Four Mistakes Writers Make When Querying Literary Agents

By Sabrina Berndt 

As the submissions coordinator for a literary agency, I’ve noticed the majority of authors make at least one mistake in their query letter, most trying to find a clever way to capture the agents’ attention. However, standing out from the crowd is not always a good thing, especially when we provide clear guidelines. A clear query letter gives the impression that you can follow directions and will be easier to work with. Although an author may think their query might get lost in a sea of emails with the same format, the truth is proper submissions are the ones that truly stand out.

Here are a few of most common mistakes I see when sorting through query letters.    Continue reading “Four Mistakes Writers Make When Querying Literary Agents”

Why You May Not Be Winning With Agents

By Rachel Beck

Editors, agents and authors publish a lot of instructional pieces about the craft of writing, and the mechanics of creating a strong novel. These tips tend to focus on plot, character, conflict, story arc, narrative voice, tone, etc. After all, you cannot have a successful book without these pieces in place, and not only must they be present, but they must also work in tandem to build on the goals and motives of the characters and story as a whole. If these pieces aren’t working in unison, your story may be rejected by publishing professionals, though hopefully with some helpful advice for improvement. Continue reading “Why You May Not Be Winning With Agents”

Writing a Query Letter: The Basics

writing

Getting your query letter just right could make the difference between a request and a rejection. It doesn’t matter how fantastic your manuscript is if the agent doesn’t request and read it. With that in mind, it’s no wonder that articles over query letters are littering the internet with their advice and tips. So much so that sometimes it’s hard to figure out which articles to listen to and which to avoid.

These tips, however, won’t make much of a difference if you’re not sure about the outline, the basics, the structure and what you really need in your query. Continue reading “Writing a Query Letter: The Basics”

Editors and Agents Have More in Common Than You Might Think

editing2                                                                                                                          By Rachel Beck

After being an editor for almost six years, I transitioned to the agent side (the dark side? the light side? I’ll avoid going there…). I thought it may be interesting to hear the differences (and similarities!), from my experience at least. Granted, I was an editor a lot longer than I’ve been an agent so far, but I’m rapidly learning more and more, and it’s interesting to reflect on the nuances of each job—along with the degrees of overlap.

Continue reading “Editors and Agents Have More in Common Than You Might Think”