lit and specialized publishers that publish kids, then of course say her age.

Look into Zine culture. I am not technically a published writer but i have been published a little and i attribute this mainly to my self-publishing adventures with zines ( pronounced Zeen) . I am currently helping to open a community art center and community print shop. I started writing and publishing my own work at your daughters age.

I get all excited when i hear about teen writers. look at where she can actually publish herself. you can go into small, local bookstores sometimes and create your OWN marketing , like a cool sign and stuff, and ask if they will sell her book. Sometimes comic book stores are really into helping young writers, depending on how small the store is. Also, even though she isnt in school, maybe an enthusiastic English teacher at a high school could advise you?

Even if she is really talented, is she used to getting critical feedback? cuz she needs to know what it sounds like, how to revise, and how to accept rejection without having it hurt her work ( too much!!!) so i think writing conferences, or writing workshops, or here there are even free writing feedback groups that meet in a book store.. you could bring her places like that !

so i know that was long but i TOLD you i get excited!

stirringleaf 05-30-2008 03:53 AM

just wanted to clarify. when i said " literary agents arent needed in this age" i meant in this current era.. not referring to your DDs agegroup. but just that the Internet has blown up the idea of a closed-door world of agents and publishers.

the woman who wrote Juno was essentially self-publshing the idea on the internet when it was discovered ( i think) and there are just all kinds of stories like that. but you really do have to spend the time networking your head off and making connections. Agents do some of that for you. but i just think doing it yourself might be just as hard as finding an agent .. OR it might be a good step to attracting just the right agent, as well.

Savoir Faire 06-11-2008 12:08 AM

Yes, but an agent can open doors that you would never be able to. My agent has hundreds of contacts and I doubt I could even get the attention of these editors without her. An agent, if you're wanting to go to big publishing houses, is really a good asset to have.

There is no difference in getting an agent for a teen than for an adult. Research agents online and in books. Research the proposal process. You've either have a completed fiction or a nonfiction with proposal before most agents will look at you.

They get hundreds of emails a day; she has to find a way to make herself stand out.

It does happen, so good luck to her!

moodymaximus 06-15-2008 03:15 PM

from all the reasearch i've done, one does need an agent, if we are talking about a novel.

but ultimately it depends what her goals are. if she wants a few printed copies that look professional she can go the way. though of course christopher paolini self-published Eragon first, and then got all the attention and got picked up by his publisher. but his parents owned a publishing company.

if she wants to make it as a writer, she'd need an agent (though of course at 13 she can afford a couople of "false starts" and no one is going to hold it against her that she self-published as a teen when / if she decides to look for an agent when she's 20). and i agree, her age doesn't matter, and if anything, it can be a disadvantage if revealed too early. UNLESS she has publications in journals / magazines, won a contest or two, etc.

as an aside, she'll need to have her novel completed and revised at least a couple of times before an agent or a publlisher would look at it. she'd need to write a query letter, be ready with a synopsis etc.

good luck!

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