Maryka Biaggio, HNSNA Secretary and Literary Agent Liaison –
As always, we’ll again feature a bevy of literary agents who are interested in historical fiction and its subgenres. Authors may sign up for either one-on-one pitches or small-group query critique sessions.
So if you’re writing a historical novel, it’s time to start thinking ahead. Will the novel be complete as of June 2023? Then you might want to plan on having it polished so you can sign up to pitch it. Although agents requesting manuscripts don’t necessarily expect to have their requests filled the day after the conference, it’s best to get your pages to them within a month or two—while they can still remember the great pitch you delivered at the conference.
If your novel won’t be complete as of June 2023, you might still want to draft a one-page query and sign up for one or two query critique meetings. Six authors will meet with one agent, who will review and critique all six query letters. This is a great way to get feedback on your concept and/or your query letter and to learn what makes a good query letter. And if your manuscript is complete but you want to focus on honing your query letter, this is a great way to do that.
So, writers, now is the time start planning for this chance to meet with literary agents who are specifically looking for historical novels.
Maryka Biaggio, Ph.D., is a psychology professor turned novelist who specializes in historical fiction based on real people. Doubleday published her debut novel, Parlor Games, in 2013. Eden Waits, based in the true story of a utopian community founded in the 1890s, was released by Sunbury Press in August 2019. She prides herself on crafting carefully researched and realistic novels, and her fiction has won Willamette Writers, Oregon Writers Colony, and La Belle Lettre awards. She travels extensively, is an avid opera fan, and enjoys gardening, art films, and, of course, great fiction. She lives in Portland, Oregon, that edgy green gem of the Pacific Northwest.