2015 guide to literary agents

There Are No Writing Conferences In MN

So I bought the 2015 Guide to Literary Agents by Chuck Sambuchino because… well, I need some help. I’ve written three books, sent hundreds of queries, and have little-to-nothing to show for it. I thought maybe this would be a better resource than exploiting the free version of QueryTracker. But when any big author shares their story about how they got their agent, the most common thread is a writing conference or convention. Face-to-face. Query letter in hand. Agent unable to escape or hide behind the rejection letter.

And since I’m isolated in my own home, I thought I need to get in on this, if for nothing else than to share camaraderie. I don’t want to fall into the trap of the self-feeding reader/writer/publisher black hole. You know… where self-published or small press writers trade reading favors, everyone pats each other on the back and buys each other’s books, and your notoriety never gets beyond that self-congratulatory hole, like the Author’s Collective.

Wouldn’t you know? There are no writing conferences in Minnesota.

Go ahead, find some. I thought my google fu was simply failing me. But no, there simply is nothing there to find. Go ahead. Look. Prove me wrong, I would love that. Sure there are sci-fi conventions and NerdCon: Stories was here last year. But none of those have to do with industry. Authors get invited, not agents.

Granted, there are states I wouldn’t expect to see a writing conference, like Idaho or Wyoming. But this is the Twin Cities — a major metropolis. We were second on the list to be destroyed in Independence Day. Not only that, but it’s a hotbed for creative types. First Avenue, the Walker Art Center, Uptown, the Guthrie. It’s the origin point for Prince and Judy Garland and Charles Schulz and F. Scott Fitzgerald. No, it’s not a publishing empire like New York, but why does Madison have more conferences than Minneapolis? Maybe it’s a little closer to Chicago, but still…

People in this state are getting shorted. And what’s more important, I’m getting shorted. Conferences cost hundreds of dollars to begin with. Add the cost of room & board and how do you expect any new author to scrounge the change to attend one of these life-changing events. Is this another case of keeping the lower class in their place? (Note: I’m not in the lower class, but do as I say, not as I do).

Seriously, agents, publishers – y u no come here? The only reason I can think of is there’s some mafia agreement keeping the New Yorkers out of the burg.

Eric Juneau is a software engineer and novelist on his lunch breaks. In 2016, his first novel, Merm-8, was published by eTreasures. He lives in, was born in, and refuses to leave, Minnesota. You can find him talking about movies, video games, and Disney princesses at http://www.ericjuneaubooks.com where he details his journey to become a capital A Author.

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