The Fog of Query

Miss Snark-

I have diligently tried to follow the mysterious and myriad rules that writers must follow when querying agents. I know that if agent A at agency 1 rejects me, I should not query another agent there.

I just got a rejection from Agent C (separate agency) who enthusiastically suggested I query Agent B at agency 1. So now I am conflicted. Should I have assumed Agent A passed my mss to Agent B and she passed, or should I take Agent's C suggestion and query Agent B?

Thank you for your blog and the constant help you give to us nitwits.

You're not a nitwit, sorry. You can try out again next week.

You query Agent B directly. You say "Agent C suggested I query you". You don't need to mention Agent A was shortsighted enough to pass already.

What you DO NOT say is "Agent C rejected me but said you were the lucky next winner" and you don't say "Agent C referred me/recommended me". Agent C suggested Agent B, use that language, and that alone.

Querying is a minefield, no doubt about it, but unlike other weapons, the slings and arrows of obstreperous agents won't actually remove body parts from unwary writers. You'll live to type another day.


Anonymous said...

I've queried different agents at the same agency several times (not all at once, though, and after some time has passed). Is that some big rule I just broke?

ORION said...

I'm so HAPPY.
Obstreperous is one of my very favorite words and I hardly ever hear it from anyone else!!!
You ROCK Miss Snark!

Anonymous said...

Speaking of favorite words, I am always turned on when someone correctly uses the word MYRIAD! This has got to be one of the most-oft misused words in the English/American language: Yanno, there's such a myriad of ways in which people screw it up...(-;

Clara said...

Who made up the no querying different agents at the same agency rule? I'm glad I didn't come across it when I was looking for an agent last year... I worked my way down a list of agents at a particular agency, and the third agent I queried took me on. Perhaps I just didn't make it past the first two agents' assistants.

Anonymous said...

I just had my wrist slapped for doing this very thing! I had no idea authors are supposed to inform agents if their work has ever been declined by one of their colleagues. Despite the fact that I did after all bring this to their attention before I sent the full ms per their request, they were still ticked I didn't do it at the outset and told me to hold off. Guess my name is hanging on a dartboard in their break room now....I give up any hope for representation there. But....why didn't they list this rule on their website with other submission guidelines? Or am I the only writer who didn't think of this? Guess I was wearing my nitwit t-shirt that day. Sigh.