One of our readers asks: “How important are previous publication credits to an agent? Do you prefer [to] receive queries from writers who were already published in a literary magazine/journal?”
Having really good literary credentials may get you noticed, but it’s not the only thing we’re looking for. As Michael pointed out in his post about queries, we’re looking for a great many other things. Among them a strong voice, an original idea, etc....
It certainly can’t hurt you to get your work placed in literary journals, but being published in one is by no means the deciding factor in who we choose to represent. We’re on the lookout for all sorts of fiction, and limiting queries to authors who have any specific type of credentials really restricts our ability to search for great projects in a broad range of categories.
We hope you’ll continue to send questions! Please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.