Tag s | Pitching

Writing that Sings


As I’ve started the work of being an agent and building a client list, I’ve had a number of folks in different venues ask me what I’m interested in representing. So thought I’d address that here.

First and foremost, you need to know that I’m looking for books that share God’s truth. I want to work with authors whose books will change lives. Who bring the depth and wealth of their own spiritual journeys to whatever they are writing. I long for books, whether fiction or nonfiction, that are filled with authenticity, vulnerability, and powerful truth.

Second, what I’m most interested in is writing, as the title of this post says, that sings. That calls to my heart and mind, that draws me in and, in the process, changes me.

As a writer, editor, and now agent, fiction makes me dance. I love the power of story, the wonder of words that create a world and characters that transport me and leave me better for the journey. So I’m definitely interested in writers crafting wonderful novels. And I’m open to all genres.

Yes, Virginia, I am interested in representing authors who write non-fiction. Especially what I call lyrical non-fiction. The kind of non-fiction with a lyrical, storyteller’s narrative voice. Books that share the message as, say, Anne Lamott does in Bird by Bird or Mike Yaconelli does in Messy Spirituality. Non-fiction that captures our imagination as well as our intellect, as happens with Donald Miller’s Blue Like Jazz (which I mention not, as you might think, because it’s a best-seller but because it’s one of the few nonfiction titles in the last several years that captured me as a reader). Non-fiction that sings. Here, too, I am open to all categories.

With both fiction and non-fiction, I’m happy to consider proposals from new, unpublished authors, so long as you’ve done your homework (meaning you’ve been to writers’ conferences, had your work critiqued, done the work of revising and refining so that the craft is as good as you can get it).

You can send proposals via email to my attention at pwhitson@www.stevelaube.com.

So…comments and questions?







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Hints for a Great Cover Letter

Here are a few suggestions for you to consider when approaching an agent. Remember to use these as hints…do not follow them slavishly as if a literary agent is going to spend their time critiquing your cover letter.

By the way, we make a distinction between a cover letter and a query letter. A cover letter is what goes on top of a longer proposal and sample chapters. The query letter is a stand-alone letter that goes by itself to the editor/agent without a proposal or sample chapters. We happen to prefer the cover letter along with the rest of the package. Why? Because a query only shows that you can write a letter. A proposal begins the process of showing that you know how to write a book.

Address the letter to a specific person. If sending something to The Steve Laube Agency, simply address the appropriate agent. Every proposal will cross the desk of the designated agent eventually.

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Incoming Proposals

To your left is an actual picture of the pile of proposals our office has received since December 1, 2009. About 30 days worth of incoming mail…during a slow time of the year. The stack of books next to the pile include books sent for review (consideration) and recent publications that I want to look at.

That does not include the myriad of email submissions we get (many simply ignoring our guidelines regarding email submissions)…inquiries from those who use the contact form on our web site (many of those ignoring the request to “Please do not copy and paste your entire manuscript into this form.“)

Or the poor soul that failed to proofread their email before sending this sentence, “I would like to send you my quarry letter….”

Nor does it include those that do an Internet search and call us. Recently we got a call that went something like this:
Agency: This is the Steve Laube Agency…
Caller: What kind of agency are you?
Agency: We are a literary agency.
Caller: What does that mean?

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