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At O'Donnell Literary, we work with writers to craft compelling stories. We believe the best writing comes from collaboration rather than isolation. The authors we represent come to us with an idea we hone during a year-long writing bootcamp. Writers present work each week, and get feedback from a dedicated group of writers, agents, and book coaches. Together, we work through multiple drafts (no less than 7, as many as 15 or 20) until the writer has a manuscript that is as close to perfect as we can craft.
After 20 years in publishing, we've found working with writers from the inception of an idea, through the final draft is a more satisfying and cohesive process for everyone - the writer, the agent who represents them, and the editor who ultimately publishes their manuscript. This process results in richer stories with fewer gaps and more layered characters. Stories that keep readers engaged and turning the page. And, we've found writers who are surrounded by a supportive tribe are happier, more productive, and less willing to desert a promising story because they don't spend their time talking to walls, or their cat, or dog (if they are a dog person).
Our clients understand writing is a craft and a business. They treat writing as both their art and their profession. They know to succeed they have to be excellent at their craft and dedicated sales people. Which is why, we spend time helping our clients build websites, a platform, and confidence as speakers and presenters. We aren't interested in working with writers who aren't willing to invest the time to become better writers or learn how to market and sell their books.
The writers we sign are committed to writing beautiful stories and making those stories a commercial success. Because, we believe you can do both. And, there is no reason that a beautiful story can't support a writer's dreams and their lifestyle.
These authors are not found in a query slush pile. Which, is why we don't accept submissions. We find our clients through workshops, at book festivals, book talks, and by referral. We wish we could work with everyone. Since we can't, we choose to remain small and selective and put books out in the world that we hope will have an impact. Books that will make readers laugh or cry, think, or dream. Books built on stories that stick with a reader long past the final words lift off the page.
To learn more about the process we use in our group and to connect with like minded writers, we offer a plethora of resources at yourfirstfifteenpages.com
Sandra O'Donnell, Ph.D.
founder, O'Donnell Literary