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Author Topic: East/West Literary Agency  (Read 515 times)
KPRichmond
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« on: October 12, 2017, 07:37:28 PM »

I met Deborah Warren of East/West Literary Agency at an SCBWI conference earlier this year. She seemed delightful and very knowledgeable.

After I queried her in connection with the conference, she requested my full ms. I noticed she's not included in the QT database, and I'm wondering if anyone here has any experience with her.

Thanks.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2017, 07:39:13 PM by KPRichmond » Logged

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slightlysmall
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« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2017, 08:29:24 PM »

http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?88835-East-West-Agency-(Deborah-Warren)
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KPRichmond
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« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2017, 08:54:08 PM »


Yes, I found that thread when I googled her and after reading the whole thing... Wow.  eek But once I got through it, my conclusion is that the agency seems completely legit. I was just wondering if anyone here had experiences they'd be willing to share.
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Munley
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« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2017, 02:32:09 AM »

The Absolute Write thread mentions that this agent had been listed in the QueryTracker data base, but was removed. So apparently, the agent did not meet QT's listing standards, for some reason.

The AW thread also mentions that Preditors & Editors listed this agency as "not recommended."

I just read the “About Us” section on the agency’s own web page, and it struck me as doing a lot of name dropping in unclear ways that would make it look to an inexperienced author that the agency has all these high-falutin’ connections, when it’s not clear to me at all what this list is even doing there in the first place. The web page seems to be going out of its way to sell itself by implying that they are well-connected. That’s my impression.

The biggest red flag for me on the AW thread was the conflict-of-interest worries about having Lisa Somebody, who runs a paid editing service, be the very person who screens submissions for this agent. Then Lisa gets on the thread and spews vitriol about people daring to question the practices of the agency. Lisa, posting several times, insists several times that the agent adheres to the standards of the AAR (Association of Authors Represantatives), implying that the agent is a member, when the agent is not.

Being an AAR member is not a requirement for an agent to be included in the QT database, but Lisa’s AAR name-dropping was used in a disingenuous way. It’s not Lisa’s fault if some naive newbie concludes she meant that the agent was actually a member.


You can always ask Patrick to include them on the QT listing if he now finds that they have come to merit the listing.
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slightlysmall
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« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2017, 06:35:01 AM »

I read the thread after posting it here, and it's definitely a doozy. But the drama was nearly 10 years ago. Besides what Munley mentioned about their About Me page, it is definitely legit. In your case, my concern would be that they seem to rep PBs and non-fiction. And if you gave her a "full MS" I imagine you have neither.

That said, going through their list of PBs, I own (or have read to my kids) a lot of them.
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KPRichmond
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« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2017, 12:49:14 PM »

Munley and Slightlysmall, thank you so much for your insights. You've confirmed my own instincts, as well as giving me a few more things to chew on.  innocent

Your reactions to the AW thread matched what I felt. The drama was very off-putting. Like Slightlysmall said, it's been long enough, I hope that's no longer an issue. And I also hope the issue with Lisa Rojany Buccieri isn't a reflection on Deborah Warren's own professional integrity. As I said, I met her at an SCBWI conference where she was a workshop speaker and panel member. Her bio in the conference program says she has "over 35 years of experience in the publishing industry, including 17 years at Harcourt and over 16 years at the helm of E/W." Ms. Warren's involvement with SCBWI seems like a good character reference--though I'm new enough at this, so am I just being naive?

There definitely is a lot of name dropping on East/West's website--but if I repped the authors of "Pete the Cat" and "Llama Llama," I'd probably name-drop, too!  Grin 

The agency clearly reps a lot of PB authors. Based on what Ms. Warren said at the conference I attended, as well as interviews posted on various blogs, she also reps and is actively looking for more MG and YA. That's on the website, too, but buried at the end of a long paragraph on the About page.

When I received her email requesting my full, she included specific and thoughtful notes on what she liked about my ms, so that seemed very encouraging.

If I do get to the point where I have "The Call" with East/West, I'll get a list references (which I will follow up with!) and also ask about the red flag issues.

BTW, for anyone who wants more info, here are the links to the interviews:
http://kimscritiquingcorner.blogspot.com/2015/09/fast-five-interview-with-agent-deborah.html
http://12x12challenge.com/2016/08/29/deborah-warren-linda-epstein-12-x-12-featured-agents-september-2016/
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Munley
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« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2017, 02:21:17 PM »


There definitely is a lot of name dropping on East/West's website--but if I repped the authors of "Pete the Cat" and "Llama Llama," I'd probably name-drop, too!  Grin 


The name-dropping I was referring to was a list of well-known literary awards commonly, some named after famous authors. The About-Us Page  doesn't say that this or that book whose authors the agency represents won this or that award, except for one author, Kwame Alexander. Some nominees (most unspecified) are listed for certain prizes, but most of the time, anybody can nominate any author for anything. Even an author can nominate her/his own book for many prizes. So being a nominee is not necessarily meaningful. Being a winner is.

 There is a big long list of prizes (with some claims about unnamed nominees) following the mention of foreign right partners and connections to Hollywood.) Seems like an odd thing to tack on there. All of this, to me, can give a bigger impression of really big connections. I guess there is no law against including such a list in such a way.

They do seem to rep some legitimate and real books, as S-Small mentioned. So that's a point in their favor.
 Again, if you want to track your submission to them on the QT database, maybe past problems have been cleared up and they qualify for a QT listing now. Wouldn't hurt to submit this to Patrick for inclusion on the QT site.
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KPRichmond
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« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2017, 02:42:27 PM »

Thank you, Munley. I'll do that!
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atwhatcost
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« Reply #8 on: October 17, 2017, 03:08:16 PM »

I met Deborah Warren of East/West Literary Agency at an SCBWI conference earlier this year. She seemed delightful and very knowledgeable.

After I queried her in connection with the conference, she requested my full ms. I noticed she's not included in the QT database, and I'm wondering if anyone here has any experience with her.

Thanks.
From freaky experience, (I started creating an agent list, but had to stop for 1.5 years because of a family emergency), I know one reason QT drops some agencies. The agency is no longer (or temporarily) looking for queries from people they don't know. QT pulls the agency out when that happens, and magically, (at least it feels magical), brings them back when they're back to looking for unknowns queries.

Best way to check if that's the problem is to check the submission page on the agency's website. That's where the surprise comes to light. (It is very weird to have an agent listed, then come back and can't even find the agency anymore.)

In your case, if that's the cause for the lack-of-listing, since you met her, you're probably good to go with querying. But, since I'm querying an MG, but have never heard of nor met anyone, I couldn't.

On the other hand, if P & E says "not recommended," I wouldn't ask anyway.
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