I got my first rejection from an agent!

And I survived!  🙂

I thought I would be crushed, heartbroken, overcome by tears.  Instead, my heart and brain did that little hiccup and then they sighed a little sigh together . . .  and then I laughed.  I did.  I really did. 

It was a standard form letter,  you know the ones.  Thank you but no thank you, but what I loved about this one was that in the side margin was a hand-written note that said:

“strengthen your query letter.  You may have better luck elsewhere.”

Now at first this seems rather harsh.  Especially since I thought I’d written the epitome of the perfect query letter:  one page, single-spaced.  I’d researched the agent and the agency, the works they each represented.  There were no errors, the plot and characters were summed up in few words.  Everything an agent wants, right?

“strengthen your query letter”

What in the heck could I strengthen?  And then it hit me like a speeding train at 3:30 this morning.  Voice!  You didn’t give them your voice!  Yes, the query was text-book perfect, but it wasn’t agent/publisher perfect.  What bombarded my thoughts in the middle of the night was something daring, something I’d never even thought of.  In fact, I’d swear the literary angels infiltrated my mind and wrote the new query for me . . .

and let me tell you, it’s good!  It has voice, it has style, it speaks to the agent/agency.  It’s really darn good, if I must say so myself.

So, here I am today printing out the latest and greatest query sure to capture the hearts, mind and attention of my targeted agents and publishers.  Now, several envelopes and stamps later, I kiss them good luck and pop them in the mailbox.

I feel really good about this one.  I’ll let you know if it works.

So, how are your queries and synopses coming along?  Any colossal brainstorming ideas waking you up late at night?

3 thoughts on “I got my first rejection from an agent!

  1. Good for you. I was having the same problem. I knew the info was in the letter, but something wasn’t grabbing their attention. I finally said “screw it” and wrote the letter as my character would write it. Her voice, not necessarily mine. Poof, a request for a full on every letter I sent out. Now the waiting game to see if it’s picked up, but I’m hopeful. Best of luck to you.


  2. The most encouraging thing was the hand-written note in the margin. It meant, as I’m sure you’re well aware, that the agent liked your query and was probably interested in your novel on its merits and probably just felt that the novel wasn’t exactly what they’re looking for right now; which happens a lot, I’m told. That the agent would do this is a clear indication that they believe in your novel and they want to be certain that when it does get in front of the right agent that the prospective agent will be sold on your query. I can’t think of a much better result from a rejection letter. What a great start!!! Very exciting!


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