8.08.2006

But ..but...they liked me...!!!!

Dear Miss Snark,

I am an unpublished member of Mystery Writers of America.
I used their Mentor Program to review the first fifty pages of my first novel and the review was good to outstanding.

I also submitted the first two chapters to a writing contest and got back three reviews/critiques. Again the reviews were good to outstanding.

Is this something that I could include in my query letter to an agent? I can understand perhaps one good review but when three or four people give you the same positive comments, I think that it is perhaps something to add in a query letter.

What do you think?



No.

Comments from readers do not belong in a query letter. Not even if they are superbly marvelous agents who participate in the MWA mentor program. And REALLY not if they are judges in a writing contest.

If your writing is as good as they say it will stand on its own. As they say "don't tell me you have a good novel, SHOW me".

7 comments:

smartass said...

I'm wondering why, if the writing was so great, it didn't WIN something in the writing contest.

tdxxpnv said...

My novel received two glowing critiques in the recent PNWA contest. I never even considered mentioning that in my query. Now, if the novel was a finalist or won... I'd think different.

Patt said...

well done ,its a hard gig.

type, monkey, type said...

Over on Jenny Bent's website, she gives a sample query letter that quotes a judge of a contest. She liked that because she knew the judge, an excellent writer. Of course, the querier won the contest. And Ms. Bent notes that many agents wouldn't go for the type of query letter she goes for.

bookfraud said...

like misssnark says (since she is always correct), the writing should speak for itself. though the question points to how hard it can be to get representation -- one looks for any edge possible. the only way i got my agent was through bribery and blackmail, and i would recommend it to anyone.

just kidding.

Lexa said...

What if the literary agent says not to send any samples of your work?

boudin man said...

While your advice is dead on in the agent world, marketing in any other field does not even come close to the bull you printed. Oh, let's see, that toothpaste is so great, no need to give testimonials. Those shoes are wonderful, no need to have an athlete who probably never wore them sell them. I mean, come on, the literary agent rules are so restrictive, especially when compared to the way other products are sold in this country, that the only thing that really amazes me is that the tradition continues unabated.