February 6th, 2009


letters from the query wars

# of queries read this week: 84
# of partials/manuscripts requested: 1
genre of partials/manuscripts requested: fantasy

this week's casualty: the person who sent me the same exact query for the 4th time in as many months (they're like clock-work -- I could almost set my watch by it)

So, last week I tried to explain how I view the option to re-query. And I have to admit that the above-referenced casualty almost made me want to withdraw my willingness to be open to this. I don't want to be discouraging. The submissions process is challenging and writing a pitch and opening pages that will stand out takes talent and perseverance. But I have to admit that the person doing the resubmitting has a responsibility to the process too. And it should include more than just wash, rinse, repeat. The kind of stubborn persistence displayed by the above casualty only ends up feeling like a battering ram. It's a spam-a-licious behavior that doesn't appear to accomplish anything from my point of view (unless you count ranting on my blog as accomplishing something). And I really don't think it's fair to the other writers out there, particularly the next one in the queue who didn't get their query read this week. (There's just over 170 in the queue at present....)

Another thing that I find puzzling are the people who email to request submission guidelines. On the one hand, it's a good idea to get them. On the other, the email address the person is using ends in maassagency.com, which also happens to be the website that has the submission guidelines. I have to admit that if they can send an email but refuse to do the smallest amount of legwork on their own, I may think that says something about how seriously they are taking their writing career.

Writing may be [challenging, rewarding, compulsive, illuminating, exhausting, satisfying, demanding, insert your description here], and I've heard a lot of people say that writing queries is even more difficult than the novel itself. Do you feel that way? What do you think is the hardest thing about writing a query?
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