Chip MacGregor

August 7, 2013

Remember field trips? Did you get to go to a Literary Office?


Today our office was inundated with small children. Because, you know, kids love hanging out in literary agencies.

“What do you do?”

“Do you make books?”

“Do you know the guy that wrote Diary of a Wimpy Kid?”

“Can I use the bathroom?”

All very good questions from the local youth center kids on a field trip. Chip MacGregor, president of MacGregor Literary, had it under control, however, entertaining the local youth with verve and made up stories.  He had a lot to live up to, since they had just come from gorging themselves on chili dogs and playing on the beach.




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  • Cheri-CreationScience4Kids says:

    How awesome! I bet some of those kids go on to become writers. 😀

    • chipmacgregor says:

      I explained to them that, if any of them were given an ice cream cone later in the day, fifteen percent of the cone would be mine. (Just trying to get them to understand publishing economics.)

  • Cheryl Russell says:

    Cool post. Whose idea was it to take a field trip to your agency?

  • chipmacgregor says:

    For those wondering about the hat… I’m wearing this hat in celebration of Born of Persuasion, a debut novel releasing next month. All month long Jessica Dotta is hosting a online tea party with 31-Days of Giveaways! Each day is a new giveaway, so check back often: Join the party by dressing for tea and sharing about the giveaways! A free copy of the novel to whomever wears the biggest tea hat!

  • chipmacgregor says:

    And by the way, a note on the first photo… we took a couple of group shots, then the kids started to file out. Those two girls were upset because they didn’t get to be in the picture (too small, forced out of the way by the others). So it was Holly (who spent 15 years as a teacher) to the rescue. She talked with both the girls, then said to me, “Wait, Chip, these two didn’t get to be part of the group shot.” She knelt down, and I took the photo — which turned out to be the best of the bunch, of course. Sweet girls, and sweet smiles all around. I say this because I’d have never even noticed this sort of thing. Nice to have someone offering a civilizing influence at MacGregor Literary.

  • Danica says:

    You know, people are going to start thinking you’re a nice guy or something… you’d better quit that! Oh, wait. Holly was there. This is all her doing, I’m sure. Phew! I can carry on with my illusions. 🙂

    • chipmacgregor says:

      This was TOTALLY Holly’s idea, Danica. I fought it the whole way. As a matter of fact, she dragged me out of the bar and forced me to stand in front of the little bleeders. Then I tried to teach them all how to sing “The Old Black Rum.” Fortunately, Holly was there to take charge and run the show.

  • J. Mark Bertrand says:

    How many kids pitched their novels?

    • chipmacgregor says:

      Most of them had manuscripts hidden in their backpacks, Mark. The girl standing in front of me in the photo? She’s only acting interested — she was there to sell me an Amish romance.

  • Lynn Morrissey says:

    Chip, not sure you have time to entertain this, (no problem) but, if you do, what’s your opinion on kids reading books that some might not consider “literary”? My question harkens from a discussion I had recently with an English teacher re: as one example, the Harry Potter series. She wasn’t complaining about content (as in what some Christians wouldn’t read), but (in her opinion) lack of literary quality. For this reason, she lamented that kids were reading the series as part of school curricula. That said, other camps champion these books (or others like them), because kids are indeed interested in them; ergo,they will read them. So people who champion Potter feel that reading begets reading, and eventually kids will read better books; so it’s okay. Just wondered what you thought.

    • chipmacgregor says:

      I’m very much in the “reading begets reading” camp, Lynn. I’m not sure we can realistically expect seven year olds to do much literary reading anyway, so let’s get them in the habit by reading Wimpy Kid and Harry Potter and The Boxcar Children. Later, when they’re hooked, we’ll introduce books with more substance. And I should add that I do NOT stand with people who criticize Rowling for a lack of literary quality. Good grief, she tells a a great (and long & involved) story. That alone is a huge step up from read most children’s books. I’m tired of authors who think they’re deep criticizing authors while forgetting that a great STORY is one of the main reasons we choose to pick up a novel.

    • Lynn Morrissey says:

      I greatly appreciate this wisdom Chip. YOu’ve convinced me to pick up a Potter book. I’ve not avoided them intentionally or “un,” but just have a full plate and lots of other reading to do. But what you say resonates. And I concur. Kids need to read, and once the bug has bitten……..well, that is why I didn’t have time for Potter!
      Bless you,

  • karenrobbins says:

    At the end of the school year, I spoke to my grandson’s enrichment class about being a writer/author. What were they most impressed with? My rejection letters (I took some to read) and my visual aid about the importance of punctuation: Let’s eat, Grandma! and opposed to Let’s eat Grandma! Looks like you all had fun too.

  • Jaime Wright says:

    LOL I totally relate to the kid grinning at the camera 😉 attention first, PAY attention later 😉 nice!

    • chipmacgregor says:

      Yes — the visit to my office was considered a photo-op, Jaime. In fact, that kid’s publicist asked me to sign a release so they can post it on his website…

  • Helen Pilz says:

    Cute! Reminds me of your story from when you were in first grade. Maybe some kid ran home yesterday and announced, “When I grow up, I’m going to be a book guy!”

  • Lynn Morrissey says:

    Boy, it sure beats going to the dentist and (of all things!) the lollipops he used to give us. I’d take food for thought any day.

  • Ane Mulligan says:

    Did the kids have an of idea what a literary agent does? Besides that one awed child, I mean. It would be really interesting to see in a few years if you get queried by one of those kidlets. Love the idea of allowing them to come, Chip. I can imagine the stories they told their parents when they got home. 🙂

  • What a great idea for a field trip? Who knows? You may have been entertaining the next Mark Twain.

  • Dana Mentink says:

    Well that’s adorable! Did you give them stickers or pencils or something cool like that?

  • :Donna Marie says:

    Oh, do I love this! 😀

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