President, Betsy Amster Literary Enterprises, a literary agency based in Los Angeles and Portland; formerly an editor at Pantheon Books and Vintage Books (both divisions of Random House) in New York.
A fortune I once found in a Chinese fortune cookie says it best: “Your path will be arduous but amply rewarding.” Trying to get a book published is an exacting, sometimes frustrating process—but when the stars align, there’s nothing more exciting. My job is to help you figure out how to coax the stars into alignment by writing the best book proposal or memoir or novel that you can and then helping you position it for agents and editors so that they find it irresistible. I want you to come away from my workshops appreciating the publishing industry’s many quirks (the better you understand the environment in which agents and editors operate, the cannier you can be in your approach); mindful of how high the bar is (so that you’ll have the stamina to revise your material as many times as it takes and to submit it until you find just the right representation); and looking forward to what lies ahead.
Our Students Say it Best!
“Betsy and Leigh Ann Hirschman are both excellent instructors. Better still, they complement one another beautifully. The whole was even greater than its parts. Truly fabulous!” — Writers’ Program Student