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STA Literary Agency

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Saskatoonistan

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Saw a Tweet about this agency so I checked out the website. Never heard of the agents and their bios don't offer anything in the way of their experience, etc. Here's a snip from their ABOUT page:

Are you tired of impersonal rejection letters from agencies and publishers?

Are you frustrated that others do not fully grasp the intricacies of your creative endeavor?

We feel your pain. Why? Because we have experienced it.

STA Literary Agency will read every query that comes to us. We will respond with personal messages and suggestions. We will be honest and tell you whether we loved your book or hated it.

You will not receive this: "I'm afraid this doesn't seem like the right project for me, but I'm sure other agents will feel differently. Best of luck placing your work."

[FONT=courier new, courier-ps-w01, courier-ps-w02, courier-ps-w10, monospace]Or this: "You deserve an enthusiastic agent who can champion your work. Of course this is only one response, and tastes vary widely among agents. I wish you the best of luck finding the right home for your work."[/FONT]
This is our promise to you.
 

scifi_boy2002

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There was an agency several years ago that had a similar name, though I don't remember exactly what it was. They were a scam outfit and charged $300 to do basically nothing. I'm not saying that this one is the same one, but it does have a familiar sound to it.
 

Clairels

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Their "clients" page is completely blank.

I don't know about anyone else, but if I'm submitting work to an agent, I'd like them to have a track record of at least one deal. This agency apparently doesn't even have that--or they didn't think it was important enough to mention.

They also say it's their mission to discover "unknown writers' and that they have a "better way to develop talent." A lot of red flags there.

They also have a GoFundMe page set up to send "aspiring authors" to writing camps. No indication of who these authors might be, but it doesn't prevent them from asking me for a donation.

Wait a year and let somebody else's manuscript be their guinea pig.
 

Thedrellum

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Ms. Schlesinger is interested in historical fiction involving women's struggles, poet[FONT=courier new, courier-ps-w01, courier-ps-w02, courier-ps-w10, monospace]ry, and memoirs.[/FONT]

Their senior agent appears to be interested in representing poetry. This is not normal.
 

pinkbowvintage

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Hmm, under "Agents" they have someone named Linda Smith listed as a "Consultant" who is "focused on YA fiction and nonfiction."

I may be super new to the game but, what the hell is a literary consultant?
 

VeryBigBeard

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Are you tired of impersonal rejection letters from agencies and publishers?

Are you frustrated that others do not fully grasp the intricacies of your creative endeavor?

We feel your pain. Why? Because we have experienced it.

STA Literary Agency will read every query that comes to us. We will respond with personal messages and suggestions. We will be honest and tell you whether we loved your book or hated it.

You will not receive this: "I'm afraid this doesn't seem like the right project for me, but I'm sure other agents will feel differently. Best of luck placing your work."

I always feel so bad that these people have never heard of Slushkiller because it explains so much of this if you stop and think about it.

If they don't know what "thanks, this is good but not a great fit for our house" means then I'd suggest they don't have any business trying to discern saleable books from a slush pile. It means they haven't thought about specialization, specific or niche markets they might have access to, or even what they value in a story as agents, sellers, and readers. 95% of slush is crap. 95% of slush gets a form rejection that doesn't need much more detail because it falls under items 1-10 on Slushkiller. If they don't realize that, how are they going to process their own slush quickly or with any kind of effective judgment?
 

frimble3

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Are you frustrated that others do not fully grasp the intricacies of your creative endeavor?
If your potential agent cannot 'fully grasp the intricacies of your creative endeavor', what hope do you have of flogging it to actual readers? Back to the drawing board.

You will not receive this: "I'm afraid this doesn't seem like the right project for me, but I'm sure other agents will feel differently. Best of luck placing your work."

Or this: "You deserve an enthusiastic agent who can champion your work. Of course this is only one response, and tastes vary widely among agents. I wish you the best of luck finding the right home for your work."
This is our promise to you.
What response will you receive then? 'Singing rainbows and dancing unicorns will automatically accept your book' is implied, but not likely, is it?
 

Kayley

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What response will you receive then? 'Singing rainbows and dancing unicorns will automatically accept your book' is implied, but not likely, is it?

I'm curious too. I'm tempted to draft a new query letter to try, but I should probably be working on my current project instead. Also, their website isn't loading for me right now. If anyone gives it a shot, let us know how it goes.

EDIT: Got their "Submissions" page to load. They list "YA" as something they're looking for, but say they do not accept fantasy or science fiction. Does that mean they don't accept adult SFF, or YA SFF too? Essentially, what do they mean by YA - YA contemp only? I have a feeling they think YA is a genre, which is worrying...

They also suggest a $5 donation for reading your query letter. I suppose if you get good feedback $5 isn't much for a query letter critique, but soliciting donations for query letter reads is definitely not a good practice for an agency looking to attract clients.

EDIT EDIT: They claim to "get quite annoyed" with non-fiction proposals. What a professional way of presenting themselves.

Okay, I'm done.
 
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pinkbowvintage

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OK, so I decided to query them out of curiosity and see what they'd say.

I'm kind of surprised, because today I received a glowing email saying that out of the first 100 queries they've received as they claim to be newly established, mine was the best, no contest, and they look forward to discussing my project with me this week.

Huh, cool! They also found me on Twitter and again professed their love for my query via a tweet. I'm very flattered, but of course, I'm going to hold out on my excitement until I learn more about them. They're brand new, so I assume they have zero track record in sales, which of course is important to me. I'd be hesistant to sign on with an agent/agency with no track record.
 

Thedrellum

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This is for a query, right? So they haven't seen your manuscript yet?

If that's true, why would they want to discuss your project with you? Have they asked for a full?
 

pinkbowvintage

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This is for a query, right? So they haven't seen your manuscript yet?

If that's true, why would they want to discuss your project with you? Have they asked for a full?

They read my query and the first sample chapter, and said they'd discuss it with one another (presumably) before getting back to me soon. Sorry, I misread the email. They didn't ask for a full, which I found odd.

I tried Googling the names of the two senior agents, but can't find anything on either of them, which is worrisome. It's all a bit strange but I will keep you all apprised.
 
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Clairels

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Huh, cool! They also found me on Twitter and again professed their love for my query via a tweet.

Why on earth are they wasting time tweeting about a query they just read and haven't even accepted yet? Seems like they could better use that time actually, y'know, requesting and reading your full manuscript.

Nothing about this sounds right.
 

VeryBigBeard

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Start inching away in a pair of very good shoes that will afford you adequate grip for when you have to run away very fast.

Be aware also that if an offer comes you may not be in the most objective position to evaluate it. The honeymoon can be really alluring even with a bad deal. Do the best thing by your writing.
 

pinkbowvintage

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Oh don't worry, I'm already extremely skeptical of this place. I haven't heard from them in regards to a partial or full request, and it's honestly the oddest thing I've ever encountered in Queryville.
 

Saskatoonistan

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Today I received an email from STA Literary regarding this thread. It was polite. They would like a chance. I suggested that in starting this thread, I was providing information to authors who want to get published because the forum is "Bewares and Background Checks". I'm a bit surprised they sought me out as my first posting on this was material I cut and pasted from their website.

At any rate, I believe based on their email they would like to be a legitimate literary agency however, there is nothing on their website or in their email to me that would suggest anyone working there has any publishing experience. So, you know, it's like going to get legal advise from someone who has not completed a law degree or passed the bar but still wants to practice law.

My two cents.
 
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JulieB

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They contacted me today as well. It was unsigned except by the agency (no agent name) and the return email address not match the one on their web site. Because of that, I'm not keen to respond through email. I will here.

1. I hope the best for you. Honestly, I do. I won't be submitting to you simply because you don't represent my genre. Fair enough?

2. If you had taken the time to READ my one and only prior post on this thread, I said I didn't think you had anything to do with a similarly-named agency that has been in trouble with one state's Attorney General. I didn't question your credentials or your track record, yet you wrote me a long screed defending yourselves. You're barking up the wrong tree.

3. The best way to get business is to earn it. Get out there and show writers what you can do for them. This is a tough nut to crack, and I honestly do wish you luck.

4. And no, I don't need representation at this time.
 
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Thedrellum

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Same here. Though if they'd even read my post, they'd notice that I already have representation and am not their target demographic.

I also stand behind my point that their senior agent is interested in representing poetry, and that this is abnormal.
 

pinkbowvintage

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They also contacted me today, and I suggested that they create an account and come here to post and answer all of our questions and clear up any possible misconceptions.

I also pointed out that while I enjoyed reading their compliment on my query letter, I did a quick search on their senior agents and came up with nothing. They did insist to me they were not "shady," just new and wanted a chance, but DID lack experience.

I do hope they post here to answer questions, because I have quite a few, and I think it's important for people Googling their name to find this thread.
 

pinkbowvintage

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Also, 7 hours ago on Twitter, they tweeted: "This is what happens when you start a new literary agency" and linked to this thread.

I mean...of course it is? People have the right to ask questions and be as skeptical as possible before making a potential life-altering business decision.
 

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