Wednesday, November 25, 2009

My Goal As An Agent

I thought, before the break, to leave you with a thought of what guides me as an agent.

Obviously, I am very much interested in finding great projects and getting those ideas sold. Hey, money for everyone is always good. This is a business to me and hopefully for writers contacting me, that is also a high priority. However, I do have an additional goal that guides what I do here at Greyhaus.

My background is in Education, Literature and Literacy. With that as a foundation, I want to see the publishing industry really strive for finding the best of the best and to promote reading at all levels. I think that was what I really loved about series such as Harry Potter and Twilight. Kids (and adults) that didn't normally read were finally picking up books and reading. As a teacher and supporter of literacy, this was truly exciting. With that in mind, I want to work with writers to find ways to improve their writing craft. This is part of the reason I love judging contests and, whenever I am asked to provide critiques, I do so. With each of these, I don't just want to leave the writer with a ranking, but let them know what I saw that worked and didn't work, and to also, provide guidance. Sometimes it works...sometimes it doesn't.

Assisting writers also extends to what I do when I come to conferences. I want to be among the writers to answer questions, provide feedback and, as a professional, try to bridge the gap between the professional side of things and the writer side of things. In fact, I honestly believe that most of the problems writers face is a lack of communication between the professionals and the writers. Each side really doesn't know what is going on.

I will also add that when I attend conferences, I don't just go, do my sessions and disappear. You will always find me out in the hallways and in the common places to be available to writers. Again, this is just one additional way to guide writers.

Finally, when I started the blog, I didn't want to just tell you about my authors, or to ramble on about what I do in my daily life. Sure some of that slips in every now and then, but hey, I'm human. The goal is to guide writers. And really, I tend to focus on a lot of the beginning writers.

Another agent asked me once what I saw as my target group. I told them that in all honesty, I was the one person working with the "freshman writers" I might not hold on to them, they may move on to bigger projects and different agents, but I know that I was able to get them started and get them moving with their career. There are several writers that have come through Greyhaus that are doing really well. They might not be with me, but I still buy their books and check in on them every now and then.

I think the last thing to bring up is that this same motivation is what makes me join organizations such at the RWA. I believe in this organization. Sure, there are times that I might not agree with everything that is done, but hey, you find that with any group you work with. We don't always agree with our employers, things that happen at our churches, or our schools, but that doesn't mean the entire group is flawed or bad.

As I write this, I guess I really wonder why I need to say this. Maybe it is simply a thought that I had to get off my chest. But maybe there is a bigger idea. Maybe as individuals participating in the publishing business, whether as a hobbiest or professional writer; whether an agent or editor; whether a professional organization or NPO... the question to consider is what do you do this for?

Have a great Thanksgiving everyone and as we sit around and stuff ourselves with a flightless bird, let's be thankful that we have an outlet to do what we love the best - WRITE!



  1. I really like your attitude. I just want to say thanks for taking the time to write these blogs. Out of all the blogs I follow, I find yours the most helpful.
    Have a great Thanksgiving :)


  2. Wow thank you so much for taking the time and effort to write your blogs they are very helpfull, since you are someone that is willing to help "freshman" writers
    what kind of advice can you give someone who has been told her wrighting is a bit forced? i think she was born to wright but just needs a helping hand and from reading about you, you sound like the perfect man to give the best advice, so anything would mean a great deal. Also are you open to re-read submission that have been sent to you? after dec.1 or are you not taking anything after that?
    thank you and happy holidays.