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Pitching An Agent: The Charlotte Gusay Literary Agency

Riveting books that can be translated to film are wanted at this one-woman agency

- June 7, 2011

Number of agents: One
Number of clients: 30
Notable clients: Miriam Marx Allen, Luis Giampietri, Alexis Stamatis
Amount of unsolicited material selected: Less than two percent
Fiction vs. Nonfiction: 50 percent fiction; 50 percent nonfiction

Background: Literary agent Charlotte Gusay is genuinely in love with books, movies and great writing. Armed with a bachelor's degree in English literature and theater, she began her career as a secondary school teacher before moving into documentary filmmaking and bookselling. She opened George Sand Book Store in 1976, and the West Hollywood hot spot quickly became known among celebrities and literati for its extensive selection of fiction and poetry and its popular Sunday salons and public readings.

After a successful 12-year run, she closed the business and focused her energy on what has become her passion, The Charlotte Gusay Literary Agency, where she seeks superb writing from unique perspectives. The woman who has come to be known as the "Diane Keaton" of literary agents especially enjoys helping her clients craft book proposals and then develop them into film, television or cable projects. Once a client is signed, she likes to evaluate his strengths, weaknesses, and short- and long-term goals before moving forward. When both author and agent agree to the submission list and to the final manuscript and proposal, that's when Gusay gets to work.

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