Thursday, November 1, 2007

Lynn Seligman Literary Agent Profile

Lynn Seligman runs her own literary agency in Upper Montclair, New Jersey.
She has a B.A. from Goucher College, a M.A. in French Literature from Columbia University, near completion of a Ph.D. in French Literature from Columbia.
Seligman enjoys representing literary novels, women's fiction, romance, horror, science fiction and fantasy. In the non-fiction realm, she enjoys representing memoirs, psychology, health, medicine, business, science and women's issues.
Writers may query her at this address:

Ms. Lynn Seligman, Literary Agent
400 Highland Avenue
Upper Montclair, New Jersey 07043

14 comments:

Tim Eagle said...

I don't understand why Literary Agents are so specific as to whom they publish. If they want name brand published and polished authors why don't they work for the publishing authorities that only dampen the hopes of authors without the name of King, Koontz, Patterson, the list goes on and on...Agents have become very selective and give no hope to those authors who are just starting out. I think that the whole publishing industry has been corrupted with old, crippled blood and needs to be wiped clean and started over, like so many other things in the world. Sorry to offend the Literary Agent's but after sending over two hundred double stamps, double envelopes, and a sheet of paper with my query, I realized that I receive more feedback from the publishing houses that won’t publish anything anyway.

Abby said...

To the above comment:
Oh, please. If you were a literary agent, wouldn't you want to read your preferred genres? They get hundreds of queries per day. They need to be selective. That's their job.

And if you wrote a novel in a certain genre, wouldn't you prefer to be read by someone who enjoys that genre, instead of wasting postage on an agent who's biased against it from the start?

David said...

Here's the problem: The author thinks the world revolves around them, and the agent thinks it revolves around them. Both are wrong. It's about the reader. But this is the state of the industry now. Once upon a time, music was music, now it's rock, hiphop, rap, country, jazz, folk... It's all about labeling. Don't say I've got a great story, say I've written commercial women's fiction blah, blah, blah...
It will get worse before it gets better.

Tim Eagle said...

To Abby, yes your right about finding an agent that represents your genre---as for the hundreds of queries per day that end up in their slush pile, typically before glancing at whether or not the story (novel) fits into their genre, well that's another blog all together. As for David, you're are quite right, the world does revolve around both agents and writers, they're creative thinkers. And again Davis, if what's mainstream, as sad is it is to say, is selling, why not jump into it feet first and at least be compensated before journeying down the path of the unknown, undone, or unheard of. Thank you both for your comments, although Abby's bite stung for a millisecond.

alexander said...

As a matter of principle I REFUSE to query any agent that does not accept email submissions. In the first place it is enviromentally immoral not to strive for a paperless office and in the second it places a huge finacaial burden on us writers, most of whom are struggling. To all agents that only accept snail mail SASE submissions I say humbug! you are a dinosaur with your weekly dumpster full of paper.
Alexander Kendall

Tim Eagle said...

This post seems so long ago, and with electronic submissions via e-mail and the opening up of actually accepting unsolicited manuscripts by main stream publishers, I think any author in their right mind would skip right over the, "I'm only going to represent someone who's been published", literary agents. Seems the proper thing to do.

R said...

Screening manuscripts/proposals is a very time-consuming job, and agents do have to streamline their workload to select only the authors that fit their portfolio best. If some good work falls through the cracks this way, tough break--but I believe a good author will eventually find the right person to sell the manuscript. What I dislike about many agents is the hidebound adherence to hard copies for submissions. Words are words, and whether on screen or on paper, a good manuscript is a good manuscript. If they're afraid of opening the floodgates for bad writers to send garbage by allowing email submissions, they should also be concerned about bad writers flooding agents AND wasting paper doing the same.

David said...

I used to work for a publisher ('96-2000), just before the big agent boom, and most manuscripts were turned down without being read, but one did get read by me. I loved it, my wife loved it. we thought it was the best book ever written on the subject, and it did get published. The company I worked for ran into some problems that were entirely fixable in the selling of this book. They chose instead to "cut their losses" and the book was a one print (12,500 copy) bomb. The author lost his publishing rights, and a very time consuming expensive process that I felt was a literary achievement was basically killed by a company that was too busy to care. So while we hunger for acceptance, and rejection tends to make us sore, it might be better NOT to marry the first gorgeous woman/guy that wants to get romantic. The current process, laborious and frustrating as it may be, does challenge us to write something even better than we dreamed possible. Dare to be different. Don't sell out now thinking you'll recapture your idealism when your bank account is more healthy.

Rich P said...

I believe the agents are only looking for BIG name. Not the first timers, I think Tim is right I sent my queries to the agent that work in the genre I write. All I get back are form letters but I keep my list and after I am published, it will be my turn.

Tim Eagle said...

Finally, someone who is in total agreement with me, thanks Rich, I appreciate it. It seems to me only the legitmate hard working authors are concerned with this market. It's frustrating, but it boils down to who you know, sad but true...Thanks again!

Rich P said...

After taking with 2 published authors the only way they were published was to hand there manuscript to an agent in a bar in NYC but nether made much money about $5000.00 a book.

LuWanda Cheney said...

Well now, Tim, I'm a writer, too, but I see it differently. If you've submitted work to 200 agents and still aren't published maybe your writing isn't as good as it could be. Your comment, for example, is filled with cliches. Have you liminated cliches from your manuscript? Stop whining and get back to youur manuscript. Tear it apart and start fresh, making sure the writing on every page is as good as you can make it, and that it is original. No agent will turn down a well written, interesting book. Go write! LuWanda Cheney

Tim Eagle said...

LuWanda, you only said one thing that I will agree with, continue to write. Other than that it's been a very long time since I've submitted anything to an agent and have grown in my writing since then. I was published two times in 2009, once in a horror magazine (you can google me if you want the dirt). I don't make it a habit of using cliches in my writing, maybe in this forum but in a short story or novel, not at all. You sound quite bitter, maybe you should continue to write, use spell check and stop browsing the cloud for useless comments that take away from a lot of the talent in the world, including my own. I think that I'll end it here so I can get back to writing. Thanks so much for the sting LuWanda, it was unnecessary and unwarranted to go on the attack against me. Good luck with your endeavors! Happy Writing!!!

Lois Crockett said...

Agents are in business to earn a living. They like to read and some of them even write but agenting pays their rent and puts food on their table. They agent by selling authors' works to publishing houses. Therefore, it's a sales job. And, like any other sales job, you have to wade through a lot of crap before you get to a deal. In this particular industry, that's called "the slushpile." LOL I even know one agency who has queries sent to an email address at yahoo called "slushpile." So the agent has to go by experience, taste (totally subjective), likes and dislikes (again, totally subjective) and gut instinct for that one property that will yield them a deal. So I say good luck wi'that and plenty of great writers got plenty of rejections - some nasty, too - and they made it anyway because they persevered, didn't give up and kept on keepin' on and, above all, kept writing. Cheers~!