For the past several months, in between teaching and family commitments, I’ve been hot on the agent pursuit with my YA novel written in verse and set in the sixties, two factors that immediately distance me from all those dystopian-paranormal-urban fantasy-supernatural-pop culture-hungry agents. I jumped into this pursuit realizing that the odds might be against me in this market at this particular time with this particular piece of work, but hey, maybe I just want to suffer. As I come up for air, my statistical read-out according to goes something like this:

• Dozens of disregards: I stopped counting somewhere around 3 dozen. These are the agents or agencies whose profile or list have nothing in common with my particular offering after minutes or precious hours of researching websites, blogs, agent bios and current book lists

  • 25 query submissions
  • 16 rejections
    •  3 offered kind and encouraging words but still “passed” (rejected)
  • 3 requests for a full (complete manuscript)
    • 1 rejection with kind words and “I didn’t fall in love with it that much”
    • 2 fulls still under consideration

That last sub-bullet has me shivering in my boots. The outer limits of the typical 6-8 week response time is upon me, and I’m thinking I should have heard by now. If they were “in love” with my manuscript they would pick up the phone and knock my socks off with that sought after phone call. And I know I should press on ahead, getting my next batch of one or two dozen queries out there. And in the in-between times, I should be energetically cranking out the next creative thing I can think of writing. But first, I’ve jotted down a few words of wisdom I’ve picked up in all those rejection letters……..

Dear Mr., Missy, or Lass

Regrettably I fear I must pass,

I’m concerned about your work in this market

Frankly, take the manuscript and park it

Your piece doesn’t stir up my passion

ReVAMP it, it’s way too old fashion

I can’t connect with your setting

The voice I’m really regretting

Thanks for sending your stuff

Sadly, we don’t love it enough

Your project’s not right for our list

Honey, I think you’ve been dissed.


THE AGENT GAME — 8 Comments

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