Let’s get to know Elise Capron from the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency.
Elise graduated from Emerson College and holds a BFA in Writing, Literature and Publishing. While at Emerson she served on the Editorial staff of the Emerson Review. In 2003 she joined the Sandra Dijkstra agency and has guided the careers of many bestselling fiction and nonfiction authors including Amy Tan, Lisa See, Eric Foner, and more.
I meet Elise at last summer’s PNWA conference in Seattle. She expressed her love at working for an agency that does a little bit of everything. She herself focuses on fiction, experimental fiction, and a bit of nonfiction. From the agency website: “Elise is interested in fiction that has unforgettable writing, a terrific narrative voice/tone, and memorable characters. She loves novels with an unusual or eccentric edge, and is drawn to stories she has never heard before. On the nonfiction front, Elise is looking for many of these same qualities: fascinating true stories told in a compelling way. She aims to work with writers who are getting their work published regularly in magazines and who have a realistic sense of the market and their audience.”
What doesn’t she want? Fantasy, young-adult/middle-grade, picture books, romance, sci-fi, business books, cookbooks, poetry, religious/spiritual books, screenplays, or self-help.
She gave some great advice to those seeking to query her. She told us, “Know how to talk about your project. Practice, practice, practice. Get comfortable with it.” Also, don’t tell her off topic information. She only wants to know what is relevant.
As of Dec. 2012, Elise will no longer accept unsolicited submissions. However, if you’ve been to a conference she presented at, she will take a look. EMAIL submissions only. And make sure you mention in the subject where you met her.
What to include in your emailed submission package:
“Fiction: Please send a query letter, a 1-page synopsis, a brief bio (including a description of your publishing history), and the first 10-15 pages of your manuscript. Please send all items in the body of the email, not as an attachment.
Non-fiction: Please send a query letter, an overview of your project including a chapter outline, a brief bio (including a description of your publishing history), a description of competing books, and the first 10-15 pages of your first chapter. If we are interested, we will ask you to send your complete proposal. Please send all items in the body of the email, not as an attachment.”
For more information check out the company website at http://www.dijkstraagency.com/