How to introduce yourself at your Ivy League Writer-Agent mixer to old-guard literary agents and other aging people (a step-by-step guide)

M. M. De Voe
8 min readFeb 19, 2024

with great gratitude to Columbia University for providing the research space

(Actual image of this staggering campus where I was too terrified and overwhelmed to appreciate the colossal beauty when I went there — with a bonus of a dearly beloved classmate of mine I hadn’t expected to see)

Last night, I attended a four hour Agent-Writer Meet and Greet sponsored by Columbia University. The night was glamorous — a gorgeous campus event space was transformed into a blue-lit fairyland with a central buffet of Asian-inspired hand-held food-treasures with two open bars and a soaring vaulted ceiling where the steam could curl without affecting anyone’s perfectly coiffed hair.

(No one coiffed their hair. There were people dressed in business casual and people dressed in upscale subway. These were all writers after all.)

Since my last literary agent took up recreational painting, and my debut novel is in its finishing stretch, I arrived early with a similarly agent-seeking friend who is also a colleague and a classmate. We got rid of our coats and bags, put our kids’ texts on mute, and headed for the main event.

(this is not a strictly necessary photo but I love the fact that the school has a really long history — despite the tongue-in-cheek nature of this article, I truly adore my Alma Mater and am so glad I went)

An administrator for the school welcomed everyone and explained the code: white…



M. M. De Voe

Fictionista, collector of obscure awards, admirer of optimists in the face of dread. Author of 2 books that are polar opposites and yet the same.