Agent Friday: Betsy Lerner

Our blogging agent of the week is Betsy Lerner of the Dunow, Carlson & Lerner Agency, which happens to be the agency that represents Alice Sebold's The Lovely Bones. Lerner spent sixteen years working as an editor before moving into agenting, and from what I've read about her, she was legendary as an editor.

Thankfully, Betsy Lerner passes on a huge amount of information through her blog, and in her book The Forest for the Trees. In the book, Lerner shares the perspective of editors in the publication process, and gives tips on making your queries and submissions stronger.

She also offers advice on handling rejection, dealing with ediors, and what to do if you experience writer's block. The book was published ten years ago, but Lerner is working on revising the information for the current world of publishing, and the new version will be released in fall 2010.

Lerner's blog is a humorous peek into the life of a literary agent, with its associated victories and travails. Her irreverent blog sometimes reads like a memoir, but because of that, it's fascinating. A selection of blog posts I like:

The ups and downs of publishing.

What happens when an author really revises.

Lerner's own query letter for a new project.

The importance of a good title.


The website of the Dunow, Carlson & Lerner Agency.

Lerner's other book, Food and Loathing: A Life Measured Out in Calories.


  1. Government Funding / Research Scandal

    Visit the website that the Canadian House of Commons and numerous Universities across North America have as well.
    It's an ingenious form of white collar crime:

    PHD credentials / contacts, an expendable family, participation of a dubious core of established professionals, Unaudited Government agency funding (identity protected by Privacy Commissioner Office but revealed here), unlimited funding (under the guise of research grants), PHD individuals linked with the patient (deter liability issues), patient diagnosed with mental illness (hospital committed events = no legal lawyer access/rights), cooperation of local University and police (resources and security); note the Director of Brock Campus Security.

    This all adds up to a personal ATM; at the expense of Canadian Taxpayers!
    "convinced" to be taken to St. Catharines General hospital (2001)
    and conveniently diagnosed with a "mental illness" (hint: Hallucination type; "forced" to consume "prescribed"
    corresponding medication for "cognitive" purposes )

    Medicine Gone Bad


  2. Thanks for the shout out. Betsy



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