Monday, September 2, 2013

Agency Lessons: Query Feedback

I wrote a whole post today about how being new isn't an excuse to ignore submission guidelines. It was awesome. But then I realized that you, my lovely readers, already know this. And the people who don't will never find this blog anyway, because they aren't treating writing professionally. So I scrapped it and stared at the blank page until I could come up with a better topic for your Monday morning.

And I stared...

And stared...

And...

I got nothing.

But that's no fun, so I thought what would be fun is some query feedback. Yeah! So here's the deal. You have today to get your query as good as you can. Starting tomorrow, send me your query to Query@CorvisieroAgency.com with the subject line "Query for Sarah: I want feedback". If you do this, I will respond with specific query feedback, on either why this isn't working or why it is. This will be good for queries sent September 3rd and 4th only. If you don't use the right subject line, you will get the normal query response I usually send, which won't be as detailed.

Here's the deal. This needs to be an honest to goodness real query. That means it should be for MG and YA only, and only be for a completed, polished project you are ready to put out there. I'm going to be more than a little ticked if I request pages only to learn that your manuscript isn't ready and you were only "testing" your query.

A note here: it is entirely possible that I could respond with a "yes, this query works", but still not request pages. These are real submissions, so just because the query works doesn't mean it will be something I'm interested in and I still have to like the sample pages.

Okay, that's it. Pass this along to any of your querying friends. If you have questions leave them in the comments. Enjoy your Labor Day!

15 comments:

  1. Can you clarify whether writers should send query letter only, or submit according to your agency's guidelines along with the subject line you indicate. Thanks so much!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good question. Still submit per the guidelines with your query letter, first 5 pages and 1-2 page synopsis. I'll be evaluating like I always do, but the detailed feedback will be on the query letters.

      Delete
  2. Argh.
    I have everything ready to go on my debut novel that goes live on The 'Zon in October and would have luuuved to have you look at it! Problemo is that it's not YA or MG, but a romantic (PG romance) comedy.
    Ick.
    You're probably flooded anyway! LOL

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hello Sarah,

    What a fantastic opportunity you’re offering!

    I submitted you a query a couple of weeks ago, but may I still participate? Should I resubmit "Query for Sarah: I want feedback” on September 4 or 5?

    Thank you.

    Best,
    Heather Villa

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't resubmit. I'll find the one you sent and include it. :)

      Delete
  4. This is a really great opportunity! Thank you for having it, Sarah :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Oh my goodness. I just hit send. Thank you Sarah for you time and generosity!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I am so excited about this opportunity! Thank you! I also submitted my query to you a couple of weeks ago. It is MG and it is called FIREFLY. Can you please include it with the ones you are giving feedback? I would truly appreciate it. If you decide it would be easier if I resubmit, let me know.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi Sarah, I have a spec fic manuscript with crossover appeal to older young adults and adults. Would this still qualify?

    ReplyDelete
  8. This is a great opportunity and you're being so generous with your time! I personally won't submit because you're not into YA contemporary so we probably won't be a good fit, but I just wanted to say how much this sort of thing helps us writers in the submission process. Any feedback, however small, is invaluable. :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi Sarah,

    I have an MG query for a complete ms that I'd love feedback on, but I also write PBs. Should I send it or would it be a waste of time for both of us?

    Thanks for providing such a great opportunity.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not a waste of time at all. I don't accept PB manuscripts, but if a client wanted to send one out it'd be something I would help them with or at least try to find another agent who would rep just those books.

      Delete
    2. Thanks, Sarah. I'll send in my query and pages tonight.

      Delete
    3. This blog post made my day as we rarely get an insight into how or why a rejection may head our way. I'm also one of the "already queried Sarah" people. Could you include me in your list? Wow, you are awesome for doing this for us. We all know how precious time is and appreciate the extra attention.

      Delete

Share the love, man...