Monday, October 30, 2006


Dear Rejecter:
In a recent posting you advised writers to change their query letter if they were requerying agents (after rewriting their manuscript.)
Any advice as to the best way to reapproach agents who were kind enough to give helpful criticism on a partial or full, but did not specifically invite the writer to resubmit, after an extensive rewrite incorporating all suggested changes? Most of the agents loved the story concept but felt the writing needed a bit more tweaking. Should the new query specifically address their suggestions and how the writer sought to remedy the problems?

We get these all the time. Not every day, but certainly once every few months. "You gave me suggestions, I followed them, I'd like to resubmit." Our first response is, "Who's this guy again?" and our second is, "Ugh, this guy again." But then we probably will read it, as long as you don't send the whole manuscript unsolicited. You can send a couple chapters, maybe, and the agent might read it depending on how much time they happen to have and how many new authors they're interested in taking on.

In other words, do it. You have nothing to lose.


Anonymous said...

You make it sound like you should leave this information out and just use a new query.

"Oh, THIS guy again."

I mean, give writer's a little credit--they are trying to improve, you supposedly encouraged them to make changes--why the apparent disdain? I know you have to deal with a lot of loser wanna-be's out there, but this type of comment/thinking is the kind of thing that makes agents appear bloodless, unless, of course, they "fall in LOVE" with your manuscript$$$. Some of us are not clowns. We take suggestions from agents and work hard to improve our manuscripts.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous - Thanks. I agree completely. I'm guessing that legitimate agents understand that we are not clowns and that we work very hard to improve our work before resubmitting.

Youthful disdain at the gatekeeper level may partially explain why readership of literature continues to drop. The tastes and sensibilities of a twenty-something, cynical grad student don't necessarily reflect the tastes of the reading public.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous #1 - you could improve your writing by taking out the incorrect apostrophes, e.g. "writer's" and "wanna-be's". Only use an apostrophe when you are indicating the possessive, i.e. something belongs to the noun, or when you are shortening "]noun] is". Thank you.

Anonymous said...

#3, you nailed #1 on the grammatical misuse of "writer's" but I think the rules are a more relaxed/subjective these days for things like "the 60's" and "wanna-be's." It looks better than wanna-bes.