Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Anyone who tells you agents don't read incoming queries should read this

From Publishers Lunch deal list today:

FICTION: DEBUT
Scientist, doctor and researcher with over 50 major awards in science and a professor medicine at the Mayo Clinic, Dr. James Levine's debut RIVER OF WORDS, the surprisingly hopeful story of 15-year old girl whose poverty-stricken family sells her into sexual slavery and she lives in a cage on the streets of Mumbai, but uses writing and imagination to transcend her reality, to Cindy Spiegel at Spiegel & Grau, for six figures, in a pre-empt, by Natanya Wheeler at the Lowenstein-Yost (who found the manuscript in the agency slush pile) (world).

6 comments:

kitty said...

What a depressing idea for a book. I'd never read it, let alone buy it. I've read Trudi Chase's memoir, and that was enough.

And then to find out that this ms was discovered in a slush pile?

...

Bonnie Shimko said...

I think it's an outstanding idea for a book. And to think the agent found it in the slush pile is amazing.

Ryan Field said...

I wonder if anyone went back to re-read their slush piles after they saw this :)

DK said...

When they say "slush pile," was it an unsolicited manuscript, or was it a requested manuscript after an unsolicited query? Makes a big difference when you're telling the story, no?

Because if agents ever read unsolicited mss without first going through the query process, then I went about it the wrong way for a long time...

Pete said...

DK,
That was my thought.

Karen Duvall said...

I'm just so happy for Natanya! She's brand new at Lowenstein-Yost and has only been agenting for about a year and a half or so. I met her at Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers' Colorado Gold Conference last September. She's just the sweetest girl, reminds me of one of my nieces. Anyway, one of the things she said on the agent panel was that she was looking for narrative nonfiction that was topical and interesting. Looks like she found it. You go, Natanya! Oh, and Dr. James, I guess I should be happy for you, too. Ha!