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Tuesday, 7 April 2015

The Search Is On...

Well, it's that time all us writers love. Time to steel ourselves and develop a love/hate relationship with either the postman or the 'You Have Mail' sound on our phone/computer.

Yep, it's time to play Hunt The Literary Agent! The rules are quite simple. You send off the first few chapters of a work you've poured your heart and soul into and ideally receive a 'We love it' reply but more often than not, receive plenty of 'Not for us'. Or even worse, all you receive is silence. I know that editors and agents explain this as a lack of resources on their part and I completely understand how understaffed magazines and publishing houses, etc are these days. It's just so frustrating not knowing whether you should hang on just a little longer to see if you get a reply, or if your enquiry has been binned weeks ago!

When I was going through this process several years ago, it was the case that you could only apply to one agent at a time. I am sure there are still some agents that prefer this, but from what I've read, the norm is now to send out several enquiries at a time which at least means that you can cover more bases in one go.

I did eventually secure an agent that first time round which was an amazing feeling. I can still remember the phone call! Sadly they weren't able, in the end, to get a publishing deal for me and after a few years we parted ways due to them moving back abroad, and us also being on the move abroad.

So, having spent the afternoon yesterday with The Writers' and Artists' Yearbook I now have a short list for the first batch of enquiries. It would be so nice if this was the only batch of enquiries I have to make - all we can do is hope!

In the meantime, I just have to write the 'intro' letter. I swear that such things as this, and synopses, are more difficult than writing an entire novel!

Good luck to anyone else currently on the same safari!

Happy Writing!


  1. Yes, there are still some agents who specify that you should only submit to them but how can they knowThe time I spent waiting must addup to months before i thought 'Sod it' and sent out three at a time.
    Mind you, I'm still searching!

    1. Yep, I'm of the same mind as you. I recently found my first round of letters for my first novel. I'd put my age in the intro letter. I actually felt quite depressed to know that cough cough years later, I'm still looking for an agent. Although to be fair, life did decide to hurl a tonne of stuff at us through many of those intervening years and still continues to lob things. But still. So, sitting waiting on an agent who may or may not read or reply until I send off to someone else isn't really an option now. As you say, 'Sod it!'

  2. I wholeheartedly agree with how difficult it can be to write intro letters and synopses. We spend such a lot of time on getting them just right. Trying to condense a whole novel into a couple of pages can be a real challenge.
    I wish you all the best in securing an agent for your latest project.

    1. Finally put it together today, Kristah. Hopefully it's good enough. I'm glad I'm not the only one who struggles with such things! Thanks very much for the good wishes, and the comment. Much appreciated :)


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