An Interview with Literary Agent Sarah LaPolla
In this latest Encounters in Publishing interview, Sarah LaPolla from the Bradford Literary Agency offers us an inside look at the challenges that come after a manuscript is written. She provides some of the best lessons she’s learned in her career. Whether you’re developing ideas or querying agents, Sarah has great tips to help you avoid common mistakes. You’ll want to take note if you are an emerging YA or genre writer. You’ll also be able to find her at the SLICE Literary Writers’ Conference this September. I spoke with Sarah about MFAs, the role of current events in speculative genres, and the best ways to find the right agent for your book.
An Interview With Literary Agent Annie Hwang
by Greg Stewart
Annie Hwang’s story of becoming a literary agent is proof that adaptability pays off in the ever-changing field of publishing. She prioritizes growth, both in her clients and herself. According to Annie, the primary role of an agent is one based on connections. She connects with all sorts of people across the publishing industry in order to get a manuscript sold. Coming from a background in journalism, Hwang brings a deadline-oriented sensibility and a keen editorial eye to the job. And she’s right there with her client every step of the way, from manuscript draft to finished book, and beyond. Annie is particularly passionate about connecting with underrepresented voices who challenge stereotypes and expand worldviews. You can find her at several conferences this year, including the SLICE Literary Writers’ Conference in September. Find out more about her in this latest interview in the Encounters in Publishing series.
An Interview with Literary Agent Jenni Ferrari-Adler
by Greg Stewart
If Jenni Ferrari-Adler, literary agent at Union Literary, could give emerging writers one piece of homework, it would be to read read read and write write write. She advises new talent to be aware of the conversation they’re entering into with their work. Ferrari-Adler represents authors from many genres, from fiction to cookbooks, and a good deal in between. In our latest interview in the Encounters in Publishing series, Ferrari-Adler shares some great tips for perfecting your query letter and networking in person, and more. You can find her, and maybe put some of her advice to work, at the SLICE Literary Writers’ Conference in September.
A Sneak Peek at the 2018 SLICE Literary Writers’ Conference: An Interview with Literary Agent DongWon Song
Literary agent DongWon Song believes the future of publishing will be messy, but we aren’t doomed. Song works at the Howard Morhaim Literary Agency. Previously, he worked as an editor at Orbit Books. So he’s been on both sides of the fence. Throw in stints as a product manager for ebook startup Zola Books and an adjunct professor at the University of Portland and, as you’ll see in this latest interview in the Encounters in Publishing series, Song has a unique perspective on the industry. Survival, according to Song, is a matter of being smart, nimble, and adaptable. It doesn’t hurt to have a hobby, either (he’s a passionate woodworker). Learn more about Song’s views here, and don’t miss him at this year’s SLICE Literary Writers’ Conference (early bird registration just opened).
An Interview with Executive Editor Anna deVries
by Greg Stewart
For the latest interview in our Encounters in Publishing series, Anna deVries gave us a look into the day-to-day life of a book editor. In her role at Picador as Executive Editor, she enjoys the freedom to search for great books. Anna’s position requires that she has a hand in all parts of book production, from buying the manuscript to getting it into shape, to seeing the book designed, produced, marketed, and distributed. She offers great insight for anyone considering a job in publishing. She also discusses diversity in the publishing industry, looking at how this issue has been dealt with and what should happen in the future.
An Interview with YA Author and HarperCollins Publicist Martin Wilson
by Paul Florez-Taylor
Author Martin Wilson isn’t afraid to tackle heavy themes in his sophomore novel, We Now Return to Regular Life. Inspired by harrowing real-life stories like Jaycee Dugard and Elizabeth Smart, the novel follows the story of a young boy named Sam returning home following his abduction years prior. However, returning home isn’t the happy ending to Sam’s story. It’s only the beginning. What follows is a gut-wrenching unraveling of secrets and regrets that shake Sam’s family and friends to their very core.
I’ve known Martin since I began working with him at HarperCollins back in 2015, and I’ve always admired his tenacious attitude when it comes to balancing his responsibilities as a publicist and a writer.
Martin and I sat down on our lunch to discuss the misconceptions that come with writing a second novel, judging a book by its cover, and that icky feeling that comes when your computer is hacked.