“Plot points in fiction or narrative argument in nonfiction can be improved through editorial work, but the fundamentals of writing have to be there from the start.”
Every year, the Writers’ League of Texas brings a faculty of close to thirty agents, editors, and other industry professionals to Austin for its Agents & Editors Conference. As we look ahead to the 25th Annual A&E Conference, taking place June 29–July 1, 2018, we’re happy to share Q&As with some of our faculty here.
An Interview with Kristina Moore
Kristina Moore joined The Wylie Agency in 2009. She specializes in literary fiction and narrative nonfiction, and is particularly interested in reportage, history, biography, science, sports writing, and arts and cultural criticism. She also represents authors’ estates. She graduated from Harvard College and began her career as an editor at SCOTUSBlog.
Scribe: How would you describe your personal approach to working with an author?
Kristina Moore: We seek to represent authors for the life of their careers, and in all aspects of their creative work—books, magazine, film/TV, speaking engagements. We’re not looking to represent one commercial hit, but rather to represent the highest quality writing in both fiction and nonfiction, and to find authors who are in dialogue with other important work. We’re advocates and cheerleaders, business managers and tacticians; we’re not editors, except in rare cases where the author has asked for our guidance.
Scribe: What do you look for in a debut author?
KM: The strength of the writing and voice—plot points in fiction or narrative argument in nonfiction can be improved through editorial work, but the fundamentals of writing have to be there from the start.
Scribe: If you could give writers one piece of advice, what would it be?
KM: Don’t try to chase a trend or write “the next Gone Girl”—you really do have to write what you know.
Scribe: Has there been a project you took on because there was something special or unique about it, even though it wasn’t like projects you usually take on?
KM: I recently sold a collection of sci-fi short stories, even though I don’t work in the sci-fi genre and short stories are generally a tough sell, because the literary quality of the writing was so unique, and the author was a supremely interesting young woman.
Scribe: Tell us about a recent book that you worked with–you know, brag on one of your writers!
KM: Sally Rooney’s Conversations with Friends received such an amazing critical reception, and it is a true privilege to bring her work to US readers. She’s only 26 and we’ve just sold her second novel.
Click here to read our 2018 A&E Conference agent bios.
Click here for more information on the 2018 Agents & Editors Conference, a weekend long event in Austin, TX (June 29-July 1) that focuses on the craft of writing, the business of publishing, and building a literary community.