Agent Friday: Jill Corcoran

Today we have another agent who is also a writer. Jill Corcoran is an award-winning author and poet. I have no idea how she makes time for both her jobs--plus her roles as a wife and mother. And she blogs. 

I'm feeling rather inferior today.

But it's time to shake it off and figure out what I can learn from this human dynamo. And while she represents children's literature at The Herman Agency, what she's learned in the business applies to all of us.

Since Corcoran fills dual roles as writer and agent, she's experienced querying and rejection from both sides of the desk. You'd imagine she's got something to say on the subjects. And you'd be correct.

Querying. Corcoran dissects a query in Formula for a Query Letter.  She explains how to format your query to send in an email. And then in How to Write a Query Letter, she gathers links from all kinds of agents with their advice. One stop shopping.

Rejection. No one likes it. But at least you know Corcoran has experienced it as a writer. Find some encouragement (and some great links) in The Dissection of Rejection and Rejection Revisited. If you're worried an agent will hate your manuscript, don't worry. Corcoran walks you through what to do if you hear bad news.

Where to start your story. The first pages of your manuscript are critical. You've probably had them critiqued multiple times, and polished them till they shone. But is your story starting in the right place? Strong writing is essential, but so is finding the perfect place to begin. Corcoran shares her thoughts on how to find that sweet spot to Activate Your Story.

Researching agents. In Monday's post on your personalized query plan, I recommended starting a list of agents to query in the future. Corcoran makes it easier, by compiling a list of links to sites where you can check them out.

Do you think you'd be able to handle writing and agenting?


  1. Thanks for the links, Debbie!

  2. You're welcome, Jess! They gave me lots more to read, and a few links from her site might become the basis for blog posts in the future.


  3. By the way, I'm not sure whether or not you follow Twitter, but Jill Corcoran just tweeted, "How nice, look what I just found" and linked back to this post :)

  4. Jill C. tweeted this...and this is how I found you, too! I am a writer and homeschooling mom, also. Nice to meet others like me! :)

  5. I'll need to follow her on Twitter. How nice of Jill to mention the post!




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