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Category : Awards
Agent of the Year
I was pleased to be named ACFW’s “Agent of the Year” for 2014. A bit of history… I had a great career, working as the senior agent at another literary agency, Alive Communications in Colorado. But then, ten years ago, I left that job to become a publisher with the old Time Warner Book Group (in a shrewd career move). I was at Time Warner just a couple years, never really feel like I hit my stride, then was cut loose not long after the company was sold to Hachette Livre.
It was July. and I was scheduled to speak at the ACFW conference that September. So I had to send a very tough email to the conference director, explaining that I had been given the boot, and telling her that I’d understand if the organization wanted to un-invite me and get someone else to take my place. I wanted to do the right thing, and let them know that, if I were to attend, the conference would no longer be getting a publisher from a Big Six house. I figured it was the right thing to do. So I sent it off, and about 48 hours later I heard back from them. The president of the organization sent me a very gracious note, telling me that she knew who I was, and they’d still be happy to have me speak, and that the invitation was still in place. It was a lovely gesture, from a great organization, and I realized at the time they were being exceptionally kind to me.
So I went. One of the things I did at that conference was to emcee a general session, in which I asked literary agents like Steve Laube and Lee Hough some questions about industry trends, the role of agents, and the usual stuff people want to know about at panels. Then at the very end of the session, after
The Christy Awards make another major mistake…
So, if you haven’t heard the news, I’ve been asked to be the keynote speaker at the 2013 Christy Awards. Yes — me. Chip MacGregor, literary agent. I’m fairly certain this was a clerical error, but it’s exactly this sort of thing that causes people to shake their heads at the decline of Solid American Values in publishing. Next thing you know, they’ll be having an agent serve as the Master of Ceremonies…
Oh, wait. It turns out they also asked my good buddy Steve Laube to serve as the emcee. He is also a longtime literary agent. Um… Well this just goes to show that anyone can make a mistake. I mean, first they forgot to give Jerry Jenkins a Christy Award, now they hire a couple of agents to man the microphone. I’m telling you, we need a blue-ribbon panel to check into this. (Heads will roll.)
If you’re not familiar, the Christy Awards are really the premier award for those who write inspirational fiction. They’ve been around about 15 years, and are named after Catherine Marshall’s seminal novel, Christy. Originally created by a dozen CBA publishers, the awards intended to honor Ms Marshall’s contribution to the field of faith-infused fiction, as well as providing opportunities to recognize the best novels and novelists in the genre. I’ve long been a fan of the Christy Awards, and have represented dozens of finalists and several Christy winners (including last year’s winners Mindy Starns Clark, Leslie Gould, and Ann Tatlock). We have several finalists again this year in the different categories — which you can find by going to www.christyawards.com .
So I’m completely surprised and flattered that they’d invite me to speak, even if the person on the other end of the line MEANT to call Chip Kelly, the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles and, like me, a former Oregon Duck. (Don’t worry — I get that a
Lovely RITA and other awards — MacGregor Literary Winners at 2012 RWA Conference
It’s always a big deal to win an award. We know authors can go a long way on recognition. And they aren’t the only ones.
When we agents have the honor of being present when awards are presented to our authors, it adds a huge measure of joy to the work we do on their behalf. And often, we are the lucky ones to receive awards for them.
I travelled to RWA last week, but knew I couldn’t arrive in time on Thursday last week to attend the Faith, Hope & Love chapter meeting at which our author Carla Stewart was up for an Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award … but I had a feeling she’d win, and so asked Amanda to be there just in case. And YES!! Carla won for her novel BROKEN WINGS, edited by Christina Boys, (Faithwords/Hachette). Of course it’s a team effort around here — but thanks, Amanda, for accepting. We’re so proud to represent Carla and looking forward to more continued success together, to more of her lovely stories about bygone times, and more of those equally lovely Faithwords covers! Go team Carla!
As the conference progressed and the RITA AWARDS approached, I had that feeling again. Really. It’s not like I actually KNEW we’d win again this year, but we had had a winner last year, and did have three finalists in the Inspirational Romance category this year: author Jenny B. Jones for her Thomas Nelson release SAVE THE DATE (editor, Natalie Hanemann) and Irene Hannon for her Revell title, DEADLY PURSUIT (Jennifer Leep, editor) and Serena Miller for THE MEASURE OF KATIE CALLAWAY, Revell (Vicki Crumton, editor) so, the odds were good. Thankfully I heeded the little voice telling me to jot a few key notes and be ready to accept on Serena’s behalf for her debut novel. Granted, she was up against some heavy hitters and long time authors, but …