Thursday, June 30, 2011

So You're All Probably Asking, "WHAT THE HELL?!?"

By now you've probably noticed that I've removed all links and reference to Tribe Literary Agency from my public profiles, blogs, twitter, email and Facebook etc. If you follow more than a few Tribe clients in this way, you've probably noticed they've done the same. And you're probably wondering what the hell is going on...
I'm going to get in front of this quick. Here is the story as briefly as I can tell it:

At the beginning of June, I made the very difficult decision to end my agent/writer relationship with Tribe Literary. My reasons are my own and I don't intend to besmirch anyone's name here. Let it suffice to say that I wanted to go in a different direction with my writing. An example of this is the work being done to translate my books into French and submit them to European publishers. More on that as it develops.

Don't overthink this.
I sent my former agent a polite letter of intent to sever my ties to Tribe Literary, as per the stipulations of my contract, with 30-day notice and cause. The responsible parties accepted this and were gracious. There were no hard feelings conveyed as a result of that termination, and everything was handled very professionally.

Today, the owner of Tribe Literary has announced that she is dissolving the agency, citing personal reasons. I won't go into it any deeper than that except to say this: Tribe Literary no longer exists. If you've submitted work to them or are represented by them and don't check your email very often...then I've got some bad news for you...

As for me, this works out well. Under the conditions of my contract, I was still represented by Tribe until the end of the 30-day notice. That meant that, due to professional courtesy, I could not query or accept representation from another agent until that time was expired. Now that the agency no longer exists, I can start querying agents with impunity. I am now free from any ethical or honorable obligations to wait until the notice period expires. Yay for me.

Unfortunately, there were a lot of fine writers who didn't see this coming and are now out in the cold. If you happen to be one of these, and you want to talk about it, send me an email  at sean at If you're just wanting to hear be trash talk my former agent and the agency, that isn't going to happen. I stuck my neck out and took a chance on a new agency. It didn't work out, but I learned from my experience and don't consider the time wasted. I look forward to the opportunities ahead, rather than back at the chances taken.

Much love to all of you.