What Writers Can Expect of Agents (And How To Get It) with Author Jo Wu and Agent Tricia Lawrence

The Manuscript Academy Podcast

Today is a longer than usual episode—something we thought about breaking into two chunks, but—just as Jessica hates requesting a 50-page partial, getting to a cliffhanger, and having to wait for more—we figured we’d bring you everything, the full episode, all at once.

This is an episode that goes deep into the dynamics between authors, agents, the industry, and what authors can reasonably expect (and how to get it).
The beginning is an interview on referral-only agencies, publishing norms, and how Jo found Tricia, her perfect match.

And around 20 mins through, we pivot to what a writer can reasonably expect of an agent, and how to get it.

We love to think of you, our listeners, while you are out in the world doing things. But if you happen to, say, be driving a minivan of neighborhood kids while you’re listening, please note that this episode mentions several adult themes (including a notable mention of blue pills for adult males). If you get stuck with awkward questions, well—you’ve been warned.

Jo Wu is an author born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she studied Biology and Creative Writing at UC Berkeley. Her works explore fairy tales, Chinese and Taiwanese mythology and identity, gothic tropes, and uplifting narratives. Some of her notable works have been published in Uncanny Magazine, Insignia 2020: Best Asian Fantasy Stories, and People of Color Destroy Lovecraft. Her short story, “Devoured by Envy,” was praised by Publishers Weekly as “the most Gothic of the successful stories” from the gothic romance anthology Darker Edge of Desire.

When writing, she can be found accompanied by a plethora of goth mugs constantly refilled with green tea, while blasting a mix of metal and orchestral scores. When she is not writing, she will be sewing her next costume, deadlifting her next powerlifting goal, and auditioning for voiceover gigs.

Jo is proudly represented by Tricia Lawrence of Erin Murphy Literary Agency.

Find Jo online:


Tricia Lawrence is the “Pacific Northwest branch” of EMLA—born and raised in Oregon, and now lives in Seattle. After 16 years of working as a developmental and production-based editor (from kids books to college textbooks, but mostly college textbooks), she joined the EMLA team in March 2011 as a social media strategist and began working as an agent in October 2011.

As senior agent, Tricia represents picture books/chapter books that look at the world in a unique and unusual way, with characters that are alive both on and off the page, and middle grade and young adult fiction and nonfiction that offers strong worldbuilding, wounded narrators, and stories that grab a reader and won’t let go.

Tricia loves hiking/walking/running, camping out in the woods with her family (her husband and their dogs), and collecting rocks. She loves BBC America and anything British. She has way too many books and not enough bookshelves. She’s obsessed with pattern and color and is always listening to music (playlists for every situation and project) and lately has spent her spare time draping and fitting a half-size mannequin the size of a doll (this after binge-watching all of Project Runway).


You can find Tricia on Twitter @authorblogger. She accepts queries by request or referral, or from people who have attended conferences where she part of the faculty via the contact page on EMLA or the contact page at her website.


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