Agent Friday: Caren Johnson Estesen

Caren Johnson Estesen began agenting in 2002. Five years later, she opened her own agency, Caren Johnson Literary Agency, that now boasts five agents. 

The agency accepts a variety of projects from fiction to non-fiction, and picture books through adult works.  See their submission guidelines for more information.

So, on to the blog posts that might be relevant to your writing life:

Did you participate in NaNoWriMo? Whether you finished or not, you likely have a manuscript of questionable value. The question is, do you keep working on it, or discard the thing and hope you can do better? Johnson gives four options in Nanowrimo Manuscripts: What to do with them?

Have you just returned to writing? That was me five years ago. I soon realized I had a lot to learn. Between writing courses, conferences, books, and just plain writing, I saw improvement. As a part-time editor, I see clients who could save money on editing by taking a writing course to "brush up" before they hire an editor. Johnson explains her reasoning why writers ought to consider a writing course.

At some point, you will need to write an author bio (or biography). Johnson shares how to write a bio that will not make an editor's eyes roll.

If you're wondering how long your book should be, find out in Johnson's post, Another Word on Wordcount.

Is it time for you to query an agent? Plan to spend a few weeks perfecting your query letter. You'll probably appreciate Johnson's post, The Science of the Query Letter.

Just last night, the agency hosted a question and answer session on their Facebook page. Check out the great responses they gave. Perhaps someone asked a question you had.

And here's some exciting news: if you have a finished manuscript, you can pitch it to the agency on their Twitter Open Pitch Night. Read through the information, and get ready to pitch on January 6, 2011.  But first, you'll want to read the post on Perfecting Your Pitch.

For more Agent Friday, click here.


  1. Oh, my--another great post with a wealth of info'... thanks. I particularly want to check on writing the author bio. Why does that seem to be so hard to write? And the open pitch night sounds great--except it means I'm going to have to finally jump into twittering, huh?

  2. Thanks for the links to some really informative, terrific articles. Great post. :) Have a wonderful weekend!

  3. Kenda, you may also want to check out the book, Get Known Before the Book Deal (my review is here ). The author shares how to write several different kinds of bios for different situations.

    Thanks for stopping by, Lisa!


  4. Thanks for the title, Debbie--I'll be sure to check it out :-)

  5. Just a warning, Kenda--this is one you'll want to buy, since you'll be marking it up a lot!


  6. Debbie,

    I love your blog. I hope you will join my blog at:
    You have some great posts on your blog. Thanks.
    Nicole Weaver

  7. Thanks for all the great links, Debbie. These agents keep getting younger and younger. She looks like a high school kid! LOL

  8. Thanks for stopping by, Nicole. I'm following. My husband enjoyed a wonderful trip to Haiti years ago, and my friend is illustrating a beautiful book from her experiences in Haiti.

    Mayra--You're right. She looks awfully young for having her own agency!




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