Does the Fifth Estate get the EZPass lane on the SnarkasaurusExpressway?

O Snarking One,

I’ve done a bit of Snarkive sifting and haven’t found a direct answer to this question, so here goes… when you’re looking over a novel query, would the fact that I am a journalist entitle me to any additional mileage on my trip through the Slush-Pile Republic? One of your mantras is “The Writing Must Be Good”—does a background in newswriting benefit me at all in your heady world? Or am I in an entirely separate realm?

I think it's a separate realm but the fact that you've probably written more words than the average bear is a good thing. It's certainly something to mention in your query, but I'm going to read your pages like I read all incoming pages-cruelly and mercilessly. You're probably used to that though if you've been a reporter.


Jude said...

Hey, is the Fourth Estate trying to poach on the hallowed anarchic grounds of the Fifth? Though, since the Fifth Estate *is* a periodical, perhaps one could make a case for a shared claim.

Ryan Field said...

When you're querying agents and other professionals in publishing, writing background and pub credits really do make a difference and at the very least you are treated with a certain amount of respect...but only when the actual agent handles the query personally.

If you get an intern you may as well have been a ditch-digger all your life because previously published works, no matter how extensive, mean nothing to them. But don't be discouraged by this, and you have to realize it really is all about the project at hand and not what you've done in the past.