Literary Agent Workshop with Folio Literary Management
June 7, 2014, 2:00-3:30
622 West 113th Street, New York, NY
On June 7, 2014 literary agents Erin Harris and Michael Sterling of Folio Literary Management will lead a workshop to discuss how literary agents evaluate pitches for novels. Ten members of the Columbia Fiction Foundry will submit their query letters, synopses, and opening pages to be critiqued. The objective of the workshop isn’t necessarily to land Ms. Harris or Mr. Sterling as agents, though that would be a most welcome outcome. Rather, the ten members, and other observers, will learn how to tune up these three core documents to improve their chances when they eventually go live with their queries. It is exceptionally rare to get any feedback from a literary agent at all, let alone this kind of value-added face time. The Fiction Foundry is extremely grateful to these agents for going above and beyond the call of duty, and on a Saturday afternoon in June, at that.
Erin Harris loves debut authors. She represents literary fiction, book club fiction, women’s fiction, YA, and select narrative non-fiction. “I’m always looking for the next break-through voice.” My life in publishing began in 2007, when I interned for the literary agent William Clark of WM Clark Associates. In 2008, I joined the Irene Skolnick Literary Agency, where I first experienced the thrill of advocating for books I believed in and writers I admired. Early on, it became apparent to me that there was a need for agents who could think like writers. I’d studied literature in college, but I was eager to hone my creative and editorial skills. This desire led me to pursue an MFA in Creative Writing at The New School.” Outside of the office, Ms. Harris is an active participant in New York’s literary community as a member of PEN American Center and Women’s Media Group, as well as a founder and host of H.I.P. Reading Series. Follow her on Twitter: @ErinHarrisFolio. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also see her interview in the Guide to Literary Agents here.
Michael Sterling refers to his work as “editorially driven” and he has worked with many best-selling fiction and non-fiction authors across various genres, including thriller authors, cookbooks writers, and literary novelists. “I work with authors extensively throughout the writing process by providing editorial insights and rigorous revisions to ensure that their manuscript or proposal is 100% ready for submission to publishers. Regardless of the type of project, I welcome the opportunity to collaborate with debut and seasoned authors alike, guiding them through every step of the publishing process from brainstorming concepts to getting them on the page. I love literary, commercial, and upmarket fiction. Thrillers with tremendous commercial appeal and strong writing are of particular interest to me. As a reader I enjoy period novels in any genre. 20th century wars provide some of my favorite temporal settings, for instance. I love novels with high concepts (think The Age of Miracles, by Karen Thompson Walker, or Life after Life by Kate Atkinson) and books that can teach me about new cultures and transport me to new countries are always among my favorite. Reach Michael at email@example.com.