Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Maggie Cooper of Aevitas Creative Management

Maggie Cooper is a literary agent with Aevitas Creative Management.

Maggie came to Aevitas in 2018 from the world of of small presses, academic publishing, and literary journals. She holds a degree in English from Yale University, attended the Clarion Writers Workshop, and earned her MFA in fiction from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where she served as an editor for The Greensboro Review.

Based in Boston, Maggie is actively seeking imaginative, genre-bending literary fiction; capacious historical novels; beautifully told queer stories; and smart, feminist romance. Her other loves include unclassifiable book projects, food and cookbooks, and work by writers traditionally underrepresented in mainstream publishing.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Sandy Lu of Book Wyrm Literary

Sandy Lu is a literary agent with Book Wyrm Literary.

Book Wyrm Literary Agency is actively looking for new and exciting voices in the following:

In fiction: literary and commercial fiction, mystery, thriller, suspense, science fiction, fantasy, horror, historical fiction, family saga, upmarket women’s fiction, and YA.

In nonfiction: narrative non-fiction, history, biography, science, business, psychology, pop culture, and food writing.

Sandy does not represent poetry, screenplays, picture books, and books about parenting, religion/spirituality, and sports.

Sandy Lu founded Book Wyrm Literary Agency after working as a literary agent for more than a decade at other boutique agencies, including Peter Rubie Literary Agency, Anderson Literary Management, and most notably, the L. Perkins Agency.

Born and raised in Taiwan, Sandy’s family moved to New York in her teens, so she understands the struggles of immigrants and those who straddle two cultures all too well.

Sandy holds BAs in psychology and sociology from Queens College, with minors in music, business, and Japanese. Prior to becoming an agent, she attended the Ph.D. Program in Social and Personality Psychology at the CUNY Graduate Center and worked as a business/operations manager in the theater industry.

Sandy’s areas of study and work experience greatly inform her interest in submissions. In fiction, she is seeking stories that will draw her in with a unique voice, make her miss her bedtime with a thrilling plot, and characters that will stay with her long after she turns the last page. Bonus points if you can make her laugh out loud or unable to hold back tears in public. Sandy especially loves historical fiction and anything dark, twisted, or with a supernatural bent.

In nonfiction, she’s looking for projects that can make connections about different topics in an unexpected way, explicate complex research for a general audience, introduce the reader to cutting-edged science or previously little known historical facts and figures, teach us new ways to think or clever skills that can improve our daily life, and expand our knowledge and understanding of the world—past, present, and future

Tips For Pitching Your Book at the 2022 Writing Conference of Los Angeles

If you are coming to the 2022 Writing Conference of Los Angeles (Sept. 9-10, 2022), you may be thinking about pitching our agent-in-attendance or editor-in-attendance. An in-person pitch is an excellent way to get an agent excited about both you and your work. Here are some tips (from previous instructor Chuck Sambuchino) that will help you pitch your work effectively at the event during a 10-minute consultation. Chuck advises that you should:

  • Try to keep your pitch to 90 seconds. Keeping your pitch concise and short is beneficial because 1) it shows you are in command of the story and what your book is about; and 2) it allows plenty of time for back-and-forth discussion between you and the agent. Note: If you’re writing nonfiction, and therefore have to speak plenty about yourself and your platform, then your pitch can certainly run longer.
  • Practice before you get to the event. Say your pitch out loud, and even try it out on fellow writers. Feedback from peers will help you figure out if your pitch is confusing, or missing critical elements. Remember to focus on what makes your story unique. Mystery novels, for example, all follow a similar formula — so the elements that make yours unique and interesting will need to shine during the pitch to make your book stand out.
  • Do not give away the ending. If you pick up a DVD for Die Hard, does it say “John McClane wins at the end”? No. Because if it did, you wouldn’t buy the movie. Pitches are designed to leave the ending unanswered, much like the back of any DVD box you read.
  • Have some questions ready. 10 minutes is plenty of time to pitch and discuss your book, so there is a good chance you will be done pitching early. At that point, you are free to ask the agent questions about writing, publishing or craft. The meeting is both a pitch session and a consultation, so feel free to ask whatever you like as long as it pertains to writing.
  • Remember to hit the big beats of a pitch. Everyone’s pitch will be different, but the main elements to hit are 1) introducing the main character(s) and telling us about them, 2) saying what goes wrong that sets the story into motion, 3) explaining how the main character sets off to make things right and solve the problem, 4) explaining the stakes — i.e., what happens if the main character fails, and 5) ending with an unclear wrap-up.