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Complaints Surge Against WL Writers’ Literary Agency

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MAIN NEWS HEADLINES
June 26 – July 3, 2008 Edition

Complaints Surge
Against WL Writers’
Literary Agency

NEW YORK, NY/6/26/08– Authorlink has noted an upsurge in complaints within the past few months against WL Writer’s Literary Agency, also known by a variety of names internationally, including New York Literary Agency, Writers Literary and Publishing Services, The Literary Agency Group, and Christian Literary Agency. The companies apparently are all owned by Robert M. Fletcher of Boca Raton, Florida.

In April last year, a blogger reported that The Literary Agency Group, owned by Fletcher, had changed its name in February 2007 to Writers’ Literary Agency & Marketing Company (a.k.a. WL Writers’ Literary Agency).

The suspicious agency now seems to be using a new approach–advertising on legitimate writers’ sites through Google ads. Authorlink has blocked the agency from advertising on its site, and posts a warning that writers should thoroughly check out all Google ads before engaging a third-party advertiser in any business relationship.

Since the company began operating in 2001 under the name Sydra-Techniques, Writer Beware, which monitors scammers in the publishing field, has received hundreds of complaints and advisories of fee-charging, editing referrals, and other questionable practices. Writer Beware said it is not aware that the company has a significant track record of commercial book sales under any of its names, despite its claims to the contrary.

WL Literary has at least one attractive website at http://www.wlwritersagency.com/ aimed at unpublished writers.

An Authorlink member who reports an extremely negative experience with the agency, says WL Literary tells clients their work is “publishable but needs polishing.” The company then refers writers to a fee-charging editorial service, also owned by Fletcher. “At no time has WL Literary ever supplied the name of a single work they’ve sold,” said the author. Charged for the edits and sent back to the agency, the writer is told “a number of publishers have requested the manuscript.” However, no names of editors to which the work was submitted have been disclosed to the client. The author says the agency bilked him out of about $300 before realizing he was being scammed. He also reports that he knows of others who have had a similar experience.

Authorlink encourages writers to thoroughly investigate any offers of free publishing, quick and easy representation, or editorial help. The traditional world of publishing sets high standards for agents and expects them to provide the names of all editors and publishers who have declined a submission.

The umbrella group under which WL may be operating has included the following agencies:

Christian Literary Agency New York Literary Agency Stylus Literary Agency (formerly ST Literary Agency, formerly Sydra-Techniques) WL Children’s Agency (a.k.a. Children’s Literary Agency) WL Poet’s Agency (a.k.a. Poet’s Literary Agency) WL Screenplay Agency (a.k.a. The Screenplay Agency) Writers’ Literary & Publishing Services Company (the editing arm of the above-mentioned agencies)

Writers who have had trouble with Robert M. Fletcher or any of the above-named companies, and who are or were residents of the state of Florida, are encourage to contact Ann Crispin at Writer Beware: anncrispin@aol.com (or beware@sfwa.org , if the AOL address bounces)

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Association, which operates Writer Beware, has 1500 members, many of whom are bestselling authors. The Writer Beware’s Alert about WLA is located here: http://www.sfwa.org/beware/general.html#Literary , and also on its Thumbs Down Agency list at http://www.sfwa.org/beware/twentyworst.html

WL Literary Agency’s website is located at http://wlwritersagency.com/

Also, writers who see suspicious ads on Authorlink should contact the Editor-in-Chief immediately at dbooth@authorlink.com.