Screenwriting Blog
Posted on by Courtney Meznarich

Screenwriters, Novelists, Game Writers: Michael Stackpole Tells You How to Get an Agent

“Finding an agent is one of those questions that a lot of people ask. Everybody wants one”

Michael Stackpole explained during an interview with us at the Central Coast Writers Conference. A writer, game designer, podcaster, and regular conference speaker, Stackpole had an answer at the ready.

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“Once you’ve completed something, farm it out to some friends. Get them to write down two or three authors that they think you write like. Research those authors. Find out who their agents are. Perhaps meet them at a conference. Talk to them and see if their agents are taking on any new clients,” he said. “And the reason you want to do that is because you know that agent knows how to sell that style of work.”

Stackpole has more than one writing agent at this point in his career, including a bi-coastal arrangement that gives him representation with publishing houses in New York and the television and film industry in Los Angeles. In fact, with more than 40 novels under his belt, including the wildly popular I, JEDI and ROGUE SQUADRON Star Wars Universe Books, Stackpole has boots on the ground just about everywhere.

“I also have a foreign rights agent. That foreign rights agent will take anything that we sell here in the United States and sell it for translation to foreign countries.”

Perhaps that’s how he became a multiple New York Times Best-Selling Author, Parsec award-winner for “Best Podcast Short Story,” Topps’s selection for Best Star Wars Comic Book Writer, and an induction into the Academy Gaming Arts and Design Hall of Fame.

Those accolades alone should convince you that his advice is good!

So, according to Stackpole, sending your work out to friends and trusted mentors should be step one in your process to find a talent agent for writers. Step two? We have some ideas:

Remember, literary agents will all be looking for different qualities in their represented writers and different kinds of work. The most critical step in finding an agent is finding a person who will represent the work the way it deserves to be represented. Lean on your network to find a writing agent who is as passionate about your style and abilities as you are. Your work is worth it! Although it may be tempting, don’t settle on just anyone who says they want to work with you. Always keep in mind that they’re in this to earn a living, just like you are.

The more you know, the better luck you’ll have. Happy hunting,

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