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Confessions of an Ex-Literary Agent
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With former literary agent Elizabeth Little


Representing authors is a tough business that requires a variety of skills and personality traits. This week’s guest, who used to be an agent, reveals what the job is really like and why she left.

Elizabeth Little is a writer and editor living in New York City. She has worked as a literary agent and as a writer and editor for the travel guide Let's Go: China. She writes regularly for the travel section of The New York Times. She talked about her book Biting the Wax Tadpole, Confessions of a Language Fanatic, on The Writing Show in March.

Please join Elizabeth and host Paula B. as they lay bare:

  • Why she got into publishing in the first place
  • Why she left agenting
  • How agents select publishers for their clients
  • Why deals fall apart
  • What some of the mysterious things publishers and agents say in rejection letters really mean
  • What she thinks agents and publishers look for in a work and an author
  • Why people want to be agents
  • How to write a query letter to an agent
  • How not to approach an agent.

Interviewee: Elizabeth Little
Host: Paula B.
Date: April 13, 2008
Running time: 38:54
File size: 19 megabytes
Rating: G
Elizabeth Little's Web site:

Purchase Elizabeth's book at