Add this to your list of hard and fast rules

Miss Snark,

I recently attended a Writer's Conference and submitted the first 20 pages of my manuscript for an advanced critique with an editor at a major publishing house. She emailed me back and said that of the 16 submissions she read, mine was the best. Unfortunately she does not represent Young Adult and so she asked to forward on the manuscript to a local agent.

Of course I agreed.

I recently received another email from the editor and she wrote, "I’m sorry to say that she won’t be taking on the book. She and another agent at the same agency took a look, and they both thought the writing was really, really good. But she says that her agency handles very few YA projects, and the ones they do handle tend to be a bit edgier in theme."

So I'm now back to sending out queries to other YA agents and I'm wondering if I should include any of this dialogue or is it not worth it since neither woman took on the project? Does a potential agent really care if other agents or editors think I can write?

Don't do this. The only thing I see when I read this is my colleagues don't think they can sell it. I'm a lot less likely to think I can if Agent X, or Kristin, or Miss Bent don't think they can. In fact, I'm not even going to try, which means I won't read your pages.

Do not ever mention any kind of rejection in your query letter. Ever. This is a hard and fast rule.

1 comment:

Kit Whitfield said...

Sounds like you don't need to mention that the agency liked it anyway. They thought it was good - and it must be, because agents don't praise lightly. In which case, other agents will be able to see its quality as well. They'll hopefully like it just on its own merits. Take heart; this is encouraging news.