Agent Lauren Spieller on Book Scouting, Building Tension & What You Need To Succeed As A Writer

We talk with writer-turned-agent Lauren Spieller about publishing in quarantine, long-term industry hope, and what this means for you (and your book) right now.

We also discuss book scouting, selling books abroad, and whether writers should move to New York (NO!). We discuss what you actually need for a successful writing career, how Lauren had a brilliant idea for getting into the industry, and what she would change about publishing if she could.

Also, much to Julie’s amusement, we grapple with possible definitions for “high concept.” If any of you come up with a high concept description for high concept, we are all ears!

We also discuss Lauren’s tips for building tension in your writing.

Here’s Lauren’s blog post about how to write a great query:

Here are the books she recommends for quarantine reading:

The Wolf of Cape Fen by Juliana L Brandt
Wilder Girls by Rory Power
The Kill Club by Wendy Heard
The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E Harrow
Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir


Jessica and Julie