42. #PitchSeason: Research, Reading, and More Research

The previous post, I wrote about how the start of the new year is a time that agents will open their submissions for queries. If you're a newbie like me, it's very easy to get overwhelmed. So many agents, so many guidelines, so little time. So, where am I starting? 

I decided to:

  • compile a list of authors whose works either resonate with me or tell stories that I identify with (coming of age, diverse characters, middle grade/Young Adult crossover), study their blurbs/tips

  • seek out agencies that directly correlates to my genre

  • Utilize sites like publishersmarketplace.com and agentquery.com

This task is certainly not an easy one, and one could find themselves overwhelmed. However, this is all about taking one step at a time, evaluating my manuscript, and pitching an agent I believe would find it to be a fit. So far, here are some books/authors that interest me. Although their book concepts may not necessarily be *like* mine, I view them as an example of diverse voices in fiction, something I find to be incredibly encouraging. 

Author Research

 Jacqueline Woodson

Jacqueline Woodson

 Rita Williams-Garcia

Rita Williams-Garcia

 Crystal Allen

Crystal Allen

Other authors on my study list:

  • Christopher Paul Curtis

  • Jason Reynolds

  • Sharon G. Flake

  • Sharon Draper

  • Ronald L. Smith

Again, the goal here is not to find their agent, per se, just find agencies that seeks submissions from diverse authors whose voice is unique and is categorized as middle grade/young adult. 

And the research continues...