Ep. 53 Courtney Miller-Callihan: Literary Agent

We’re joined by literary agent extraordinaire, Courtney Miller-Callihan! She answers all of our burning questions about what it means to be a literary agent, how she became one, and why she loves it!

Ways to listen:

Listen on Google Play Music


You can find out more about Courtney (or query her!) on her website or follow her on Instagram or Twitter!

Highlights from our conversation include:

  • How she got her start in the publishing industry
  • How and why she founded Handspun Literary
  • Why agenting is the most telecommutable job in the world
  • What an agent actually does!
  • What made her want to be an agent of all the jobs in publishing she could have chosen
  • How the books she represents are hugely representative of her personality
  • Why she hates the term “gatekeeper” for agents–she prefers curator, which makes total sense!
  • How a new agent builds relationships and why those relationships matter
  • How she can get a read on editors based on what TV shows they watch
  • Some of the issues that the publishing industry is grappling with and what could help with them
  • Why she’s hybrid publishing friendly and how she handles clients who want to self publish
  • How she decides which clients to sign
  • A few agent horror stories
  • Job hazards of being an agent

Books mentioned:

One and Only by Jenny Holiday