I queried an agent who emailed me asking two
questions: 1)if the book had been workshopped with any
writers' groups and 2) if any publishers had seen the
Why do you think the agent would be interested,
especially in the writers' groups?
The answer to the second question is obvious. He/she wants to know if you have been rejected by any or all of the big five companies, which would be a serious reason for the agent not to take on the manuscript.
The answer to the first question is not so obvious. The agent might be implying that the book needs to be edited, but I don't know why the agent wouldn't have come out and said "You need an editor." Writer's groups are a mixed bag, and I don't know an agent who would send a client to one. What the agent is probably doing is fishing for big names - if you did a workshop with a famous author or attended Clarion or whatnot. But that's just a guess.