SDSU Writers’ Conference: Five Questions with Literary Agent Elise Capron

Elise Capron

Elise Capron, Literary Agent

1. What’s the best advice you can give to writers who are right now polishing their pitches, query letters and first 10 pages of their manuscripts in preparation for the upcoming SDSU Writers’ Conference?
Get lots of HONEST feedback and make sure your query letter and verbal pitch are concrete, concise, and clear! (The Three C’s!)

2. Can you share one of the best and one of the worst opening lines from query letters that you’ve received?
Recently, the worst query opening I got was: “To whoever it may concern: The first AGENT who responds, gets this.”

One that got my attention was: “Dear Ms. Capron: I recently read and loved your client Tiphanie Yanique’s novel The Land of Love and Drowning, and thought that my novel, which also has elements of magical realism, might speak to you.” (Shows the writer did her homework, and really stands out when she went out of her way to read one of my clients’ books!)

 3. What’s the first book that spoke to you as a young reader?
The Phantom Tollbooth
by Norton Juster – completely captured my attention and instilled in me a love for a touch of the absurd.

4. If you had to choose only one, what’s your favorite book?
I’ll leave out my own clients’ books, so as not to play favorites! My favorite non-client book is Geek Love by Katherine Dunn.

5. What do you hope to find at the 31st Annual SDSU Writers’ Conference?
To talk with writers and publishing colleagues, to be inspired, to exchange great ideas, and to come away from it feeling energized! Of course, finding a new project would be icing on the cake!

For more information about the SDSU Writers’ Conference, visit neverstoplearning.net/writers