In a sea of agents, swimming up to the right one is a challenge. Thanks to SCBWI, it can be easier. Earlier this month I attended the OC SCBWI Agents Day where I got to hear Lori Kilkelly of the Rodeen Literary Management, Sean McCarthy of the Sean McCarthy Agency, Christa Heschke of McIntosh and Otis Inc., and Charlie Olsen of Inkwell Management speak about his/her agency, the business, what they're looking for, and writing topics i.e. the beloved query. And I was lucky to have my name picked to lunch with Christa Heschke along with four other attendees. From listening to their presentations and speaking with most of them one on one, I got a sense of which ones to submit my work to.
Rule of thumb: Do not judge on presentation/lecture alone. Some agents aren't good speakers, and why should they be? They spend most of their time on the phone and computer. Get over your shyness, introduce yourself, and talk to them; note: it doesn't have to be about writing. Through the stormy sea of agents, a rainbow eventually shines above. I'll be posting other agent opportunities soon like tomorrow : )