Thursday, September 3, 2015

3 Agent Alex Barba of Inklings Literary and How to Earn Major Points on Submissions

Alex Barba is an agent at Inklings Literary Agency. She joined Inklings after a stint as a literary consultant in New York City, having scouted the U.S. book market for film & TV clients and foreign publishers. Prior to that, she spent time in Los Angeles as an editor at a digital magazine, and doing story development on scripts with a literary management company.

What is it about a manuscript that excites you? 
Voice, pacing, compelling characters, unique storyline ... a writing style that is so smooth & digestible that I get completely pulled into the pages and forget I'm reading at all.
What is on your wishlist? 
I am looking for grounded contemporary YA, or a clever re-telling/re-spin of an old classic (a la Ella Enchanted, Gail Carson Levine). Some recent specific wishlist items: stories about girls who are uncertain of themselves coming into their own, stories about young performers (actors, singers, dancers), positive (non-angsty) stories with nerdy girl or boy characters, empowered girl protagonists in general, compelling stories of first love.
Are you an editorial agent? 
I look for projects that are polished as-is, but I am not averse to editing - if I find something I totally love but that just needs a few tweaks, I'll offer representation with the author's understanding that we'll do some editing before submitting!
Character, world, or plot? 
All of the above! But characters are what make me truly fall in love with a ms.
What advice do you have for writers getting ready to query you? 
Make sure you know what I'm looking for - and read the query directions on our website! Follow it to a T - that'll give you major points!


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  2. Ah, writing that is "smooth and digestible." Nice!! Great to read about Ms. Barba. :)

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