Meet Roseanne Wells, an agent with Jennifer DeChiara Literary Agency, who will be at the Pennwriters 30th Annual Conference, in Pittsburgh, May 19 – 21, 2017.
If you could meet anyone in the world dead or alive who would it be and what would you say to them?
I would throw a dinner party for kick-ass pioneering ladies: Amelia Earhart, Ida B. Wells, Harriet Tubman, Julia Child, Isadora Duncan, Audre Lorde, my favorite authors, everyone who’s awesome. And Alanna of Trebond. Oh, she’s fictional, you say? Well, we’ll figure it out. There will be cake.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Practice failing more. The first time I got rejected from a program that I truly wanted, that I knew I was perfect for in my heart of hearts, I was crushed. As I’ve gotten older, rejection and failure still sting, but I can take some time to step back and often learn from it.
What is your favorite resource for writers?
I think #MSWL and ManuscriptWishList.com has become a huge resource for writers, and so helpful on the agent side. Writers can see exactly what I’m looking for plus what I might be interested in that I didn’t even think of. It makes researching agents so much easier, and I know when they use the hashtag in a query that they are paying attention. In general, I think critique partners are also an essential resource as well. They can be honest and supporting, celebrate with you and send warm fuzzies when you need it.
What has been the most satisfying aspect of your literary career?
There are a lot of satisfying moments, but one of the greatest is telling an author that there’s an offer.
What is your favorite tip for writers?
Writing is a practice, you have to develop the craft through work, but you also have to live your life. All of your experience–on the page and off, your research and your curiosity–will help you build your work.
What makes you hit the “delete” key the moment you see it in your inbox?
Dear Mr. Wells. And not including sample pages.
Tell us about a project or accomplishment that you consider to be the most significant in your career.
The first book I sold was called CAPITAL OF THE WORLD, about New York City in the 1920s. It has this beautiful cover, silver metallic paper with a photo of the Chrysler Building, my favorite building in NYC. When I got the hardcovers for the book, I had this moment of, OMG I make books, this is incredible. And that feeling is still there.
To register, click here: 2017 Pennwriters Conference Registration.