Literary Agents of Change is a nonprofit organization that was born out of American Association of Literary Agents' (AALA) Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee. It was formed to help dismantle the barriers to entry into a career as a literary agent for members of historically underrepresented groups, particularly people of color while recognizing the systems of overlapping oppressions in regard to race, ethnicity, sexuality, gender, class, and ability.
To achieve our goals, Literary Agents of Change offers a Fellowship Program to encourage recruitment into the profession, and a Mentorship Program focused on the retention and promotion of agents from these communities. From time to time, we also facilitate educational programming for AALA members, such as workshops on antiracism and overcoming bias, and we hope to expand these offerings in the coming years.
No. While LAOC does not directly work with authors, we know that cultivating diverse talent in the literary agent field will increase and improve the representation and publication opportunities for authors from historically underrepresented communities. If you are looking for agent representation, consider browsing American Association of Literary Agents' website.
There are many ways to get involved--you can donate, volunteer, and participate in our programs. For more information, check out our How to Get Involved page.
Our definition of a historically underrepresented group includes, but is not limited to, those who self-identify as Black, Indigenous, people of color, LGBTQ+, gender diversity, people with disabilities, and religious, ethnic and cultural minorities.
Literary agents work with authors to sell their manuscripts to publishers, negotiate their contracts, and help them manage their careers. Participants in our fellowship program are introduced to the skills needed for a successful agenting career including how to evaluate a book's potential for publication, the basics of contracts, pitching and negotiating techniques, and more.
Yes, both undergraduate and graduate students are welcome to apply. You must be currently enrolled as a student at the time you submit your application. (Alumni are not eligible to apply.)
Our partner schools include the following New York and New Jersey institutions: City College of New York’s Publishing Certificate Program, Medgar Evers College, Lehman College, Mercy College, SUNY Old Westbury, William Paterson University, or Montclair State University.
We will be awarding six Fellowship grants this year.
The Fellowship runs for ten weeks over the summer, beginning June 3rd and ending August 9th.
LAOC hosted programming--panels, check-ins, orientation--are 100% remote. Host agencies must demonstrate capability of hosting a 100% remote fellowship to participate. However, Fellows and host agencies may decide between themselves to add an in-person element.
No. The Fellowship is designed to be an introduction into publishing, so no prior experience is expected or necessary. If you do have experience, please mention it on your resume and/or in your essay, but all applications are evaluated equally, and no preferential treatment is given to applicants with prior publishing experience.
There are no interviews as part of the finalist selection process. However, in order to be matched with a host agency, Fellows will interview with three prospective host agencies. Prior to these interviews, we will hold an informational session for Fellows in which we go over what to expect in these interviews, how best to prepare, etc.
Fellows must commit a minimum of 16 hours per week of the fellowship. Specific days and hours are determined by you and your host agency. Fellows may hold an additional position during the fellowship as long as it doesn't significantly impact your ability to attend programming and complete your hours. We just ask that you communicate with your host agency to determine a schedule that works best for both of you.
Because of the short, intensive nature of the Fellowship, we strongly encourage Fellows to participate in all 10 weeks of programming. While we understand that unexpected conflicts come up, if you already know that you’ll need to miss more than a week of the Fellowship, we encourage you to wait and apply for a year when you’ll be able to participate in the program in its entirety.