Elise Capron is an agent for the Sandra Dijkstra’s Literary Agency. Dijkstra’s literary is widely regarded as the most powerful & influential literary agency on the West Coast. They are listed as one of the top five in the country. They have a reputation for discovering new talent and representing quality work with great commercial potential.
Ms. Capron is especially interested in strong literary fiction, quirkly alternative fiction, women’s fiction and short stories. She received a BFA in Writing, Literature and Publishing from Emerson College.
E.I. Thank you for dropping by and giving me the opportunity to get to know you better. Ms. Capron, Let’s say a writer compose a query that is brilliant and exhibits adequate credentials plus a unique and provocative story idea, and the writing sample she includes will persuade just about any agent in the literary business. Do you think that she will hear quickly from those who are interested? Will an agent give the writer a go signal to send the whole manuscript right away? What’s your opinion?
Elise Capron: The situation is different for every agent. If the project is fiction, one must remember that fiction is all about personal taste. What speaks to one person may not speak to another. Response time from agencies also varies greatly.
At the Dijkstra Agency we have a reading response time of 6-8 weeks (or sooner if possible), and when we’re excited about a project we will try to get in touch with the author sooner rather than later. Agencies all have different policies on when to request a full manuscript.
At the Dijkstra Agency, if we read something we really like, we’ll typically get a second read on the partial manscript, and then—if we get support from our colleage—we’ll request the full manuscript. We only request full manuscripts when we are seriously interested.
If an author hasn’t heard back from an agency after a certain period of time, don’t take that as a sign of rejection. Call the agency and check on the project’s progress (please allow at least a few weeks to pass before calling, however) to make sure they received it.
E.I. So great for you to do the interview. Thank you so much.
Elise Capron: I thank you very much.