Belmont University alumna Caroline George is a published author and works as a literary agent based in her hometown of Hartwell, Georgia. Her debut novel, The Prime Way Program: Be the Victor, was published when George was a 15-year-old high school sophomore. Since then, George has published two more novels and graduated from Belmont University in two and a half years with a double major in publishing and public relations. Check out my interview with her below to find out what she’s been up to since earning her degrees.
Name: Caroline George
Major while at Belmont: double major in publishing and public relations
Year Graduated: December 2017
Hometown: Hartwell, Georgia
Tell me why you chose Belmont.
Belmont, at the time, was the only university in the country that provided a publishing major. That’s what drew my eye to Belmont, and ultimately why I decided to go. I didn’t even apply to other schools. I visited the school and loved it, and ultimately felt like I was supposed to be in Nashville.
How did Belmont help you with your career?
With Belmont, the main thing that would say shaped my career was the internships. Because of the small class sizes, I was able to develop relationships with my professors who helped me secure internships. As a freshman, I got an internship at HarperCollins through the publishing department at Belmont. That snowballed into my other opportunities, like when I interned at BookGrabbr. I also did a study abroad in Australia where I worked and studied there for two months. Some of the jobs I get to do today are because of those internships. Having internships as your credentials helps you break into the industry.
What have you been doing since graduation?
I started working with Cyle Young Literary Elite. I’m a literary agent. This fall, I’ve been traveling to writing conferences and participating in agent panels all over the country. Recently, I’ve been to Boston, Los Angeles, North Carolina, and will be teaching at one in Columbia, South Carolina, in November. I’ve also been writing a ton, so I’ve been balancing both agent and author work. And some freelance publicity work through authors I’ve met at conferences.
What does a literary agent do?
We try to find books that appeal to today’s audiences and pitch them to publishers. Working as a literary agent is all based off of your sales and listings, so I’ve been trying to build up a client list as well.
What’s next for you?
Right now, I’m putting 100 percent of my time and effort into my agent and author career. I’m not sure where I’ll end up. I love traveling, which is nice in my field of work. I’m looking at things very short-term right now and taking whatever opportunities come my way to build up my chances at landing my dream job. My goal is to make a trip to England to visit friends and have a celebratory vacation once I get my dream book contract. I’m just working on laying that foundation.
What advice would you give a current Belmont student who wants to be a published author?
Write, write, and write some more. It comes down to practice and being ready to adapt. You need to keep practicing and be willing to put in years of time to seek out opportunities. While you are waiting on hearing back from an agent or a publisher, work on building your platform. Join a writing critique group, go to a writer’s conference, and just look for ways to keep growing even when it feels like nothing’s happening.
Follow Caroline George on Instagram @authorcarolinegeorge and check out her website authorcarolinegeorge.com for more insight on her novels and her job as a literary agent.