Molly O'Neill On The Roles Of A Literary Agent Part 2


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Curious about the different roles of an editor? How they help authors transform their stories and make them come alive? How about the ways to break into the publishing industry as an editor or literary agent? Or tips for crafting a strong query letter and the value a literary agent will bring to your career? We talk about it all and more with Molly O'Neill.

Molly is a literary agent with Root Literary. Books that Molly has worked on have gone on to become #1 New York Times Bestsellers, have been made into major motion pictures, and received countless awards, honors, and accolades. Most recently, her clients’ books have been honored to receive National Book Awards longlist nomination, the William C. Morris YA Debut Award, the Asian/Pacific American Award for Young Adult Literature, the Schneider Family Book Award, and as ALA Odyssey Honors for Audiobooks and Goodreads Choice Awards nominees, among many others.

In part 2 of our conversation, we discuss how she discovers and pursues new writing talent and matches them with the best editor to help their stories come alive. She shares how an author’s social media presence and writing competition victories can be a path to grabbing a literary agent’s attention but it’s not the only journey an aspiring author has to take and that spending your energy on making your writing the best it can be is the most important aspect.

Further in, Molly talks about the query letters that have stood out to her the most and tips for improving your own query letters. She lists helpful writing and publishing resources you won’t want to miss, how supporting and contributing to the publishing community will help you create connections and opportunities, and smart financial moves to make when you receive your first book advance. And later, we talk about how your relationship with writing can change when your writing hobby turns into your job, the role self-awareness plays as you’re trying to reach your writing goals, and strategies for finding inspiration and uncovering the story you've always been meant to tell.

Please say 'Hi' to Molly on Twitter!

Head over to her shownotes page at to find the resources and books mentioned in her episode, tweetable quotes, and the timestamps of highlights throughout the entire conversation.

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