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Article by Chaz Kiernan, GLVWG WriteStuff Conference Chair


Vicki Selvaggio was at our Write Stuff Writer’s Conference™ last year (April 2016) as an agent, and may I add, our most sought after agent for the pitch sessions. This year she comes as a presenter (although she will take a few pitches as time allows).

I am going to share with you an email from her (edited) that pretty much says it all.


Hi, Charles,

Nice to hear from you. I’ve included some presentations below, but I offer more than these. I can also customize a presentation to match the needs of your members.

Agent 101: An Inside View of Acquiring Clients

(We decided to have Vicki present this one of Friday evening, March 24, before the Social Gathering. Think party.)

As an Associate Agent and Author, Victoria Selvaggio knows firsthand that finding representation can be as hard as or even harder than becoming published. But…having a good understanding of the agent’s role, as well as your own, as the author, is just as important as advocating further, for the right agent-author relationship.

Through this presentation, “Agent 101: An Inside View of Acquiring Clients”, attendees will get a behind-the-desk look at what being an agent means for Victoria—from query letters to rejections to revision to requests to finally, representation and beyond—which will provide helpful tips on how to review your manuscript as if you were also an agent.

Writing on the Dark Side: What I look for in an Edgy, Dark Novel

(Doesn’t this sound like fun!  This is one of the Saturday sessions.)

 When writing on the Dark Side, having the ability to question and cross boundaries of acceptable behavior, while balancing/containing inappropriate con-tent, is  just as important as crafting all those elements of a plot.

As an agent, I look for originality, characterization, reality, mystery, and so much more. An Edgy, Dark Novel should be just that—Edgy…Dark…compelling the reader to reflect further, long after the reading is done.

Composing The Query Letter

(Ah, yes, the all-important query letter, but this time it is an agent telling you about it.)

As an Associate Agent, receiving hundreds of queries a week, not to mention the many authors and potential authors she encounters, Victoria A.Selvaggio has learned that the mention of writing a query letter is something that brings forth many different reactions.  Some love it…some dread it…some don’t understand it—its purpose.

While mastering the art of writing that well-polished manuscript takes time and skill, so does composing the query letter.

Join Victoria as she covers the essentials of a query, in which she’ll include a few do’s and don’ts.


These presentations will also include, as time allows, the opportunity for questions, a bit about The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency , and protocol on reviewing queries vs. manuscripts, what Victoria looks for in submissions, partial vs. full manuscript requests, and overall agent goals.

(On this next item, you may want to talk to Vicki about it during the conference.)

I also offer critiques (both face to face and written-only), which I’m quite thorough on–participants receive both a 2-3 page report on strengths/weaknesses of their sample pages (first 10 pages, but I’ve done 15 pages too) while also getting comments on the manuscript.

(By the way, she’s a lovely person. I hope you meet her at the conference.)



Business owner turned Associate Agent, Victoria A. Selvaggio comes to The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency as a prior Regional Advisor for SCBWI: Northern Ohio, with over 9 years of actively working on the executive board.  Drawn to the publishing scene first as an author, with her most recent publication in the 2015 Children’s Writer’s and Illustrator’s Market, Vicki’s passion for honing the craft carried over into reading manuscripts for the agency. Currently, she is excited to read compelling manuscripts that will resonate with her long after she’s done.

You can learn more about Vicky on her Website, Facebook Page, and Twitter Feed.