For the first part of their talk, Gluck and Blatt reviewed a selection of “pitch letters” (query letters from writers to potential agents that try to persuade the agent to read their manuscript) and shared tips for what makes for a successful letter. Both agents noted the importance of choosing the right “comp titles” (books that you feel are similar to yours) for your letter, the value of letting your voice speak through your letter (yes, you may use humor, if that’s appropriate to your book), and the merit of shaping your bio so that it ties back to your book (if your background directly relates to your subject matter, make that connection clear).
For the next part of their presentation, the agents divided the MFA students into two “workshop” groups where they reviewed student pitch letters and writing samples. Students took notes, asked questions, and got great ideas for shaping their creative projects into book-length manuscripts. Our writers were so lucky to have a one-on-one experience with two wonderful literary agents from the biggest literary agency in the world, William Morris Endeavor (WME). Many, many thanks to Suzanne and Andrea!