Nathan Bransford, Author


Monday, April 13, 2009

Be An Agent for a Day: Query #40

This query is part of the Be an Agent for a Day contest. Rules and Regulations here

Please post your rejection or manuscript request in the comment section!



Dear Agent for a Day:

When Grandpa Irv dies—only a few months after Gram’s unexpected death—and Aunt Ninian tries to keep Mom from attending the funeral, thirteen-year-old Emily Novak is far from prepared for the aftermath. Emotionally abandoned by her mother and thus reliant on the stability of her father, Emily spends her adolescence hiding behind a camera, unable to stand her ground and take the risks that will enable her to mature. Meanwhile her younger brother Zack, always a curious and independent kid, starts down a reckless path that turns him into a stranger in his family’s eyes.

Struggling before, during, and after college to find the courage to make her own choices rather than those of her parents, Emily observes that her brother’s adventures are bring him a confidence that she envies. Yet Emily is also continually aware of the rising cost of Zack’s decisions... as well as her own. My novel BECOMING EMILY NOVAK is the story of how we sift through our inheritance to disentangle our own truth from what our parents have told us is true, and what that sifting means for the shape of our adulthood.

I think of this novel as an example of the accessible literary fiction you so aptly named on your blog “book club fiction.” It has a sensibility similar to Curtis Sittenfeld’s Prep or Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Namesake, and I would expect a similar audience as well, with some extra niche marketing avenues in the Jewish and queer communities.

I received my MFA in Creative Writing from XXX and have been teaching adult education courses in novel development and memoir at YYY for the past four years. The short story that spawned BECOMING EMILY NOVAK won second place in ZZZ national short story contest, and I have been published in AAA, BBB, and CCC, among others. A complete list of my publications can be found on my website at DDD.com.

You have often repeated, “when in doubt, query me,” and so I have, and I hope you’ll be interested in representing me and this novel. Thank you for your time. Please feel free to contact me by phone, mail, or email. I look forward to hearing from you at your convenience.

Sincerely,
Author

STATS: 7% request rate






311 comments:

«Oldest   ‹Older   1 – 200 of 311   Newer›   Newest»
Kitti said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your query. I regret to inform you that I am going to have to pass on this, but please keep me in mind for your future projects.

Best of luck,
Kitti

Monika said...

Thank you for your submission, but I do not think this project is right us. This is a subjective business and other agencies will feel differently. We wish you every success with your project.

wickerman said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your query. Becoming Emily Novak does not fit my needs at this time.

Best of Luck

The Wickerman

Nathan Bransford's Butler

Lucy A muse ision said...

Thanks. Sorry.

Lucy A muse ision
Fictitious Agent

K. Andrew Smith said...

Dear author,

Thank you for your submission, Becoming Emily Novak. Unfortunately, it's not quite right for me. I wish you good fortune in your quest for an agent.

Sincerely,

K. Andrew Smith

selestial-owg said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your query. Though the premise is intriguing, I'm afraid I will have to pass. Best of luck with your search.

Selestial


The first sentence is unnecessary and leaves me trying to make sure I know who the book is about. I'm not really a literary fiction person, so maybe this is a typical plotliine, but to me it reads just like a normal life. There is nothing wrong with that, but at the same time it means nothing stands out to me and makes me want to read it.

Derek said...

Dear Author,

I'm sorry, but I have maxed out on manuscript requests for today, so I must pass on this one.

Agent For A Day.
Requested #10, #12, #17, #20, #39.

KathyF said...

Dear Author of Query #40,

Thank you for your query, but BECOMING EMILY NOVAK isn't right for me.

KathyF

Casey said...

Dear Author:

Thank you for your time and consideration. Unfortunately, I’m afraid I’m not the right agent to represent BECOMING EMILY NOVAK and your career as a writer.

Best wishes,

Casey

***

Good query. There just isn't enough to hook me.

TheDivaAgent said...

Dear Author,

Every submission is important to us. Unfortunately, we are no longer accepting new clients. We wish you the best of luck in finding an agent to represent your work.

Yours,

The Diva Agent

jimnduncan said...

Thank you for querying me, but I'm afraid I must pass on your story. Best of luck in your continued writing endeavors.

(reason: I wasn't compelled enough by anything here to want to request more pages. It comes across as a 'growing up' novel but there is little here to portray any conflict.)

suki said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your query. I'm afraid this project isn't right for me. I wish you luck in your search for representation.

Regards,
Suki


Reasoning: It didn't really feel "literary" to me, but more importantly, I couldn't tell where the story started - ie, what is backstory and what is story. Ultimately, I just wasn't engaged enough to want to read more. Good luck.

thelifter said...

Dear Author:

The title and the story sounds derivative, but promising. I was put off, however, by the repetitive sentence structure in your query.

A story like this really depends on the quality of the writing. I'll read a dry story if the writing is top notch. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that, like many authors, you dashed the query letter out in a hurry after completing the manuscript. Punch the query up in a way that shows off the uniqueness of your writing style.

And avoid comparisons with other authors or books in queries. It's hacky.

Regards,

Mr. Snark

quixotic said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your query, however, I do not feel excited enough about it to request anything further.

Good luck in your search for an agent.

Quixotic

Superfast said...

Thank you so much for your submission. Unfortunately, I don't feel I'm the right agent to represent your work.

Good luck and keep writing!

Barb said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your submission, but this is not for me. I wish you luck in finding a home for your manuscript.

All the best,
Barb

Agent X said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for taking the time to query. I'm afraid this isn't the right piece for me. I wish you the best of luck.

Sincerely,

Agent X

Karen said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your query. I believe that this project is not for me, but I wish you luck in finding representation.

Karen

reader said...

Well, I'm sorry, I'll have to pass.

Best of luck to you.


+++++ (my thoughts)+++

*Kudos for mentioning Bransford's "Book Club Fiction."

* I went back and forth with this, frankly. I'm a huge fan of the novel Prep and so that intrigued me right off the bat. However, I'm very concerned with the fact that there might not be a story here.(?)How does "...the story of how we sift through our inheritance to disentangle our own truth from what our parents have told us is true..." equal a plot?

What does she face, what decisions does she make? What does she want? What is her goal? In PREP, Lee wanted desperately to fit in, and that drove the tight narrative: fitting in among the snooty boarding school kids. You mention the "cost" of your character's decisions, yet you fail to mention what her decisions ARE.

Also, that grandma funeral in the beginning isn't doing you any favors, I orignially thought this was a Middle Grade book for the 10 year-old crowd.

Bija Andrew Wright said...

There are some interesting points here, but I don't think it's polished enough to catch my interest. With some revisions, it could work, but it's not there yet.

Matilda McCloud said...

Thanks for your query. Unfortunately I'll have to pass on this one.

Keep writing!

With my very best regards,

Matilda McCloud

lesleylsmith said...

Dear Author,
Thank you for your query letter.
Unfortunately, your novel is not a good fit for me.
Good luck!
-Lesley
p.s. This seems promising but familiar. The author should consider emphasizing the Jewish and queer aspects of the story to make it stand out from the crowd.

AgentMan said...

Form rejection

brian_ohio said...

Thank you for your query. I'm afraid this isn't right for me.

Best,

Brian

scj said...

Sorry, but this isn't right for me. I didn't get a good sense of the plot or what makes this different from other books in the genre. Best of luck.

jjdebenedictis said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your recent query; discovering new talent is one of the joys of being a literary agent, and I am always honoured to have the opportunity to read a writer's best work.

Please accept my regrets, however, as I won't be offering to represent this novel. I apologize for informing you of this using a form letter, but the volume of mail I receive makes it impractical for me to give personalized rejections.

I wish you the very best luck in finding a literary agent whose enthusiasm will bring your book the success it deserves!

Sincerely,
J. J. DeGoblin

~~~~~~~
For your reference, here are the most common reasons why I decline certain queries. Please note that if your submission was very good, my reasons for rejecting it were probably much subtler than the items on this list and cannot be put quickly into words. Again, I apologize for this form letter, but I cannot invest the time to critique those submissions I have chosen to not represent. Thank you for your understanding.


Most common reasons why I decline manuscripts:[ ]--The manuscript is in a genre which I don't represent

[ ]--The query appears to be a non-personalized mass mailing

[ ]--The query/manuscript's presentation was worryingly unpolished
(E.g. Many spelling, grammar, punctuation or homophone errors; a non-standard format)

[ ]--The writing doesn't seem polished enough
(This improves with practice; your next novel may be excellent)

[ ]--The plot doesn't sound compelling enough
(Again, this improves with practice and self-education)

[ ]--The plot sounds too similar to something book-buyers have already seen


Comments, if any:Your credentials are very impressive, and I was tempted to request pages, but the passive nature of the protagonist concerns me and I'm not certain from your query what the novel's story arc is.

Gina Black said...

Thank you for querying me. I would enjoy seeing more. Please send me the first three chapters.

Thank you,
Agent Extraordinaire

Cindy said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for submitting your query. Unfortunately your manuscript does not fit my needs at this time.

All the best,
Cindy

bridge said...

Dear Author,
Thank you for your query. I have to pass at this time.
Sincerely,
Bridge
On a personal note this tells a lot but doesn't show as much as I'd like to see. I don't get a sence of what your characters are like or why we should emphasize with them. There are too many themes for a query. Pare it down to one main thought and let the voice shine through. Hope this helps.
bridge

Sasha said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your submission. You sound very accomplished, and I'm sure your search for an agent will soon be fruitful. Unfortunately, I don't think I'm the right agent to represent this submission.

Yours Truly,
AftD

Josephine Damian said...

"with some extra niche marketing avenues in the Jewish and queer communities."

Uh, am I the only one who thinks "queer" is inappropriate?

Either way, form rejection.

Onovello said...

Dear Author:

Many thanks for your query. Unfortunately, I'm not the right agent for your work.

With all best wishes,
Onovello

Cassandra said...

Dear Author,

I'm afraid that at this time I am unable to offer representation for your novel. This is purely a business decision, and unfortunately means that I must turn away many talented individuals. I encourage you to continue querying agents you think might be interested.

I appreciate your interest in Agent for A Day, and wish you every success in your writing career.



Regards,
Cassandra

Craven said...

Thank you for your consideration, but this isn't right for me at this time.

Best of luck, Craven

Megan said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your query. Unfortunately, your book isn't right for me. Agenting is subjective, though, and I wish you the best of luck!

Sincerely,
Megan

Megan said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your query. Unfortunately, I will have to pass at this time.

Best,

Meg Spencer

Mystery Robin said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your submission, but I am not the right agent for this book. Best of luck!

Robin

Jenn Johansson said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for letting me review your query. Unfortunately, I don't think this is a good fit for me at this time.

Best of luck!
JJ

Dawn G. said...

Dear Author,

Unfortunately, I am unable to offer you representation at this time. Thank you for submitting your work for consideration. Please keep me in mind for future projects.

Kindest Regards,

D. Agent

David said...

Dear Author:

Thank you for your submission, but your project doesn't sound right for me.

Sincerely,
David

Vicky said...

Thank you for querying our agency. Unfortunately, this project is not right for us. Best of luck finding representation for your work.

All best.

Amy said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your submission. Unfortunately, this project is not right for me at this time.

Sincerely,
Amy

sraasch said...

Dear Author,

Thank you, but I have to pass. Sorry!

Thanks!

Heather said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your query, but it's not for me.

Good luck!
Heather

Madison said...

Dear Author,

Thank you so much for submitting your work and considering me to represent it. While the story sounds quite interesting, I am afraid it does not fit my list at this point in time and I must regretfully pass. I know rejections can be hard to take, but please keep submitting and following your dream.

Best of luck in your agent hunt!

Sincerely,

Madison

Reason for rejection: No market or word count.

hannah said...

I'm quite intrigued by this--I love sibling stories. Please send along the manuscript.

Best,
hannah


Requested:
#6
#9
#20
#35
#40

IQOkie said...

Sorry, not for me. Good luck elsewhere.

Reason: I had to wade through a lot of words to get a sense of what the story is about. Not enough personal conflict to drive a story.

Good luck,
Tricia

bridge said...

Dear Author,
Thank you for your query. I'm going to pass.
Sincerely
Bridge

On a personal note, this query is a bit tangled. It is riddled with details that are not essential to the hook. If I'm not hooked on the story or a character there is no sense in me finding out more backstory. Figure out what you want to get across in one sentence. What is going to draw me in? Is it an event? A character? Introduce me to that element in the query whet my appetite, give me enough information to get an idea of what the story is and a desire to know more. Not too much so there is no reason to ask for additional info. Hope this helps,
Bridge

Endless Secrets said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for considering me to represent your work, unfortunately I am not the right person for your project.

-Lea

Rick Daley said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your interest in The Authors Write Literary Agency. I have reviewed your query for BECOMING EMILY NOVAK, and I’m sorry to say that I do not feel that I am the best agent to represent your work at this time.

Please keep in mind that there are many talented agents out there, and opinions are subjective based on individual preferences, workload, and market climate.

Don’t be afraid to research other agents and query those that you feel are best suited to represent your work. Best of luck!

Regards,

Daley Agent for a Day

Barbara Webb said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for sharing BECOMING EMILY NOVAK, but I am going to pass.

Best of luck!

dhole said...

Dear Author, thanks for your query. Unfortunately, it's not right for my list, best of luck, etc.

Merry Monteleone said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your interest in The Only Literary Agency Insane Enough To Trust Me With Queries. Unfortunately, I'm going to have to pass.

Best of luck,

Merry

Agent KES said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for submitting your query. Unfortunately, I am not able to offer you representation at this time. Best of luck,

Agent KES

Anonymous said...

Dear Author,

Thanks for your query, but I'm afraid I am not the right agent to represent your work.

Agent99

Other Lisa said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your submission. Unfortunately it's not what I'm looking for. While your writing skills look very solid from this brief sample, I couldn't see the compelling hook in this query. But this is a very subjective business, and I hope you find an agent who is a better match for you. Best of luck in your search for representation.

Sincerely,

Agent X

Agent X

Cary Louisa said...

Dear Author,

Thanks for your submission, but I don't feel the project is right for me.

Thanks,
Cary

EJ Lange said...

Author,

Thank you for submitting your query. Unfortunately, it is not right for me at this time. Good luck in your search for representation.

Agent Erin

Caroline said...

Dear Author:

Your manuscript does not sound like something I could successfully represent.

Sincerely,

Agent Caroline

Colorado Writer said...

Sorry, I am not the right agent for your work.

PCB said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for submitting your query. We are not in a position to represent you at this time, but wish you all the very best in your writing endeavors.

Sincerely,
PCB

Here's why: you compare your writing to some very skilled authors but the query letter itself doesn't measure up (it would have to be perfect). This, in turn, makes me doubt the manuscript will be as good as you think it is (although I could be very wrong). Also, I know there's a "gay" community, but I'm a little curious as to who exactly you mean by the "queer" community ;-)

Gwen said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for taking the time to query me. I find your idea intriguing, and would be very willing to read more.
Please re-send your query in the body of the email, and attach the first three chapters of your manuscript.

Regards,

Gwen

***

(side note: I am not entirely sure about the "literary" label, but the query was enough to make me want to read more.)

Jen C said...

Dear Author,
Thank you for submitting your query to the Most Awesome Literary Agency Ever. I regret that, at this time, your project is not quite what I’m looking for. I wish you the best of luck in your continuing search for representation.
Sincerely,
Jen C.

Megan said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for taking the time to submit.

I regret to inform you that at this time I would like to pass on your book.

Best of luck in the future,

Regards,
Agent for a Day, Bookworm Megs

Christine Rose said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your query, but this isn't right for me at this time.

Best of luck,
Agent for a Day

Kristi said...

Thank you for your query. I don't feel this is right for me but I wish you the best of luck.

Sincerely,
Kristi

:)Ash said...

Dear Author:

Thank you for your interest in my agency. Unfortunately, I do not feel I am the right agent for you at this time. Best wishes as you continue your search.

Sincerely yours,

:)Ash

Anonymous said...

Author,
I happened to love the first two chapters as this is right up my alley - however (oh you knew that was coming, didn't you?) I felt the middle paragraph didn't quite flow as well as the beginning.
I would probably request a partial and see how the writing went. To me, it doesn't sound like literary (or upmarket as I assumed you were going), but I'd still have a look and see for myself.
Thanks

Disgruntled Bear said...

Thank you for querying me. Unfortunately I am going to have to pass at this time.
I wish you the best of luck with another agent.

Sincerely,
Agent

StrugglingToMakeIt said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for querying me. Unfortunately, I don't think I'm the right agent to represent your work.

Best,

Agent

ikmar said...

Dear Author

Thank you for your query. Sorry, but it is not for me.

Sincerely,
Agent for the Day

Tara Ryan said...

Dear Author,
Thank you so much for submitting your work to me. Unfortunately, Becoming Emily Novak is not a good fit for me at this time. I wish you much luck in your writing endeavors.
Agent-for-a-day

Harsh Critic said...

I came very close to requesting this, but just wasn't wowed by it.

Sorry, not for me.

Anonymous said...

Dear Author,

While this project shows merit, I'm afraid it didn't fully resonate with me. I feel sure that another agent will feel differently, and wish you the best of luck.

-Agent Pro Tempore

Anonymous said...

I would like to see more, please send me three chapters.

Marie

PPP said...

Dear Author,

This is a bit vague for me. I like my agnst detailed.

Thanks anyway, and good luck.

Signed,
PPP

PurpleClover said...

Dear Author:

Unfortunately at this time I will have to pass.

Regards,
PC


I don't even know how many words? completed? Is it coming of age? I would have requested but I only have two left and there are about four that seem stronger than this one.

ai-hua said...

Form rejection.

Amy said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for thinking of me, your novel sounds interesting but it's not for me at this time.

Good luck with your search for an agent.

Kind regards,

amyandnick

Jeanne Tomlin said...

You might want to work on your querying skills. I've noticed that MFA recipients often are terrible at this skill; nonetheless, I'd like to take a look at the first three chapters of your novel. Your concept may be better than your query.

DeadlyAccurate said...

Dear Author:

Thank you for your query and I apologize for this form reply.

I regret I have to pass on many interesting projects due to time constraints. I wish you the best of luck in securing representation elsewhere.


Sincerely,

DeadlyAccurate

bookshop said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your recent submission. While our agency is not the best fit for this particular project, other agents may feel differently. I wish you luck in your search for representation.


Regards,

Bookshop


_____

Hi! First I just want to say that I appreciate the use of the term "queer community" as opposed to "gay community," as "queer" is the more inclusive of the two terms. Just to chime in there. :)

I first thought this was a modern hybrid lovechild of Member of the Wedding (er, make that Funeral) and the works of Paula Vogel. But the jump from "what happened at the funeral" to "college" threw me considerably.

I think in order for this to work well, you need to either let us know what happened at the funeral that was so disastrous it scarred our MC for life and created the novel's ongoing conflict; or, you need to skip the early life history altogether and just start with Emily and her brother. Show us what she has to risk in order to save him, and how that connects back to saving herself.

I think this could be a really intriguing premise once you tighten up the query. Good luck! :) )

Anonymous said...

I think of this novel as an example of the accessible literary fiction you so aptly named on your blog “book club fiction.” It has a sensibility similar to Curtis Sittenfeld’s Prep or Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Namesake, and I would expect a similar audience as well, with some extra niche marketing avenues in the Jewish and queer communities.I would expect implies a sense of entitlement, and a rather shocking one at that given what the author "expects' is... oh... just a bestselling author's wide audience. It's a laughable spot in an otherwise decent query. I would definitely take this out.

Kavanaugh and Byrne's LA said...

Dear Author

Thank you opportunity to consider your work at Kavanaugh and Byrne’s Literary Agency.

We do not feel that are the best match with this project.
We wish you every success with this and other ventures

Flower Kavanaugh

Anonymous said...

I thought the same thing. Very entitled sounding. Except I didn't think the query was decent given the lack of basic things like word count and a coherent first sentence. I would pass on this unless the author simplified the first paragraph, and included more on plot.

Beatriz Kim said...

Dear BECOMING EMILY NOVAK Author,

Thank you for your query letter. Unfortunately, I won't be able to represent you at this time.

Sincerely,
BK

Bane of Anubis said...

Dear Author,

Thanks for your submission, but it isn't right for me. Best of luck,

Bane

(reasoning: too much background and not enough specifics about the story)

Pap said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your interest in my agency. However, I will not be requesting any further materials from you at this time. Please note that submissions are a very subjective business and my comments are not a critique on your writing ability. I strongly encourage you to continue your search for an agent and wish you all the best.

Your sincerely,

Make-believe Agency

Katy said...

Thank you for your submission. Your writing is promising, but I don't feel the story is a good match for me.
Best of luck,
Katy

David de Beer said...

Dear Author,

thanks for your interest but unfortunately I am going to pass this time.

Sincerely,
David de Beer

reasoning: this one has promise but I'm not quite getting a feel for the story. The decider to me was the suggestion of a lack of confidence on the part of the author in the very final paragraph.

Vic K said...

Thank you for submitting to my agency, however I am not able to offer representation at this time.

Regards,
Vic K.

Reason; The premise didn't catch me, but I think that might be more about the 'literary' genre than the writing. I've pretty commercial tastes. This is one of those times when I get to see how much personal taste must be involved in agent's decisions.

Cat Hellisen said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your query.  Your proposal is interesting, but I don't feel that the project is quite right for me. I wish you the best of luck in finding representation elsewhere.

Best,
Cat

Eden said...

Thanks for the opportunity but I'm afraid I'll have to pass on representing this piece.

Best of luck with your writing.

~Eden

Adam Heine said...

The novel may be accessible, but the query doesn't seem to be. At any rate, I was confused. What happens exactly? What's the story?

I'm sorry, but this isn't right for me. Thank you for submitting and good luck.

KC in SF said...

Thank you for your query. I'm afraid this project isn't right for me.

I wish you the best of luck,

KC in SF

MK said...

Dear Author,

Thanks for your submission. After careful consideration, I've decided this manuscript isn't for us at this time.

Good luck with your search.

Best,
Agent For a Day

Thomas said...

Dear Author:

Thank you for your submission, but your book is not appropriate for my current needs. I wish you luck in your future endeavors.

Sincerely,
Tally

CJK said...

Thank you for your query. I am not interested in further materials on this work. Good luck with your search for representation. CJK

Renee Collins said...

Dear Becoming Emily Novak,

Thank you for your query. Unfortunately, your story is not quite right for me.

Best of luck,

Renee

romoak said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your submission. While aspects of this story are intriguing, this story is not right for me at this time. Best of luck to you in your continued efforts. Please keep in mind that other agents are different.

-- This just didn't hook me, but might be my personal taste.

Melinda said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your query, but unfortunately this project isn't right for me. Best of luck in your search for representation.

Sincerely,

Melinda

donnas said...

Thank you for your submission but this is not the type of work we are looking for at this time.

Krista said...

Sorry, form rejection.

The beginning was confusing. I still don't understand how the grandparent's deaths are important in the story.

Madhat said...

Dear Author:

Thanks but no thanks.

-Agent

Reason: Mostly personal, since I don't care for this type of book. But I thought the query was awkward in places. Most of the last paragraph can go (the whole "'when in doubt, query,' so I have" thing). Don't state the obvious.

Sage said...

Dear B.E.N.,

I think this has a lot of promise, but in the end, I feel it's just not right for me. Good luck in your agent search!

Thanks,
Sage

Brigita said...

Thank you for sending me your query. Unfortunately, this project is not right for me. I wish you the best of luck in securing representation elsewhere.

Melissa said...

Dear Author,

Thanks for querying me about BECOMING EMILY NOVAK. Please e-mail the first fifty pages to pretendagent@gmail.com. Thanks for your submission. I look forward to reading your work.



Thoughts: The query isn't perfect. I think it gets bogged down in saying what happens next rather than what the character is learning. I am concerned that there may not be a strong enough plot, but I'm going to try reading pages anyway.

Unlike some of the other posters, I do like this kind of novel. Early in the day, I requested a couple of books that I wouldn't personally want to read. Now that I'm an experienced pretend agent, I'm beginning to see that my own subjective taste has to affect what I choose, at least a little. Otherwise I worry I'm not familiar enough with the market for the books I'm requesting. If this book is good, I think I could represent it well.

Selene said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for contacting Selene Literary. After careful consideration, we regret to inform you that this project is not right for us. We wish you the best of luck in finding an agent that is as enthusiastic about this book as it deserves.

Best regards,
Selene Da Agent
Selene Literary

Nay said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your query.
I found aspects of your story very intriguing, however I am not convinced that it is the right project for me.
I’m sure your project will find a home somewhere.
Best of luck to you

-Nay

Annie said...

I'd pass.

reason: the query is too long and too unfocused. I'm interested in the subject, but I'm not convinced that this story won't ramble and go off on tangents.

Nixy Valentine said...

Dear Author:

Unfortunately, I don't feel I'm the right agent for your project.

Notes: I would compact the two summary paragraphs into a stronger, clearer one paragraph hook. I would make that hook focus more on the ACTION of the story. What do people DO as opposed to how they think and feeling. Doing is more interesting than thinking.

Note of personal preference: I would change "queer community" to "GLBT community" or "gay and lesbian community". Queer is an acceptable word for some, not for others, and either way sounds too "slangy" for my taste for a business letter.

Jeni said...

Dear Emily,
Thank you for your query. I sincerely appreciate the opportunity to review your proposal, and found the premise for your manuscript intriguing. However, I’m afraid that the manuscript does not meet my needs at this time. Please do continue to send your work to other agents, as someone else may feel differently.
Best of luck in your publishing endeavors,
Jeni

Sol said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your query. Unfortunately I am unable to request a partial at this time.

Best of luck to you in your search for representation.

Kind regards,
Sol Nima

Julie Weathers said...

Dear Author,

There were interesting points in your submission, but I’m afraid I can’t offer representation. This is a subjective business, and what appeals to one reader doesn’t always appeal to another. With my current workload, I have to be very discriminating and take on only projects I am passionate about.

I urge you to continue your quest to be published and wish you the best of luck.

Sincerely,

J.M. Agent

Jessumby said...

Dear Author

Thank you for sending me your query. I regret to inform you that it does not suit the needs of my list at this time.

Regards, Jessumby

theflightytemptress said...

Dear Becoming Emily Novak,

Thank you for your submission, but unfortunately it’s not for me. Publishing is a very subjective business, though, and another agent may feel differently. Best of luck in your continued search.

Yours,

Kat Brauer

thin said...

o
Dear Author,
While it seems like an interesting premise for a book, I'm sorry to say that I cannot take on the project. Thank you for considering me, and best of luck in the future.
Sincerely,
Thin

Keri Ford said...

Thank you for submitting, but unfortunately I didn’t connect with this story idea.

Good Luck,
Keri

<><><><><><>
You've introduced 5 people in the first sentence. That's a lot for someone who's not at all familiar with your story.

Try to simplify your story so it's not so much at once

The Classic Carol said...

Dear Author of BECOMING EMILY NOVAK:
Thank you for your query. I am interested in reviewing your work. Please forward a synopsis, the first four chapters and a brief resume.

RW said...

Dear Author:

Thank you very much for your query. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to consider your work for representation. As you know, it’s a competitive market these days, and I don’t believe I have the right relationships to sell this project successfully. I do wish you luck in finding an agent and thank you for considering me.

Yours truly,

RW

kdrausin said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your submission. I was intrigued by your query however at this time my client list is full. Please continue to seek representation. You are on the right track.

I wish you luck on your writing journey.

Sincerely,

KDrausin

Polenth said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your submission. I'd be interested in seeing more of your story. Please send me the first three chapters of your book.

--
Polenth

Poppy said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your submission. I am afraid that your work is not right for me at this time, however I would urge you to continue to submit to other agents: this is a subjective business.

Agent

Lisa R said...

Dear Becoming Emily Novak:

Thank you for your query. Unfortunately your project is not right for me. Another agent may feel differently. Best of luck,

Lisa R

Dale - Las Vegas said...

Thank you for your submission but it doesn't seem right for me at this time.

Good luck in the future.

Ulysses said...

Thanks for submitting your query. Unfortunately, I don't feel I am the agent to represent this work.

Deniz Bevan said...

Thank you for your query, but I wouldn't be the right agent in this instance.
I wish you luck finding the right home for your work.
Sincerely,
Ms Agent Agency

Moth said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for submitting your query to Moth's Literary Agency. While your story sounds interesting, I'm afraid it's just not right for us. Best of luck in your writing career.

Sincerely,
Moth

Jabez said...

Thank you for your query. Unfortunately, I do not believe I am the best agent to represent your manuscript. Best of luck in your quest for publication.

Sherry Ficklin said...

Dear Author,
Thank you for thnkig of me, but I'm going to have to pass. Best of luck finding another agent!

Sincerely, Agent Faux

Dara said...

Dear Becoming Emily,

Thank you for your query. Unfortunately I do not think I am the right person for this book. I wish you success in your search for representation.

Best,

Dara

Specifics: I didn't really see enough to hook me, at least in the way of conflict.

John said...

Dear Author,

Thanks for giving me the chance to consider your work. Unfortunately, it's not something I think I can sell at present. I wish you the best of luck in your writing career.

educlaytion said...

Thank you for your submission, but your book is not for me. Good luck in the future.

JuJu said...

Dear Author,

Though your project shows some promise and sounds interesting, unfortunately it is just not the right one for me. Please keep in mind that appeal as a novel is entirely subjective – so keep at it!

Sincerely,
JuJu

Sarah Laurenson said...

Form rejection.


This is an adult novel? With a 13 yr old MC? I suppose it could work. Might be better as MG if the language is right. I didn't get a feel for how much time this covers.

Gregory said...

Dear Author;

Form rejection.

Cordially,

Agent Gregory

[With "Grandpa" I immediately assumed, like others, that this was a YA novel. Wasn't sure what "hiding behind a camera" meant? Kind of like the kid in "American Beauty?" Zack "starts down a reckless path..." Good example of telling, not showing. What are the one or two reckless things Zack does? "...adventures are bring him..." -- grammar. She's aware of the "rising cost of Zack's decisions..." Again, telling, not showing. What costs. Example? Title -- immediately reminded me of "Being John Malkovich." I know... but that's what popped into my head. As others have said, the "queer" word is problematic at best. Other comments here are apropos. The query needs to demonstrate the writer's competence. It doesn't at this point, and doesn't hook.]

lucy in the sky said...

Thank you for your query. Unfortunately I do not believe I am the best person to represent your work.

Soratian said...

Dear Author,

Thanks for your query but I'm afraid that I'll be passing on this. I do like your voice though, so do keep me in mind for your future project.

Best regards,
Soratian

(Comments: This was neck and neck with #43 The Lion's Mane for my final vote. Ultimately, I went with the Lion's Mane as I saw it as something which had weaknesses that could be corrected with some rewriting.)

For me, I like your title and the first paragraph very much. However, I realise that your story spans a rather long period of time, which decided my vote against this story.

The story seems to follow Emily from adolescence all through to adulthood. For me, it's much too long, especially when you start with a specific event- a funeral. I'm expecting a story that takes place in a time-frame of between one week to one summer.

I'd ask you to consider if such a long time-frame is necessary for your themes about finding personal truths and the costs of wilful decisions. A tighter time-frame demands more cohesive plotting, elegance of writing and usually eliminates unnecessary rambling.

I'm also not sure if I agree that this should be sold as literary fiction as you intended. It depends on your writing and the complexity of your story. So maybe not so advisable to come across as having too many expectations about how you see your story being marketed.)

Fairduncan said...

Dear Author

Thanks for querying us. I regret I have to pass on this one, but wish you every success in finding representation.

Cordially Yours,
Agent

Tree said...

Dear Author:
I want to thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to consider your work. Unfortunately, I did not connect well enough with your project to pursue it further. As I'm sure you know, agenting is a very subjective business. Although your project didn't fit with my particular list, another agent may respond very differently.
Please accept my best wishes for success in your writing career and finding the perfect advocate for your work.
Sincerely,
Tree

Savannah Pens said...

Dear Author: Thank you for your query regarding Becoming Emily Novak. However, the work is not right for my agency. Best wishes. Savannah Pens Agent.

Janeal C. Falor said...

Thank you for the opportunity to look at you work. Unfortunately, I don't feel this is the right project for me.

Janeal C. Falor said...

Thank you for the opportunity to look at you work. Unfortunately, I don't feel this is the right project for me.

Sun Up said...

Dear Author,

After reading your query and careful consideration, I would be interested in you sending the first three chapters of your manuscript. Please email me at agentalicia@literaryplace.com

Please do not send attachments. Copy/Paste into body of the email.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Laurie said...

Dear Author,

I would love to read your complete manuscript! Please send it to me as soon as possible.

Emily and Zack sound like fully rounded characters and I look forward to reading their story and hopefully representing you with this and future projects.

All the best,
Laurie

P.S. The word "queer" gave me pause. I would drop that in future queries.

Heather Harper said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your submission. After careful consideration, I regret that I’m unable to request your manuscript at this time.

Best,
Agent for a day

Sophie W. said...

Dear Author of Becoming Emily Novak ,

Although your work shows merit, I cannot request further materials at this time. Keep in mind that this business is terribly subjective, and you'll probably get the chance to thumb your nose at me in the future.

Love,

Sophie

Lipstick Lizzie said...

Dear Author,

Thanks for the chance to look at your work. Unfortunately, I don’t think I’m the right agent for this project.

Best of luck,
Lizzie

Venus Vaughn said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your query, your project doesn't meet my needs at this time.
Best of luck to you in your writing career.

~Venus Vaughn

Meggrs said...

Rejection. Story outline is lofty without being detailed enough to catch my interest.

This is only further reinforced with "and there are niche marketing opportunities for Jews and queers."

Wha? At what point in your query was I supposed to get a sense that Judiasm or homosexuality shape any part of the story?

Show, don't tell.

Amethyst Greye Alexander said...

Dear Author,

I've reviewed your query but am afraid your project isn't a good fit with the works I represent. I hope you won't let this discourage you, however, as every agent has different tastes and you're sure to find representation that will better suit your needs.

Thank you for considering me.
Amethyst Adams

Anonymous said...

Form Rejection.

Agent DC

Maryann Miller said...

Thank you for considering out agency for representation. Unfortunately, we are going to have to pass.

Wandering Spirit said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for taking the time to submit your query. Although your story shows potential it is unfortunately of a genre that I am not best suited to represent. However, all writing is of value and I wish you the best in your endeavours.

Best wishes

Agent for a Day

JohnO said...

Dear Author,

I'm going to pass here, mostly because I didn't get hooked. What's special about Emily? What's she up against?

Best,
Agent

Kats said...

Dear Author,

Thanks for your query. I find your premise interesting and would love to read more of Becoming Emily Novak. Please send me the first three chapters as soon as possible.

Best,
Agent for a Day, Kats

* The mention of Prep swayed me here as I love that book!

Bertha Lavelle said...

Dear Author,
thank you for your query.
While I found elements of it compelling, I did not see enough of a plot arc to make me eager to see the full manuscript,
Best of luck in finding it a home,
All the best
Bertha

Pinkie said...

Dear Author,

I would have been more impressed had you shown me your talent rather than told me about it. I cannot accept this project based on what you sent me.

Thanks.
CPK

Lupina said...

Thank you but it's not for me at this time.

Patti K. said...

Thank you for your submission but I do not believe that it is right for me at this time. Good luck on your quest to find the perfect agent.

Patti K.

Sara Cox Landolt said...

Dear Author,
I received and read your query. I'm going to pass. I was a little overwhelmed with characters. Instead, you could focus on Emily and why she is compelling and what her quest is?
Best to you,
Agent SCl

Larry Writer said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your query, unfortunately this is not the right project for me.
Another agent may very well have a different view.

Best regards,

Larry

(The story had som potential, but there wasn't much of a plot disclosed. Also, even if I am interested in marketing, I would not as an author tell my agent-to-be who my readers are likely to be or compare it to other books. I would expect the agent to form his/her own opinion and then tell me what the market looks like.)

Lois Lavrisa said...

Dear Author,

While I appreciate your consideration of our agency, I will have to pass on your project.

I am sorry to say I did not have the passionate response to it that I would need to request more or offer you representation.

Obviously you want an agent who will stand enthusiastically behind your work.

Additionally, given today’s publishing climate I do not believe I would be able to get you the attention from a publisher that your book deserves.

Publishing is very subjective, though, and another agent may well feel differently.

I do wish you success in finding representation and, once again, thank you for the opportunity to consider your work.

Sincerely,

Lois Lavrisa
Agent for a day

The Writers Canvas said...

Thanks for your submission. At the present time, it doesn't fit our list. I wish you the best with another agent who might be a better fit.

Elaine

(good premise, just not a good fit for us)

Lucy said...

Dear Becoming Emily Novak: Thanks so much for contacting me. Unfortunately, I just don't feel that I am the right person to represent your work. Best of luck in your search for an agent. Sincerely, L. C.

Maricar said...

Dear Author,
Thank you for your query. However, your work does not fit our needs at this time. Best of luck.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your query, but I'm afraid this isn't right for me.

Raven56 said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for querying "Agent for a Day" Agency. Unfortunately, we do not feel this story is a good fit for our list at this time. We encourage you to continue querying other agents.

Best of luck,

Raven56

cwsherwoodedits said...

Thanks for your query. I'm going to have to pass.

Anonymous said...

Please send the complete manuscript.

Thank you,

Agent y

Dorine White said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your query, but the work isn't for me.

Thank you,
Agent for a day

Anonymous said...

Dear Author,

Thank your for your interest in our agency. Do please send the full manuscript. I look forward to reading it.

Sincerely,

Agent.

(I LOVED this query.)

Horserider said...

Dear Author:

Thank you for allowing us to consider your work. I’m sorry to say that this is not something we are interested in at this time. We receive hundreds of submissions every week and, unfortunately, cannot take them all on. This is a very subjective business and I wish you luck on your journey to publication.

Sincerely,

Horserider Literary Agency

Just_Me said...

*stares at query*

Have I seen you before?

I'm putting you in my MAYBE pile but I think you may have landed an agent elsewhere.

*wonders if Googling titles is cheating*

Audrey E said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for query. I'm afraid that this piece isn't right for me and I will have to pass at this time.

Yours,
Audrey

Tamara said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your query. I wish you the best of luck finding a home for this project, but after consideration, I have to say it's not for me.

Best wishes,
Agent for a Day
(Tamara)

TFree said...

Thank you for considering me. Unfortunately, this piece isn’t right for me at this time. Good luck with this and future endeavors.

TF

super agent nicole said...

Thank you for taking the time to submit your query. Unfortunately, I am unable to offer representation at this time.

Thank you,
Nicole

sKim said...

Thank you for sending this original proposal. We regret that it doesn't suit our needs at the moment. Best of luck to you.

Newbee said...

Form Rejection...

Taymalin said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your submission, but this story is not for me at this time. Best of luck with your future endeavors,

Taymalin

Jeannie said...

Thank you for querying our agency. Unfortunately your project is not what we’re looking to represent at this time. Best of luck.
- Jeannie

Marilyn Peake said...

Dear Author of BECOMING EMILY NOVAK:

Thank you for your query. I regret to inform you that I cannot offer you representation at this time. Please do not in any way interpret this as meaning that your book doesn’t have merit. Your writing credentials are very impressive, and I wish you all the best in your search for a literary agent.

Sincerely,
Writerly Angst Literary Agent

00 Pisces said...

Dear Author,
Thank you for your query. Your project sounds promising, but not riveting. I'm afraid I'm going to have to pass. Best of luck to you.

00Pisces

austere said...

Dear Author #40

I’m afraid I have to regret.

Keep writing, and good luck with the words.

Regards,

ros said...

Sorry, I don't really know what your book is about. What risks does Emily have to take? What's the point of conflict? Does anything actually happen? You needed to give away more in your query to hook me, I'm afraid. That's a no.

Elizabeth said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your query. Unfortunately, I do not feel strongly enough about the work to request further material.

Best regards,

Agent Elizabeth

Janny said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for querying me with BECOMING EMILY NOVAK. Unfortunately, this story didn't "grab" me enough to make me want to keep reading, and so I'm taking a pass on it at this time. Keep in mind, though, that publishing is extremely subjective; what doesn't work for me might well work for another agent, so I wish you good luck in placing this elsewhere.

Sincerely,
Janny

Shawntelle said...

Dear Author,

Thanks for your submission today. I am afraid I must pass since the premise didn't grab me. Good luck in seeking representation.

Sincerely,

Shawntelle

bveggie said...

reject- but only because the query didn't fill in needed info.

Ego said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for submitting your work. I regret I am not sufficiently enthusiastic to represent you at present. Note that this is a personal reaction and you may have success elsewhere.

Regards,

Ego

Thermocline said...

Thank you for your query. I do not believe I am the best agent for your project. I wish you the best with finding a home for your novel.

(I never got a sense of what risks Zach is taking that Emily is not.)

Anonymous said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your query. I’ll pass on this one. Good luck in your endeavors.

Regards,

Lindsey S.

Aimless Writer said...

No thanks.
(I have no idea what the plot is about or what sets it apart from other books.)

Kristin said...

Dear Author,
Thank you for submitting your query; however, I am sorry to say that I will not be pursuing it any further. It does not fit my list at this time, but there are many agents out there and I would encourage you to continue submitting to those who rep your genre.
Regards,
KM

Marybeth said...

Dear Author,

I regret to inform you that I am unable to represent your manuscript. Although there is promise to this story, I do not believe I am am the best agent to market this genre. Best of luck to you in the future.

Sincerely,
Marybeth

Professor I.M. Diphthong said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your submission. Unfortunately this is not what I am looking for.

Agent Yard Oaf said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for submitting your query. You have some interesting ideas, but I don't feel that I could adequately represent your book.

Best wishes,

Agent Yard Oaf

Tyler said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Steve Stubbs said...

Send pages. Nathan Bransford would turn this thing down, but I am intrigued by your qualifications and previous writing credits. Don't send very many pages though - maybe ten. OK, make it fifteen.

If you hear a loud whoop from the general direction of the 212 area code, you don't have to wait on my breathless telephone call. You're in.

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