Which Way?

After my Friday post about agents, I realized I have a question for you, my fellow Christian writers.

Do you query only Christian agents with your inspirational writing or do you query anyone who handles your genre?

If we're looking at agents as an Evangelist (see 3/13 post), then it would make sense that we would want someone who shares our values and who can guide us along the path where God wants us to go. A Christian agent would (hopefully) provide us the godly wisdom we need.

The dilemma for most Christian writers is the scarcity of Christian agents. When I started querying my first book, I wrote down a list of different agencies I thought were the most obvious in working with Christian writers, the ones who claimed to represent Inspirational authors on their home pages.

Here's what I came up with:

Many of the these literary agencies do not take unsolicited queries unless referred by a present client. The others that let newbies submit queries are so overworked they can hardly keep up with their emails.

So back to my original quandry. As Pilgrims who long to write for the glory of the King, how do we wisely chose an agent? In this tough industry, do we take whomever we can get or do we hold out for a Christian agent?

Which way should we go?

P.S. If I've missed any agents who might fit this list, let me know. I'd love to add them.


  1. Thanks for the links! I always pray that the Lord would shut doors that aren't His will for me.

  2. Hi T. Anne,

    Thanks for the reminder to trust His Providence! Sometimes I get so busy and determined, I forget ultimately He's in control.

  3. When I first started out, I began at the top of RWA's romance agents list. Bad idea. It's important to pick agents that rep Christian work. So now I look on their books sold to see where they've sold. Even though it would be ideal for me to have a Christian agent, I don't think it's absolutely necessary if the agent can sell the work. Who knows? Maybe our writing will be the evangelist to the agent? LOL
    That said, the only interest I've had in my querying so far has been from Christian agencies. I kind of think it's God. :-)

  4. I haven't queried since I prematurely did years ago just after starting on this writing journey. I learned quickly that I wasn't ready. But when I do start querying for real this time, I will be looking for a Christian rep.

    One thing to keep in mind about scouting reps out is the huge importance of conferences. Agents and editors who don't take unsolicited queries will often request queries and even fulls at conferences and that's a huge bonus, and a wonderful way to see if you connect with the person, too.

  5. Hi Jessica & Eileen,
    It's so hard to find an agent in today's writing market. I guess that's the dilemma. Do we take whomever can sell our work, or do we hold out for a Christian agent? That's a tough one!

    But I agree with you, Eileen. Conferences are a great place to get our work in front of agents who would otherwise not be open to looking at a newbie.

    However, the cost of conferences are HUGE (isn't ACFW over $1000 for everything: fees, motel, food, plane)? I think to justify that kind of cost, my manuscripts will need to be really ready to "show."

  6. This is an interesting question and I relate to it because I've gone through it in the past. When I decided to start querying, I looked for any agents who represented inspirational fiction regardless of whether or not the agents seemed to be Christian or not. (Typically they were not, however, and many of them represented other genres such as erotica or something I felt completely uncomfortable with). Many times that would turn me off. But then I started researching these agents, starting looking at their blogs if they had them or advice from other authors that queried them, and found out that I gravitated toward agents that represented Christian fiction and were Christians themselves. In the end, I only ended up sending queries out to agents that represented Christian pieces of writing ONLY. My best advice would be to do as much research on that particular agent as possible. Your agent is going to be your best and most important link to getting published in the beginning. You have to be able to trust them, to trust everything else they represent, and want to be able to stick with them for awhile. You don't want to feel embarrassed by other projects they represent. This is not to say you won't find a non-Christian agent that is right for you, especially now that there are so many cross-over Christian novels, only that you should be aware of who you're sending queries to. Research, research, research!

  7. Oh, sooo sorry that post was so long. I didn't realize how passionate I was about that topic!

  8. Hi Cindy,
    Thanks for all of your thoughts. They are very insightful!

    I think you bring up a good point. Some of the agencies that I listed represent all kinds of works, from inspirational to erotica (which doesn't make sense to me! Maybe certain agents within those agencies are Christian). Even Rachelle Gardner, whose blog many of us follow, indicated that she may start branching out into representing more "secular" books.

    I agree that we must do the research and be so careful in who we choose. That's what is frustrating, though. Because when we're choosey, we cut back our options in an already tight market!

  9. What a great list! Thank you! Also thanks for visiting my blog. I also like to think the "what if today is the day" and I heard a pastor say the other night that we might be closer than we think when we want to give up. It makes you keep going.
    I tried Hartline but was passed to another agent and never heard back. I really don't think I submitted correctly and learned a lot just doing the pricess. So I look for places too that don't need agents but those are far and few too!

  10. Hi Tiffany,
    Thanks for stopping by! I tried Hartline too, but never got a response. So at least you got further with them than I did! Like you, I learned a lot through the process.


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