(Note: that's totally not all we do. Well, it's all I do, but it's not all Agent Lady does.)
So! My story!
I basically prostituted myself.
Whenever I saw an opportunity to speak with an agent, I jumped on it. I hammered in the point that "I'M A TEEN, if you take me on AS A TEEN, I will be valuable AS A TEEN in the area of TEEN fiction that you work with, and did I mention I'M A TEEN?"
Because, ya know, all teens are really experienced in publishing and editing and critical reading. *rolls eyes*
But my babbling started to pay off this past summer. I learned that a prominent romance agent had kids who swam in the same area as me, and we chatted at a swim meet. He showed me some things about the business, and allowed me to use him as a reference. Then I learned a woman I worked with had a mother who is a non-fiction agent, and again we chatted. She had much the same reaction as the last agent.
Suddenly I had experience and names to drop.
So, when I met Agent Lady at a conference this past summer, I was comfortable with her. And when she called for an intern, I showed interest. Next thing I knew, she was sending me some "test" manuscripts, and I was in heaven.
She liked me. I liked her. And sometimes that's all it takes.
-Put yourself out there.
-Don't be scared to use your advantages (like your age).
-Spend a lot of time reading and figuring out specifically what you did and didn't like about that book.
-Cultivate relationships, even if they aren't exactly what you want to do.
-Learn a lot about the agent looking for an intern before you apply, because a lot of it is whether your tastest match to his/her.
You Tell Me:
-Do you want to work in publishing? Why or why not?
-Do you have any questions about agents you want me to answer?