Wednesday, 23 March 2011

How I Got My Agent: Guest Post by Caroline Tung Richmond

Please welcome Caroline who has stopped by to tell us all about how she found her agent.

In the spring of 2009, I borrowed a copy of Carrie Ryan's THE FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH from my local library—and I proceeded to devour it within two days. (It was fast-paced and frightening!) When I was finished, I decided to skim through the author's acknowledgments at the end of the book. One of the first people that Carrie thanked? Her agent, Jim McCarthy.

"Hmm," I thought. "Maybe I should query this guy when I finish my manuscript?"

I figured it would be a long shot but I scribbled Jim's name onto my list of potential agents. He seemed to represent mostly YA/adult novels but maybe (just maybe) he'd be interested in my middle grade manuscript.

Fast forward to April 2010…

I had spent nearly a year querying, revising, querying, rewriting, and querying my MG space opera. I was EX-HAUS-TED—and I was ready to call it quits. Yet, I still had a few agents on my querying list so I figured I'd contact them before I pulled the plug.

And so, I shot a query to Jim and a half-dozen other agents, not expecting anything to happen. A couple days later though, Jim requested my full manuscript! *Cue dancing and singing and major squee-ing.* But I tried to tamp down my excitement because I didn't think Jim was very interested in MG novels.

As I awaited Jim's response, I was stunned to receive my first offer of representation…and a second offer as well! I was speechless. Just a month prior, I had wanted to shelve my manuscript but now I had two agents interested in repping me! I was beyond humbled.

I sent Jim an email to alert him of my offers and he replied within the hour, agreeing to read my manuscript over the weekend. I was super excited that he was considering my book, but I tried not to get too worked up. He might not even like my novel, I told myself, Don't start getting stars in your eyes, Caroline!

On Monday afternoon, however, I received a call from a New York number—it was Jim! And he wanted to represent me! I froze, completely tongue-tied. B-B-But Jim only reps YA, right? Turns out, Jim wanted to branch into the middle grade genre and he wanted to sign me on as a client. *Cue fainting.* When I jolted out of my daze, I just knew I wanted to work with him.

I signed the contract last May and I couldn't be happier!

Caroline Tung Richmond is a freelance writer based in the Washington, D.C. area. She loves cupcakes, Star Trek, Anthropologie, and YA and middle grade novels. If you would like to read more of her crazy ramblings, you’re more than welcome to visit her blog ( or follow her on Twitter (!/ctrichmond).


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