Many literary agents are actively on Twitter, or “writer Twitter” as it is more fondly known, tweeting their tastes, what they’re looking for, and what they’re not. This makes Twitter an extremely useful tool when it comes to collating your shortlist of literary agents to query.
How should you use Twitter?
However, this does not mean you should follow all literary agents on Twitter, or regularly tweet them, or worse, stalk them. Yes, Twitter is a platform to interact, but within reason. Do not mistake a follow for a friendship.
Think of Twitter as a discovery tool, as a way to connect, to start conversations around common points of interest. Many top literary agents, editors, and publishers have Twitter profiles, and the easiest way to find them is simply through the Twitter search function. Type “literary agent”, then select the “People” tab. Voila! You can scan through and follow the ones of interest. And by that, I mean follow literary agents who represent your genre. There’s no point in following every single literary agent at an agency; you might as well just follow the agency account for that. Read through their tweets to get a flavor for what they’re looking for before you hit the follow button.
My favorite literary agents on Twitter
For this reason (and the fact that there are thousands of them!) I’m not going to list out every single literary agent on Twitter, but I am going to give you just a handful of my favorites to follow, so you have a good place to start:
- Association of American Literary Agents: Trade org where you will find all good literary agents worth their salt
- Regina Brooks: Founder and president of Serendipity Literary Agency
- Naomi Davis: Agent at Book Ends; they are also a writer of queer fantasy
- Eric Hane: Co-Founder of Headwater Literary and Print Run Podcast
- Beth Phelan: Founder of non-profit Diverse Voices, Inc, bringing marginalized book creators into traditional publishing
- Janet Reid: Founder of Query Shark and revered agent
- Jessica Sinsheimer: Co-Founder of Manuscript Wish List aka #MSWL, one of the most valuable agent taste-finder tools
- Tricia Skinner: Agent at Fuse Literary, proudly championing the underdog
- Eric Smith: His handle is @ericsmithrocks, and he does! Agent/author extraordinaire
- Laura Zats: Co-Founder of Headwater Literary and Print Run Podcast (it is a GREAT industry podcast)
My favorite literary agent hashtags
Another great discoverability tool is Twitter’s impressive bank of hashtags. There are literally millions of hashtags, but only a few that are relevant to finding literary agents. Below are a few of my favorites:
Each one of these opens up a world of possibilities into finding people with similar interests, people who can answer your publishing questions, opportunities for pitch competitions, and above all, valuable connections with writers, agents, and editors. Obviously. social connections aren’t a replacement for real-life interactions, but Twitter’s hashtags make it easier than ever to curate a list of interests, topics, and people to follow.
Obey the rules
A word of caution: most literary agents will update their profiles with whether they are open or closed to queries. If they are closed, do not query them! You will not get a response. Equally, do not @ mention or DM them. They are not interested. If they are open, do not ask them if you can query them on Twitter. Just query them! Be bold. Be brave.
If you know and obey the rules of literary Twitter, it really can be an invaluable resource for finding literary agents to query.