Ally Condie (pictured, via) published several books before she came out with her recent New York Times bestseller, Matched.

We caught up with the author to find out how she landed an agent for her young adult manuscript–straight from the slush pile. We also found out what it takes to write dystopian fiction for a YA audience. Highlights from the interview follow below.

Q: How did you find your agent?
A: I sent out queries to agents who represented young adult fiction. I found their names online at agentquery.com and then researched them at Publishers’ Marketplace and online to make sure they would be a good fit (i.e., I wasn’t sending young adult fiction to those who didn’t represent it!). A friend clued me in to all of these websites—things had changed a bit since I originally queried my first book in 2004!

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