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Drew University Alum Pulls From Liberal Arts Education in the Real World

Andrew Dugan C’20 is currently a literary agent in NYC

February 2022 – Andrew Dugan C’20 has turned his degree from Drew University into a job as a literary agent and financials associate at Dystel Goderich & Bourret LLC.

Dugan, an English major, has used his well-rounded liberal arts education to be a versatile part of the NYC-based agency.

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Dugan added to his repertoire by taking an intensive course in book and magazine publishing at Columbia's Graduate School of Journalism.

“Even though much of being a literary agent is workshopping manuscripts and pitching titles to publishing houses, other parts of my job involve analyzing sales figures, advising authors on foreign country tax laws, and negotiating advances on books,” Dugan explained.

“At Drew, I was able to nourish my creative and editorial skills through fiction workshops while also taking quantitative reasoning courses in physics and international relations that have helped me in the numbers-oriented aspects of my job.”

Dugan pointed to Courtney Zoffness, assistant professor and director of Drew’s creative writing program, as a key mentor.

“I met Prof. Zoffness in a creative short fiction workshop my first year and she totally transformed my writing journey for the better,” said Dugan. “She treats her students as capable, insightful artists from day one. Through her one-on-one mentorship, excellent feedback, and language-driven approach to the writing process, I left Drew ready to break into the book publishing and writing world with confidence.”

“We still email book recommendations back and forth!”

Dugan has had his eyes opened since being in the publishing field, and encourages tomorrow’s writers—especially those from underrepresented demographics—to consider it as a career option.

“Because I work intimately with writers and their work every day, I have become a better writer myself,” he said.

“Similarly, because I know what it’s like to work through the puzzles of my own manuscript, I have a deeper respect for those who share their work with me and I can provide more useful feedback as a result. This encouragement doubles for BIPOC, LGBTQ+, neurodivergent, and low-income writers whose talents and insights are desperately needed in the book publishing world.”

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