How I found my literary agent: Thanks, MWW

Note: This is the first of an occasional series about how I signed with my literary agent.

Last week, Midwest Writers Workshop (MWW) ran a Q&A with yours truly about how I met my literary agent, Savannah Brooks of KT Literary, through its Agent Fest last year.

To say I’m humbled by the write up isn’t enough. I’m flattered, giddy, and floored. Giggly, proud, and shocked. Curious, happy, and introspective.

You can find the full Q&A on MWW’s blog, but I want to pull out one of the Q’s, about how I met Savannah at last year’s MWW Agent Fest.

A truly candid shot from the Midwest Writers Workshop conference I attended this summer. I can’t not comment on the size of my gas station pop bucket. (Say you’re from the Midwest without saying you’re from the Midwest …)

In the series, I’ll share more details about what goes into the prep of finding an agent, but this seemed as good of a spot to kick off this occasional series as any:

MWW: Tell us about your writing success(es)!

JYG: I found an agent through MWW Agent Fest last year!! I signed with Savannah Brooks of KT Literary this spring. I’m so embarrassed to say that this is how it went down but … I wasn’t even originally signed to pitch to Savannah. Her original manuscript wishlist focused on kid lit and YA, with selective contemporary fiction, so I opted to pitch to a trio of agents that named contemporary fiction as a focus. The first page of my novel was the first read on the first night of first-page reads (say that three times fast …) Savannah was one of the agents sitting in, and she laughed at the right spots and had such incredible feedback. She really got my story, which was a spectacular feeling. I sent her a private message during that Zoom call to thank her for her kind words (also apologizing in case I was making a faux pas–these were, after all, blind reads), and she encouraged me to pitch to her. I did, and she requested pages … and eventually the full manuscript … and at like 11 p.m. on a Wednesday night in April, I got that email that so many writers hope to get but never actually think is going to come. I burst into tears so hard, my husband was like “Good news or bad news? GOOD NEWS OR BAD???”

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