Linda Camacho is an agent at Gallt & Zacker Literary Agency, founded in 2000 and home to talents like Rick Riordan and Kacen Callendar. Linda graduated from Cornell with a B.S. in Communication and has held various positions at Penguin Random House, Dorchester, Simon & Schuster, and Writers House. She’s done everything from foreign rights to editorial, to marketing, to operations and received her MFA in children’s writing from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. Linda represents bestselling and award-winning creatives such as Yamile Saied Méndez, K. O’Neill, and Wendy Xu. She also has a short story in the 2021 young adult anthology EVERY BODY SHINES by Cassandra Newbould. 

Linda is one of the Agent-Judges for our, Writer’s Voice Competition (Part of Thhe Young and the Reckless: Writing for Teens Conference), and a UCLA Extension Writers’ Program Instructor.

 

Q1: What path led you to becoming a literary agent?

 I always loved to read and when I was graduating from Cornell, an alum mentioned I should look into book publishing. It was never something I even really knew was a thing until I sort of fell into. I started in reprints at Penguin in 2005 and left after a year to try other things, but in the end, I couldn’t stay away. I returned to publishing and have taken on many different roles, the most recent of which was in marketing at Random House Children’s books. While I was there, I got my MFA in Children’s Writing and, wanting to work more directly with creators, I made the transition to agenting in 2015 and haven’t looked back!

 

Q2: What genre do you get excited about reading/representing and why?

 I read across most genres, so I’m pretty genre agnostic. In the adult and children’s categories, I represent fantasy, horror, romance, and historicals, among others. I’ve been in the mood for horror these days, but I’m open to most things.

 

 Q3: What’s your dream submission/manuscript wishlist?

I’m seeking middle grade and young adult fiction across all genres. For adult fiction, I’m pretty open to different genres, particularly romance, women’s fiction, and literary horror. I want to be surprised!

 

Q4: What’s your decision-making process when taking on new authors?

I consider the market viability, but ultimately, if it’s a project that excites me, I reach out to the author to schedule a call. During the conversation, I try to get a sense of the person, their goals, and see if our visions for their career align. If there’s chemistry, I make an offer of representation. The writing is so important, but ultimately, it has to feel like a collaboration for the agent-client relationship to work.

 

Q5: What top three tips would you give to writers who are in the process of submitting to agents?

 Follow the submission rules, try not to take rejection personally, and don’t give up!

Linda is one of the agent-judges for our inaugural Writer’s Voice Competition, which will be presented at The Young and The Reckless: Writing for Teens Conference. 

Click here to register for the YA Symposium

Learn more about Linda Camacho

Twitter: @LindaRandom

Check out: The Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators SCBWI.org

 

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