THE WRITERS INSTITUTE
Ryan D. Harbage, Erin Hosier & Melissa Sarver
Manuscript Consultations: Get feedback from the pros!
Literary professionals Ryan D. Harbage, Erin Hosier or Melissa Sarver will read a sample of your work, then meet with you for a one-on-one, 15-minute consultation. SPACE IS LIMITED.
How to prepare for your one-on-one manuscript consultation:
Manuscript consultations are an excellent way to get feedback on your project from an expert. Below are some pointers which can help you prepare and get the most out of the experience.
1. Do your homework. Read the agent/editors bio: visit their web sites; and Google their names to get a sense of their areas of interest and expertise. Don’t, for example, meet with someone who specializes in children’s lit if you’re writing a crime novel.
2. Bring a list of questions. The consultation will go by quickly, so organize your thoughts beforehand and make the most of your 15 minutes.
3. There is no criticism, only feedback. The industry professional with whom you’ll meet is here to give you an honest assessment of your manuscript and its potential to be published. Remember, they are evaluating your work not only on its artistic merit and the quality of the writing, but also as a product which would have to compete in the literary marketplace.
4. Manage your expectations. Be prepared for the possibility that you may have some work to do before your work is ready to be published. The vast majority of manuscripts go through substantial rewrites and revision before they are accepted for publication. You will not be offered a book deal or agency representation based on your consultation. At best, you’ll be asked to submit a larger sample of your manuscript.
Ryan Harbage is founder of The Fischer-Harbage Agency. He represents several New York Times bestselling authors, including Frank Calabrese Jr., Bill Eppridge, Aliya S. King, Robert Graysmith and Edward Klein, as well as Gloria Feldt, Richard Olsen, Taylor Plimpton, Robbie Robertson, Susan Shapiro, Amy Sullivan, Jackson Taylor, Timbaland, Pete Wentz, Thad Ziolkowski and others. He has placed books with all major publishers in the U.S. and the U.K. Prior to being recruited to work as an agent, Ryan was an editor at Simon Spotlight Entertainment (now Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster), Little, Brown & Company and Dutton/Viking/Plume at The Penguin Group (USA). Ryan teaches nonfiction writing at The New School, Pratt and Mediabistro. He has lectured widely at institutions including NYU, Sarah Lawrence College and several conferences.
Erin Hosier has been agenting since 2001. She got her start at The Gernert Company, and moved to Dunow, Carlson & Lerner in 2007. Recent projects include the biography of 1970, Fire & Rain by David Browne (Da Capo), the memoir,The Wilder Life by Wendy McClure (Riverhead), Flatscreen, a debut novel from Adam Wilson (Harper Perennial), and How to Teach Relativity to Your Dog (Basic Books), a physics primer by Chad Orzel. She primarily works with nonfiction authors and has a special interest in popular culture, music, sociology and memoir. She grew up in Ohio, works in NYC, and lives in upstate New York.
Melissa Sarver has joined The Elizabeth Kaplan Literary Agency in 2006, representing authors in both fiction and nonfiction. In fiction she is interested in adult, YA and middle grade, and is looking for literary and commercial projects. She likes dark, edgy stories with brilliant prose and strong voice as well as quirky stories with a fresh sense of humor. She especially enjoys family sagas, multicultural stories and similarly emotional stories with dystopian themes. In nonfiction, she is looking for voice-driven narrative nonfiction, memoir, lifestyle, business, travel writing, pop culture, cookbooks and food writing. A graduate of Boston University, she benefits from the experience of working with several literary agencies. Her recent sales include Dirty Secret: A Daughter Comes Clean About Her Mother's Compulsive Hoarding, by Jessie Sholl; The Accidental Creative, by Todd Henry; Sweet Vegan, by Emily Mainquist; Instructions for a Broken Heart, Kim Culbertson; and The Lost Girl, Sangu Mandanna.