Results of Live Query Event with Agent Roseanne Wells

So, I had the awesome opportunity to have my query critiqued by YA agent Roseanne Wells (Marianne Strong Literary Agency) tonight on

Out of the 41 submissions, there were only 3 she said she would definitely ask for more pages and 2 that were maybe’s. Mine didn’t fall into either one. She said about mine, and I quote:

“99k is too long, esp given the style of the query–sounds like a purple proser.

Please do not use “world flipped/turned upside down”

it happens multiple times in my inbox, and it’s not unusual for a big event to change anyone’s life

I couldn’t get past the first para. Next.”


From looking at her comments on other queries, there should not be quotes from the novel in the query, and there should be no rhetorical questions. She also says that character names should not be capitalized. It’s “very Hollywood.”

While I appreciate Roseanne’s comments very, very much, and I thank her from the bottom of my heart for this live event in spite of a miserable cold/flu, I do not agree with all of her comments on some of her points. For one, I’ve researched and researched and researched YA fantasy novel word count and the consensus seems to be to keep it under 100,000 words. I wish I understood what she meant by ‘style’ of query. If anyone knows, I’d love clarification.

What I learned from this event is that two agents rejected my novel based on this particular query, so guess what . . . it’s out the door. Plain and simple. Time to put together another one and see how it works. Every agent is different. I know the story is good. I know it’s not a ‘purple proser’, and I know these rejections were meant to happen for a reason. Let’s face it. These agents weren’t the ones for me. That’s okay. I’ll find the right agent and/or the right publisher when it’s my time, and the match will be perfect. Until then, I’ll keep writing and keep trying.

4 thoughts on “Results of Live Query Event with Agent Roseanne Wells

  1. Heh, I’m thinking of sending her a query. Two rejections is NOTHING in the book industry, so don’t get discouraged. However, Ms. Wells gave some good advice. Check out the query letter hell thread on the Absolute Write forum, and the Query Shark blog, for more advice from agents and industry pros. Writing a query letter, unfortunately, has become an art form in itself. I ended up having a friend write mine.


    1. hee hee. Abby, I’ve received more rejections since then and it’s only made me more determined than ever to get published. Thankfully, I landed on a publisher who took the time to mark my manuscript until it bled and gave me some suggestions on how to fix my baby. They also left me with an option to resubmit. I’m stoked and excited. Thanks to people like Ms. Wells, and this publisher, my novel has turned into something I didn’t realize it could be. As to my query letter, I think I finally got it after a year of working on it. We’ll see. keeping fingers crossed. Thanks for stopping by. πŸ™‚


  2. You have a great attitude when dealing with these agents. I know your work is good. I was enjoying the book and looking forward to it. I know
    I am not an expert but if I was I would snap it up in a minute!
    My grandson Carter always says Grandma try, try and try again.
    Keep Smiling
    Love Diane xxx


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