How to Find an Agent for Your YA Novel - Uncharted

How to Find an Agent for Your YA Novel

By Riv Begun

If you want to get traditionally published, finding an agent is often the next step after you’ve finished revising your manuscript. It can be really helpful to have a collaborator, a partner and new eyes on something you’ve worked on for so long, but it’s important to find the right person.

That’s why we’ve pulled together resources for finding the right agent for your book.

  • Manuscript Wishlist is an easily searchable website where agents post what they’re looking for. You can search by keywords, genres and names.
  • Query Tracker is a great resource for finding agents and judging average wait times for responses. There’s a page to search for literary agents here.
  • Reedsy has a page dedicated to finding literary agents. You can search by genre, keywords and location, as well as access their twitter accounts. There’s even a list specifically for young adult stories.

Many agents are active on Twitter. Agents often use Twitter, and the #MSWL hashtag is useful for finding agents who might be interested in what you’re looking for. Type #MSWL and then some keywords around your story, and see who pops up.

Tip: Another great way to find an agent is to read the acknowledgments page from books similar to yours or from authors you admire. Normally, they’ll mention who their agent is. See if they’re open to queries.

One of the other important parts of finding an agent is making sure to end up with the right one. Unfortunately, there are bad actors out there who pose as agents in order to take advantage of querying writers. Make sure to do your research on an agent before querying to them.

Some helpful resources here

  • Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America has articles on scammers to watch out for. Finding a good agent is so important. You don’t want to get stuck with one who will scam you.
  • Writer Beware is also a good resource for querying writers. Check to make sure an agency is legitimate with this site before querying to them.
  • Absolute Write also has a page for checking out agent’s backgrounds.

Finally, pay attention to the rules of querying and only query when an agent is open to submissions. Agents look through hundreds of queries a month, and formatting and rule-following are some of the first things they’ll notice to get through the slush pile.

Remember that agents are people too. Be professional, patient, and recognize that a good relationship with an agent or anyone else begins with respect.

Good luck and happy writing!

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