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  1. #1
    T.E. Manthey

    New York Literary Agency

    I submitted a query to this agency online and straight away they sent a letter requesting a manuscript of which I sent almost immediately,does anyone have any dealings with them?

  2. #2
    Michelle L

    Re: New York Literary Agency

    I've heard that they are part of ST Literary Agency, which is not anything you want to get in volved in. I advise you proceed with caution. Pray your manuscript gets lost in the mail.

  3. #3
    T.E. Manthey

    Re: New York Literary Agency

    Thanks Michelle whats the ST literary agency? I'm not concerned with the manuscript it's not a make or break book to me, It's had so many rejection letters by reputable publishers if they accept it as face value then I'll run the other direction fast.

  4. #4
    Marc Vinicky

    Re: New York Literary Agency


    There are numerous threads regarding the ST Lit Agency...run a search in the blue box above...quite illuminating. Good luck!

  5. #5
    Gary Kessler

    Re: New York Literary Agency

    Trace back. How did you come about querying them in the first place? Did you get the lead from a reputable source, do a complaint search on the Internet, check for membership in the professional agentís association (AAR) at (http://www.aar-online.org), and check it out with Preditors & Editors (http://anotherealm.com/prededitors) and Writer Beware (http://www.sfwa.org/beware)?

    Or did you spend money and time shotgunning your queries to unknown addresses, many of whom are operated by scammers?

    If you need to start again from the beginning in catching reputable agents, check out the articles available in the "Agents" section of this Web site (clickable article titles running down the right side of the Agent page).

  6. #6
    Carol O

    Re: New York Literary Agency

    Good to see you, Gary!

    NYLA is indeed a "sister" agency of ST (now named Stylus). The other parts of the octopus are Children's Literary Agency and Christian Literary Agency, IIRC. All are part of The Literary Agency Group and are incestuous in the extreme when it comes to passing applicants around to wring editing, critique, and illustration fees out of them. AVOID!

  7. #7
    Michelle L

    Re: New York Literary Agency

    Just for fun, I once emailed ST Literary Agency to see if they were interested in my manuscript. They said they were and asked me to send the first three chapters via email. I sent nothing, yet they still sent me a reply thanking me for submitting my work, and that they would get back to me ASAP. A few weeks later, I received an email claiming they'd like to represent me. Not surprisingly, this was (and still is) good dinner table fodder.

    Needing more laughs, I emailed them again (I almost feel guilty for harassing them... except I know I'm only 'harassing' a machine that bounces back replies). However, in this email, I asked them if they'd like to come over for curry that I made for dinner. They replied saying they were interested in my manuscript and could I send them the first three chapters via email.

    Needless to say, avoid these people. I don't even think they ARE people. Also, you should do a search on them. I think you'll find some interesting reading.

  8. #8
    Mya Bell

    Re: New York Literary Agency

    John D. McDonald walked over to their Manhattan address and talked to the building person and it was determined that there is no office by that name at that address. It's apparently a mail drop.

    They will eventually refer you to an editor (who is affiliated with the company), for a price, of course.

    On Friday, a very astute writer (I didn't catch the name of the writer) asked a panel of fourteen agents and editors if they had ever heard of ST Literary. The answer was blank faces. The agents and editors all looked around like "Huh?" and two of them shook their heads. Not ONE of those top agents or publishers' editors (including Donald Maass, Jane Dystel, Jane Fleming, etc.) had heard of ST Literary. If they were serious contenders as agents, or if they had been submitting to editors, people in that room would have recognized the name. They did not.

    What does that tell you about their visibility and credibility on the publishing side of things?

    --- Mya Bell

  9. #9
    TE Manthey

    Re: New York Literary Agency

    Thank you all and as we sepak Im senidng query letters to all the publishers of my genre I knew I shouldnt try a shortcut//live and learn.

  10. #10
    Mui Shamp

    Re: New York Literary Agency

    Christian Literary agency and New York Literary Agency are one and the same: big scam!

    Consider my experience with them. Remember, they said no fees! And notice the person I wrote to doesn't even tell me her last name! Here are the entire email correspondence with them:

    Thank you for completing our query form and for sending us your manuscript.

    Our review team believes that your work has commercial potential and we
    would like to proceed further with you. Basically, we feel that your
    concept and writing thus far has potential and that if presented properly,
    we can sell it.

    To take the next step, please let us take a minute to tell you a little bit
    about how we think. Your understanding of our philosophy and our
    requirements will help you in determining if you wish to proceed further
    with us.

    We apologize in advance for the length of this email and the fact that it is
    somewhat of an automated format. This is at the behest of our lawyers.
    (However, like Shakespeare, we tell them all the time, "that the first thing
    we're going to do is to shoot all the lawyers".)

    We Believe We are Unique in that we Are Willing To
    Develop New, Fresh Talent. (We like the 'business incubator' metaphor.)
    ================================================== =======================
    We receive very few 'ready-to-go' manuscripts. Most manuscripts that we
    receive need some level of polishing before we can submit them to buyers.
    Some need very little polishing. Some need a lot. Over the years, we've
    learned that it is worth our time and effort to do what it takes to develop
    new talent. We've learned that incubating new talent makes good business

    Therefore we don't summarily reject writers who are willing to do what it
    takes to improve their work. There are very few literary agencies that will
    take the time to develop talent. Most barely return emails. We've answered
    every email you've sent us, and we've taken the time to learn more about you
    and your goals. We've already invested time and energy in reaching this
    point with you.

    We hope that you will acknowledge that our level of communication and
    professionalism already far exceeds that of other literary agencies. We
    pledge this same level of professionalism and courtesy in all subsequent

    About Our Literary Agency
    We are members of a larger and more diversified publishing conglomerate. Our
    principals have been in the Literary Agency business for over 20 years. Our
    parent company is invested in a variety of pursuits within the $40+ billion
    publishing and writing marketplace. We are invested, and investing in, other
    literary agencies, small publishers, distribution companies, magazines,
    writers services companies, and we are even considering investing in a movie
    production company. Our management's reasoning is that we want to be able
    to take our authors and their successes in every direction possible.

    By now you are probably saying, "thanks for the business philosophy
    overview, but what does this mean to me and representation"
    ================================================== =================
    Based on what we have seen so far, we would like to represent you.

    If you are willing to follow some simple suggestions for developing your
    talent and polishing your work, then we are willing to offer you a contract
    for representation.

    The next step is that, together, we work to bring your work to the highest
    possible quality. To do that we require a 3rd party independent critique.

    What Is a 3rd Party Independent Critique? Here is one example
    and another example is attached. A critique is a valuable tool
    for the writer and the Agency.
    ================================================== =================
    Title: Somewhere Pond
    Review: This is an excellent submission.

    Somewhere Pond is hands down, one of the best submissions targeted at young
    readers I've come across in a good while. You're characterization and
    storyline is superb. The story begins with conflict, a father trying to
    discipline his young daughter. This immediately makes the reader sympathize
    with both father and daughter. You certainly have a compelling first person
    point of view voice and it's very good that you've chosen to use it to tell
    this story. I don't think this story would be as effective told in a
    consistent third person point of view. Contrary to popular belief, writing
    in first person can be a difficult thing. It's so easy to fall into the 'I'
    trap. You do have a tendency to start many of your sentences with 'I' and
    this is where things can start to get boring. Try to avoid beginning
    sentences with 'I' as much as possible.

    This story really is ideal for the young adult market. It has really
    interesting elements young adult book editors won't be able to resist. An
    eight-year-old girl has learned through an extraordinary friend that her
    true calling in life is to become a part of a magical world full of animals
    that have humanlike qualities is an exceptional storyline for the young
    adult market. It really reminds me of this year's hit movie, 'Finding
    Neverland' which starred Johnny Depp. Alexis is so wrapped up in her own
    fantasy world and her parents are worried sick. It is all so imaginative. I
    do think this is too long to fit into one novel. What I recommend is to
    break it down into several books and try to sell it as a series.

    ========= End of Sample 1: Please see attachment for a more detailed
    critique ===

    We've learned that having a 3rd party independent critique is a very
    powerful tool in our sales approach to buyers/publishers. The critique also
    provides our Agency with a roadmap for developing your manuscript for

    The critique is inexpensive, usually around $50-$80 depending on the
    company you choose. It will tell us if you are ready for marketing right
    away, or if more polishing is required.

    Please review the critique examples we have given you. Think about how
    powerful an 'excellent' critique would be to the selling process.

    Then just reply to this email with any questions that you may have, or
    simply state "I understand the need for a critique and I agree that a
    critique will help us both know how to proceed".

    Once we receive your positive reply, we'll send you the contract for
    representation and begin the process with you.

    Thank you again for your time and consideration. We look forward to working
    with you to develop your writing career.

    Sherry - VP Acquisitions

    Also, as we mentioned, if you already have a 3rd party critique, please let
    us know. It must match the level of detail that you see in this attached
    example. If you have an associate that you believe can do your critique,
    then be sure to send us their credentials first for approval. If you need a
    referral for a critique, we can provide one right away.

    Dear Sherry,

    Thanks for your interest in my book; here is the complete manuscript of my
    book The Thread of Destiny.

    May Shamp

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "Sherry" <sherry@christianliterary.com>
    To: <mayshamp@aboutmontana.net>
    Sent: Tuesday, July 05, 2005 6:37 PM
    Subject: Christian Literary - Please Send Manuscript

    > Thank you for your query to The Christian Literary Agency. We compliment
    > you on what you have achieved thus far, and yes, we would like to see
    > Would you please send us a copy of your manuscript for further evaluation?
    > (Note: we like to work with only one property at a time for the
    > so please just send us the one you consider your best.)
    > Our preference is email. If the file size is greater than 5 megabytes you
    > can mail it to us, but please only send it once, either by email or snail
    > mail (we prefer email). Our mailing address is: The Christian Literary
    > Agency, 275 Madison Ave., 4th Floor, New York, New York 10016. If you
    > decide to mail your manuscript please be sure to INCLUDE your email
    > (very clearly) so we may reply and process your manuscript. Mailed
    > manuscripts may take up to 30 days to reply/process. Emailed manuscripts
    > are processed much more quickly.
    > Also, so that you know a little more about us, please allow me to give you
    > bit of background on ourselves. We are part of a larger conglomerate that
    > has ownership in a number of companies in the $40 billion publishing
    > marketplace. We are bigger than a small agency and smaller than a large
    > agency. We have about 15 people total and as of 2nd quarter, 2005 we have
    > over 60 active conversations ongoing with buyers and 3 option agreements
    > negotiations. We just sold our 4th work (to a publisher in England) and
    > are confident of more success later this year. We market to the larger
    > medium sized publishers and producers.
    > We believe we are very different than other agencies. We take pride in
    > fact that we answer every email personally within 2-3 days and we believe
    > that we are unique in that we are willing to develop an author and their
    > talent. We like the metaphor of a business incubator as a description of
    > how we will take time to bring an author's work to the proper quality
    > even if it takes months to do so.
    > Also, you may understand how a Literary Agency works, but many authors
    > don't, so please excuse me while I take a minute and let you know how the
    > process works. As your Literary Agent, our mission is to assist you in
    > finding a publisher and to coach you along the way in various options
    > available to you. We don't edit, we don't illustrate, our mission is to
    > sell for you. As for compensation, get paid on success only, meaning we
    > only get paid if you get paid. Typically we will receive 15% of what you
    > receive.
    > We do not charge fees, so our compensation is based on success only.
    > the way, we may suggest that you continuously improve the quality of your
    > work and or how it is presented. Once your work is deemed 'presentable',
    > then we'll start shopping it to publishers. We never promise a sale, but
    > can tell you that we have a model that works.
    > We look forward to receiving your materials.
    > Blessings,
    > Sherry - V.P. Acquisitions
    > p.s. Sorry for the inconvenience however, WE DO NOT RETURN
    > MANUSCRIPTS/MATERIALS due to the volume of submissions we receive. Please
    > do not send us anything that you can't replace easily.
    > We much prefer emailed manuscripts.
    > Your materials are safe within our company. If we do not end up working
    > together we will destroy any copies of your work that we have.
    > Below is the result of your feedback form. It was submitted by
    > (mayshamp@aboutmontana.net) on Saturday, July 02, 2005 at 12:57:28
    > --------------------------------------------------------------------------
    > FormSource: CLA
    > FormDate: 7/2/2005
    > Name: Mui Shamp
    > email: mayshamp@aboutmontana.net
    > Phone: 406-892-4052
    > How Did You Hear of Us: amazon.com
    > Title of Work: The Thread of Destiny
    > Synopsis: My book The Thread of Destiny is a romantic comedy about a
    > Christian girl who comes to America for college. She is an ambitious math
    > genius whose dream is to become a math professor. By chance she meets a
    > white Christian plumber twice her age, and the two start an unusual
    > friendship that in time leads to love. Knowing that he is too old for her,
    > both of them withhold their feelings.
    > The girl then leaves for another university, believing that she will
    > her plumber soon, but she doesn t. She writes and calls him frequently,
    > though she meets many young men, the bond she has with the plumber
    > her from being attached to anyone else. Even though she is in a secular
    > university, the girl stands firmly by her Christian values. Years later in
    > graduate school, she is bombarded with such persistent suitors that she
    > leaves her education and returns to the plumber. She asks him to marry
    > saying that she loves him and cannot forget him. He says he has always
    > her but never believed she would take them, and he agrees to the marriage.
    > The Thread of Destiny, complete at 100,000 words, is a humorous and yet
    > analytical book, resembling Pride and Prejudice in style.
    > NYP-Work Been Edited: No
    > NYP-Sample Illustrations: No
    > NYP-Able to Travel: Yes
    > NYP-Bio: I am a Chinese American, originally from Hong Kong. I studied the
    > Bible extensively, and I have a bachelor s degree in mathematics. My
    > experience provides the cultural and mathematical information in my book.
    > --------------------------------------------------------------------------
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