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Pitching an Agent: Nail the Three-Sentence Query

Once a newspaper reporter, agent Ann Rittenberg is happiest when she gets a brief, succinct query that nails a book's premise

By Rachel Kramer Bussel - October 9, 2006

Name: Ann Rittenberg, President, Ann Rittenberg Literary Agency, Inc.
Number of agents: One (plus one assistant and one intern)
Number of clients: 50
Notable clients: Bestselling author Dennis Lehane (Mystic River); thriller writer C.J. Box; Laura Whitcomb (A Certain Slant of Light); Adam Fawer (Improbable)
Amount of unsolicited material accepted: Very little; approximately 1 manuscript every other year
Fiction vs. nonfiction: 60 percent/40 percent

Background: Rittenberg got her start as a reporter for the St. Petersburg Times, then worked as an editor at Atheneum before moving on to agenting for the Julian Bach Agency. then forming her own agency in 1992. Based ...

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