A Note from AG

Teaching has been an important part of my waking life. I enjoyed brilliant teachers including Grace Paley, John L’Heureux, Stanley Elkin, and John Irving. My own students have become their generation’s sentinel voices: Ann Patchett, Donald Antrim, the late Heather Lewis, Elizabeth McCracken, James Hynes, Robert Antoni, Ayana Mathis, Justin Torres, Kate Christensen, Julian Anderson and a host of others.

I am often asked to read the manuscripts of folks I have never met. I wish I could counsel every worthy beginning writer. It would be great to lead each directly to an agent and to publication. That process is a long one for everybody.  Simply honoring the fifteen hundred worthies I have already taught constitutes a full-time job.  I also struggle daily for the time to make new, honest work myself.

I would encourage every writer to find a group of others at a similar level of experience within walking or driving distance. Your goal might be assembling a small fervent batch of others hooked on the joys of making narrative. Read outside work and discuss it. Offer your own writing aloud. Quantum growth is easier in groups. We all need willing readers, eager listeners. I wish you well with your work and I thank you for understanding.


Amanda Urban
ICM Partners
730 Fifth Ave.
NYC 10019

Personal Assistant