Do Stepping Stones Sink?

Dear Miss Snark, I have one category romance, from two years ago, under my belt. I'm querying agents now with a literary women's fiction manuscript and I'm wondering if I'm getting snickers. My romance is a legitimate publishing credit, granted, but should I leave it off and only mention my other pub credit, some literary anthology work? I ask because I sent an e-mail query to an agent about my literary women's fiction ms, listing my lone romance as a pub credit, and received the response that she didn't handle category romance. As rejections roll in from single page query letters, I'm wondering if my romance is being considered my litmus test. Do stepping stones sink? I certainly want to be as forthcoming as possible, but do you think the romance title should be left off?

Single query page letter? Miss Snark raps your knuckles with her swagger stick.
You need to include your writing!! How else am I going to see what a fabulous writer you are?

And don't take off the romance publishing credit. It's a much more persuasive credential than a literary anthology (but put that in too of course).

The most important thing is that the agent see what you're writing NOW is not the same thing you published in the first book (and you didn't publish with any of those fly by night places did you, cause those don't count at all).

Remember, agents read query letters FAST. It's entirely possible we will miss some key information in a cover letter. Good writing trumps everything; make sure an agent at least sees what you've written.

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