Tag: lit

5 Things Interning At A Literary Agency Taught Me

Interning at a literary agency was like being paid to eat candy all day. Except that I wasn’t paid and the books I read usually weren’t sweet. The internship entailed reading and reviewing manuscript submissions, working the front desk (aka awkwardly offering visitors coffee/tea and then just getting them water), and sending out mail.

Over the course of those four months, I read tons of books and it’s likely only one or two of them will ever make it to publication. It was a time of ‘business casual’ clothing and free Nespresso coffees that taught me a lot about how the publishing industry works.

1. No, the literary agency doesn’t publish books

The different facets of the publishing industry can be confusing because there are so many of them. There’s the publishing company, the editors, the lawyers, the agents, and more. The job of the agent is to get a book to publishers. Usually, agents have relationships with companies and they will take a client and their work to the company to get published. Jericho Writers reported that the odds of sale with an agent are around 67%. Chances are much lower if an author just cold submits their manuscript to a publishing company.

2. there’s a method to all the career madness

If you were wondering how someone manages to make it in the industry, there’s actually a system in place that allows you to rise up. After getting hired as an agent’s assistant, you can work under them learning for about two years, before starting to take on clients of your own. Another year or two after that, once you’ve established yourself with a couple of works, you can break away and become an agent. Generally, the agency that you’ve been working for will hire you, but you can take your clients elsewhere or start up your own agency as well. Over the years you will work your way up by gaining more clients and (hopefully) representing some bestsellers.

3. There really are a ton of white women

In my agency alone there were 9 that I was aware of. Granted, there were a bunch of male agents, but no male assistants and no males of color. But yes, the stereotype is alive and thriving.

4. it’s worth submitting a proposal before writing your manuscript

There’s nothing quite as disappointing as pouring hours into your work only to have it rejected. Agents will only accept clients that they can sell, otherwise they won’t make any money. They get paid only when their client does, and do not run on a set salary. So, before sitting down and throwing your whole life into an idea, send some proposals around to agencies first to see if someone will represent it. This will also force you into a deadline for your writing (which some of us NEED) and will allow for better feedback throughout the process.

5. submit your work with normal formatting

Times New Roman. 12pt. font. Double spaced. It’s so easy to do. No agent is going to be impressed if you decide to write in Courier Neue because you think it looks nicer. In fact, most won’t even read the manuscript if it isn’t formatted correctly. It’s worth just sticking to the standard so there will be nothing distracting your reader from the actual work.

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5 Memoirs That Will Change Your Life

Books have a way of shifting, molding, and changing the way in which we see the world. No genre does this quite as well as memoirs. There’s just something about reading the real-life experiences of another that not only elicits empathy and understanding, but also allows you to experience the world through the eyes of someone with whom you may have nothing in common.

Some of the best memoirs detail harrowing struggles in moving, viscerally honest prose. Others cover the author’s unique and interesting life experiences while offering the reader an intimate look into characteristics of different walks of life. All have the power to completely transform the way in which readers view the world. Without further ado, here are five memoirs which will rock your world.

 

 

1.) Lit by Mary Karr

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Every sentence in this book is like a slap in the face. Karr writes with masterful, excruciating honesty about her lifelong struggle with addiction and the strain it puts on each relationship in her life. Her voice is compelling and strong – the voice of someone who goes through something agonizing and comes out alive on the other side. Her memoir will challenge and change the way you think about addiction, love, relationships, and religion. Lit is the kind of book that leaves you both satiated and starving for more.

 

2.) Boy Erased by Garrard Conley

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Garrard Conley details his struggle with his sexuality and faith after being outed while in college to religious parents in Boy Erased. He attends a 12-step conversion therapy program with the initial goal of changing his sexuality and strengthening his faith. Through his journey, Conley closely examines the intricate ties between family, faith and forgiveness in this powerful memoir.

 

 

3.) Negroland by Margo Jefferson

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Margo Jefferson’s memoir Negroland explores the tensions of growing up in an upper-middle class black household in Chicago. Jefferson boldly studies the crosses of race, wealth and class as she experiences them throughout her childhood, adolescence and adulthood. Negroland is written with sharp introspection and compelling prose, tackling huge issues with brilliance and bravery.

 

4.) Educated by Tara Westover

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In this #1 New York Times Bestseller, Tara Westover tells the story of her pursuit of an education after growing up the child of dedicated survivalists in the Idaho mountains. Westover’s first experience in a classroom comes when she is 17 years old, and in Educated she frames how her own drive for knowledge presents struggles and triumphs as well as connection and isolation as she forges further away from home. Educated is a story of coming-of-age and identity detailing Westover’s navigation between family allegiance and individual passion and drive.

 

 

5.) Abandon Me by Melissa Febos

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Abandon Me closely examines love, intimacy, and relationships with invigorating honesty and vulnerability. Melissa Febos weaves the story of the bonds which mark her life: the tumultuous relationship with the sea captain stepfather who raised her, the passionate and intense affair she has with a woman, and the mystery of her reconnection with her birth father. Febos writes with stunning honesty, crafting a memoir packed full with universal truths sure to strike a chord with any reader.

 

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Quiz: How Would You Die in Literature?

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