It's a scandal I tell you, a scandal

This has happened to me a couple of times now. I query an agent I'm interested in working with, and I get a response asking for the manuscript from another agent at the firm, one who I've never heard of. How should a wannabe take this?

Let's see. An agent at an established agency wants to read your work.
What to do, what to do.
Oh wait, I know!
Write a letter, or better yet, PHONE and demand to know WHY this person you've never heard of would have the temerity to want to see YOUR WORK.
What on earth possesses them??
Do they not know you queried Agent Q and ONLY Agent Q!??
Oh wait...Agent Q has a full roster, is going on maternity leave, doesn't handle this kind of work, thinks you're a nitwit so you've been passed on to another agent instead of being sent a rejection letter.
By god, you'll get to the bottom of THIS!!!


Paula said...

That cracked me up! (Visiting via Nobody/Jen.)

Darby said...


occasional_anonymous said...


Brady Westwater said...

I presume the punishment on the 'perp' was not sufficiently gratifying (i.e., not being led out in chains to a public whipping stock), so fasten your seat-belts. It's going to be a wonderfully snarky few days...

tremblor said...

You know, I would literally beg to get requests for partials from juniors agents at respectable agencies.

In fact, I think a couple of my queries may actually have been pleas.

incognito agent said...

I would have posted sooner, but I had to wait until I stopped laughing. Thanks, Miss Snark, you made my day!

Alicia Paige said...


Bethany said...

Miss Snark, I have recently begun reading your blog, and I absolutely love it. It's helped me through a lot of work with agents lately.

Just today, a literary agent responded to a query letter of mine requesting the first three chapters of my novel, which isn't anything new, but she did also request that I sign a release form. I've been trying to translate it into a language resembling English, and while I don't see anything that pops out as dodgy, and she seems reputable enough, I'm wary at signing anything this early on. Are release forms standard when all she's doing is looking over sample chapters?

merlinsmuse said...

This is just too funny. Great answer Miss Snark.

No disrespect to the person asking the question, but this request for a manuscript is what most writer's sweat for. Go with it and good luck.


Bernita said...

Poor thing!

Candice Gilmer said...


(And someone correct me if I'm wrong,) But I've never heard of anything like that for a partial. To be honest, in my own experience, I've never had an agent request me signing a release for a partial of my book. And if someone did ask me, I'd be more than a little concerned.

Check out Predetors and Editors and see if there's anything listed there about that specific agent or that company.

Maya said...

Is it an agency that does a lot of work relatd to television and film rights? If so, I've heard that those folk are very paranoid and ask for releases that guarantee they won't be blamed for stealing ideas.

Bonnie Calhoun said...

Most writers pray to be read! I would say that was a real, "Duh!" moment. good answer Miss Snark. Glad to see you back. Weren't you going to Lowell, Mass. this weekend? Or was I thinking of someone else?

E. Dashwood said...

Miss Snark,

Send anyone up the river this week? Jury duty must have mellowed you. You didn't even call this nitwit a nitwit.

I queried an agency addressing the person listed as the contact. I received a response from someone completely different who is now representing me. He said the person I sent my letter to had not been with the firm for a couple of years. They simply didn't have the time to update their listings. I considered this a good sign. They were too busy serving clients to worry about trifles like their contact info.

Ric said...

Nick Sparks got his agent this way.


It's a very instructive story.

Nice to see you back, Miss Snark.

Bethany said...


I actually found her on P&E, and they say she's highly recommended. That's why I was so thrilled to hear back from her in the first place, and why I'm so curious as to if this whole release form thing is standard for heap-big literary agents. I'm not really in a rush to shut my eyes and potentially sign my life away in perpetuity (although it's tempting), so I can be patient.


Nope. Just a good ol' literary agency. ^_^

Miss Snark said...

Ric, that's a great link to Nick Sparks' story of getting his agent.

And it's GREAT to be back. Snarklings are a vast improvement over lawyers, judges and other kinds of criminials.