Q&A With Anjanette Fennell

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Q&A With Anjanette Fennell 

Today I have a special treat doing a Q&A with literary coach, literary agent, editor and podcaster Anjanette Fennell. I’m so happy to have Anjanette Fennell on board. 

Q: Anjanette how do you juggle being a literary coach, an agent, an editor and a podcaster? It’s very impressive. 

A: I have to say, my juggling skills can feel unreliable! LOL 

Finding a way to flow between each of my roles is a definite challenge, but I have created a bit of a routine based on what needs my attention most on any given day based on meetings, project deadlines and client calls. I discovered many years ago that I’m an Obliger (check out Gretchen Rubin’s book, The Four Tendencies), so I absolutely depend on external commitments to get most things done. Knowing this about myself means that I create accountability for myself by inviting clients, colleagues and podcast guests to schedule time with me. And I would be nowhere without the calendar on my phone reminding me where I need to be and when!  

Ultimately, it’s my passion for each of these roles that keeps me in the juggle – and being honest with myself about the amount of time and energy I can bring to each of them without compromising the support I can offer writers.

Q: When did you realize that your calling was to be a literary agent, coach, editor and podcaster?

A: Each of them at different times, really. I found myself doing a fair amount of writing and copywriting, both within my 9-to-5 roles as well as freelance writing articles, blogging, etc. But I really felt drawn to supporting other writers. When I started working for a great literary agency in Sydney, I felt in my element – helping writers reach the next level of their publishing dreams. I got to read so many brilliant manuscripts! Some twists and turns led me to focusing much more on the coaching and support roles with writers who were pre-published or feeling in a writerly slump. 

I am a self-confessed multi-passionate person, so while I’d been listening to podcasts for years, it was only in August last year that I finally landed on a format that felt aligned, so I started Writers Talking with a core group of writers: Nina Campbell, Emma Grey and Rachael Morgan. I’ve since had the pleasure of chatting with writers like Catherine Newman, Matthew Quick, Fleur McDonald, Lisa Ireland and even incredible book-fluencer, Zibby Owens. Sharing the sorts of convos I’ve always been lucky to have with writers and creatives is a total passion project – and I love pulling back the curtain to share the behind-the-scenes experiences so that others can see that we have more in common than we have differences!

Q: Would you like to tell us about some of the authors you represent as their literary agent? 

A: I did have to close the agency arm of my business several years ago, but have come back to representing a few amazing authors including Emma Grey, Nina Campbell, Rachael Morgan and Lisa Ireland.

Q: What is your advice to anyone wanting to be a literary agent, an editor and having their own podcast?

A: I am still a newbie myself, but I would say that it’s worth taking a chance. You needn’t have everything perfect before you get started – as long as the sound is decent and the enthusiasm is there, virtually everything else is easily figured out. 

Q: What is your advice to new authors on how to get you or anyone as their literary agent? 

A: My best advice to authors searching for a great agent is to do as much research as possible about what any particular agent loves to represent, pay attention to the submission guidelines and don’t take a “No thank you” personally. It’s often a numbers game and finding the right match can be just as serendipitous as finding a romantic partner! Keep going, keep developing your craft and putting yourself/your work out there!