We're meeting our wonderful lineup of speakers for the Virtual Southern Christian Writers Conference, which will take place on July 24-25, and today we're pleased to introduce literary agent Del Deduit.
Del will present a workshop on the topic "Working with a Literary Agent" and will also meet in one-on-one pitch sessions with authors.
He is an agent with C.Y.L.E. Young Agency, and represents authors of non-fiction Christian, Christian living, devotionals, motivational, inspirational, health and fitness, sports and recreation, Christian travel and leisure, and social Issues. Del is also a prolific author, giving him special insight into the process from the author's viewpoint. He lives with his family in southern Ohio.
I recently talked with Del about his work, his faith, and what he hopes to provide his workshop attendees with through the Southern Christian Writers Conference.
How did you get started as a writer, and how did that segue into your work as an agent?
My first job out of college was a sportswriter at my local newspaper. From there, I went into general news assignment writing and then became a sports editor later. I did that for about 8-10 years before moving out of the media and into professional sales.
I ventured four or five years ago back into writing after I started a blog and wrote a manuscript following a tragic family event. From there, I was introduced into the world of Christian writing where I met my agent and several friends who I have become close with.
I was blessed enough to receive several book contracts over the past four years and that is one reason why I was asked to be a junior agent. My literary agent likes how I get things done and work hard to help others.
In addition to your agency work, what writing projects are you currently working on?
I just submitted my 12th manuscript in four years to a publisher, and started on my first children's book. I am also a contributing writer for Athletes in Action and just agreed to be a columnist for The Western Journal. I also write columns for my local paper and am the co-editor of Southern Ohio Christian Voice.
What sorts of projects are you looking for right now from authors?
Right now, I am looking for nonfiction manuscripts, on inspirational and motivational topics as well as leadership and sports. I also like unique books that feature travel, recreation and cooking. I pitch to Christian publisher but can also send to general market.
Writers are sometimes fearful of the process of working with a literary agent. What do you wish writers knew about agents?
That we deal with rejection more than most authors. That we want authors to do well and will work to try to make their aspirations come true. That we also have limits and can only do so much. That we want to help. That the process can be long.
Your workshop session for the Virtual SCWC is on "Working with a Literary Agent." What do you hope workshop attendees will get from it?
I want them to take away how important an agent is when trying to become published. Today, many houses only take submissions from agents. The process of following submission requests is important. They need to put aside their egos, if they have one, and be willing to accept advice from editors and agents.
I want them to understand the market changes and that they might have to be patient or make changes to a manuscript. I want them to understand that the dream of a big advance can happen, but also to accept reality and take what is offered.
I want them to know the process is also fun.
What role does faith play in your writing and your agent work?
Faith is the main reason I am doing what I am doing, as an author and an agent. I am in this situation because faith led me to meet who are now wonderful friends and my agent. Faith is the main reason I write because I want to find a way to encourage and point people to Christ in some way or another.
We'd love to have you with us at the 2020 Virtual Southern Christian Writers Conference. Del's workshop is one of 15 workshop sessions that you'll be able to access; there will also be two keynote sessions (from bestselling author Debora Coty and ESPN reporter Lauren Sisler), panels, awards ceremony, breakout sessions, and much more.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
We hope to see you on July 24-25!