Writing Books/Agency


I don't understand this on a literary agents website: "For fiction: please send a query letter with enough information about the novel and your writing credentials for us to evaluate whether the material is going to be right for us" What I don't understand is why would someone ask for writing credentials for fiction? Couldn't they tell good or bad writing by the enclosed sample chapter? I usually don't see such as thing from an agency. What does it mean?

Credentials can mean many things, and in the case of fiction writing, it can mean awards won, previous publications, any jobs you've held as a professional writer, and so on.  Sure, the sample of the writing should be enough to persuade, but having this sort of "track record" can also go a long way.

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Vincent M. Wales


I am a speculative fiction novelist (fantasy, science fiction, and so on). While I may be able to answer questions on non-fiction, my specialty is fiction. Please keep that in mind when asking questions.


For four years, I taught a series of fiction writing classes in Sacramento, CA.

BA in fiction writing.

Awards and Honors
My 2004 novel, ONE NATION UNDER GOD, won BEST FICTION in Fresh Voices 2006, BEST FICTION and BEST YA FICTION in the NCPA Book Awards, and placed as a finalist in BEST BOOKS 2005. In 2002, my novel WISH YOU WERE HERE won awards for Best Fantasy and Best Fiction/Drama in the 8th Annual SPA Awards. My latest work is a trilogy titled THE MANY DEATHS OF DYNAMISTRESS (a superhero memoir). The first book, RECKONING, was released in 2013 and won the SF category in the 2014 San Francisco Book Festival, took second place in the 2013 Royal Dragonfly Book Awards for the SF/Fantasy/Paranormal category, second place in the SF category of the 2013 Reader Views Reviewers Choice Awards, and was finalist in Foreword's 2013 Book of the Year Awards, Fantasy category. The second book, REDEMPTION, will be released in early 2015 and the final book, RENAISSANCE, is scheduled for release in late 2016.

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