Monday, December 5, 2016

7 Questions For: Literary Agent Marcy Posner

Marcy Posner is a literary agent with Folio Literary. She is seeking: “I straddle the line between adult and children’s books (middle grade and young adult only). In the adult world, I’m looking for: commercial women’s fiction, historical fiction, mystery, biography, history, health, and lifestyle – and, especially, thoughtfully written commercial novels, thrillers with international settings, and narrative nonfiction. In the children’s world, I’m looking for smart, contemporary YA and middle-grade novels. A great new juvenile mystery series for boys would be fun.” She does not represent genre books of any kind (no romance, mystery, sci-fi or fantasy), nor does she seek memoirs.

In her own words: “I have spent a lifetime in books. I started out with a brief stint as a librarian, but found it a bit too staid, so moved on to publishing. My first job was at Pinnacle Books where as assistant to the President I was given a book to edit the third week of my employment. I then moved on to Rodale Press and then Salem House where I helped bring British books to the US, finally moving up the publishing ladder to Pantheon’s Associate Publisher, where I worked with some of the major cultural icons of our time, including Noam Chomsky, Studs Terkel, Matt Groening and Art Spiegelman. After fifteen years on the editorial side of the business, I made the jump to agenting – spending twelve years as at the William Morris Agency as an agent and as Vice President and Director of Foreign Rights; five years as president of my own agency; five years at Sterling Lord Literistic as an agent and Director of Foreign Rights; and I’m now here – and very happy – at Folio.

“Editorial skill and a deep knowledge of the publishing industry sets me apart from many of my colleagues. When I work with my authors, I’ll focus editorially on how to make the book as strong as it could be – whether that book be terrific women’s fiction or an extraordinary YA debut (or any of the other categories I represent). During that process, I’m able to bring to bear all the institutional memory I possess, knowing which editors and which publishing houses have a penchant for a certain subject, or a different voice, or a particular kind of author. My clients include Newbery Honor winner and New York Times bestseller Jacqueline Kelly, other New York Times bestsellers, Sheri Reynolds and Jill Barnett, along with Kristi Cook, Christopher Grant, Georgia Bockoven and Jerri Corgiat.”

And now Marcy Posner faces the 7 Questions:

Question Seven: What are your top three favorite books?

A Wrinkle in Time 
The Alienist

Question Six: What are your top three favorite movies and television shows?

the first season of True Detective

The Drowning Pool 
Serial Mom

Question Five: What are the qualities of your ideal client?

My ideal client loves what they do and excels at it, and they are open to receiving feedback.

Question Four: What sort of project(s) would you most like to receive a query for?

I love receiving queries for beautifully written fiction, middle grade/YA, and interesting platform nonfiction.

Question Three: What is your favorite thing about being an agent? What is your least favorite thing?

My favorite thing about being an agent is getting to work with so many talented writers. 

My least favorite thing is receiving queries from people who aren’t serious about the craft. Remember: just because you can type doesn’t mean you can write!

Question Two: What one bit of wisdom would you impart to an aspiring writer? (feel free to include as many other bits of wisdom as you like)

Read more! As a writer, reading is research. Read as much as you can in every genre, but especially in the area you would like to write in.

Question One: If you could have lunch with any writer, living or dead, who would it be? Why?

I would have lunch with Jane Austen, because so much of modern fiction has grown from the model she established.

1 comment:

  1. Marcy sounds like a great agent with varied interests. Thanks for featuring her.


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