Archive - April 28, 2016

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“Be a Literary Agent” article on AWP website by John Coyne (Ethiopia)

“Be a Literary Agent” article on AWP website by John Coyne (Ethiopia)

CAREER ADVICE Be a Literary Agent John Coyne profiles six literary agents and offers suggestions for that career path for the Association of Writers & Writers Programs Website. April 2016 I called a novelist friend (Mary-Ann Tirone Smith Cameroon 1965-67) and asked her if she knew of any MFA graduates who were employed as literary agents and she replied, “MFA graduates are writers, not agents.” She was categorically right, but she wasn’t totally correct. Just as there are book and magazine editors who also write fiction, nonfiction, or poems, there are also literary agents with BAs in English and/or MFAs in writing. Some later change horses and become agents, putting their own literary knowledge into play when advising their clients. Others continue to write but work as agents for the sake of having a steadier income while finishing their next novel or waiting for the last one to be made . . .

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