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Not A Typical Query Letter Response

After submitting query after query, I’ve become accustomed to three different responses:

  1. No response
  2. The impersonal form email
  3. And if I’m lucky, a request for more of the manuscript

So imagine my surprise when I received a letter last week––a PERSONALIZED letter–– with actual feedback. Okay, so it wasn’t super specific feedback, but it was feedback nonetheless. Here are some of the phrases used in the response––

  1. We think there’s lots you’ve done extremely well
  2. Your plot and hook are interesting
  3. You have some great techniques with your writing
  4. We enjoyed lots about this and would love for you to stay in touch with your next book if you don’t get picked up before then
  5. Of the thousands of submissions we receive annually, we only request a handful of fulls (I’d submitted the first three chapters only per their guidelines)

Although this was not the answer I’d hoped for, it was an encouraging message. It felt like a lifeline, a flotation device to keep me from drowning. A sign to not give up. A sign that I am doing something right. That my writing is worthy.

I was so impressed with this agency’s process that I responded by thanking them for their personal touch. Because they took the time and effort with me, someone they aren’t going to represent, it showed me that’s the kind of agency I’d love to work with. I said it was the nicest rejection I’d ever received!

Of course, two days later, I submitted to two more agencies. Within an hour, I received a form email saying “no thank you” (did they even read the first fifty pages? Me thinks not!). Oh well. I’ll take the small victories along the way––they provide me with just enough fuel to keep plugging along.

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