Instructor Biography: Former agent with Jill Corcoran Literary Agency, specializing in teen and adult fiction and nonfiction with social justice themes. Ms. Porinchak is the author of One Cut, a true crime novel which won the In The Margins Book Award honoring titles for youth that tackle difficult topics including gangs, homelessness, violence, and addiction.
Instructor Statement: Literary agent is the greatest job in the world. We have the luxury of viewing the publishing industry from all angles, and having our fingerprints permanently stuck on every project we represent. Equal parts editor, business manager, cheerleader, and therapist, the job of literary agent is different every single day. The ingredients for doing a stellar job, while loving your job, are flexibility, honesty, optimism, and solid interpersonal skills. Although extroversion is not a requirement, having the ability to listen and negotiate with all types of people is necessary for success. Collaboration is key. An agent is – quite literally – the diplomat, or peace keeper in the publishing relationship, the glue that binds the many players in the literary puzzle that eventually come together to produce a book. But how does one make all those connections in the first place? And how does a new agent cultivate those relationships effectively? Most importantly, what skills must you develop in order to maintain integrity and brutal honesty, while also keeping the peace?