A plaintive wail from the comment column of my recent post on shooting yourself in the foot:
I can't tell you how often I do not make any of the mistakes listed here, or on other agent's websites. I think I'm taking exquisite care and considering every nuance and detail. And I still can't get a full request.
Here's where you might want to invest some of your hard earned cash in a writing conference or writing class. It's time to get some help on what's not working. There are a lot of good conferences every year. I'll be at Grub Street's Muse in Marketplace in Boston on May 5 but they offer classes and workshops throughout the year. Many agents list their upcoming conferences on their websites. PennWriters has an outstanding annual conference, as does Rocky Mountain Writers
Look for a conference that gives you a chance to get your work looked at by agents and editors NOT just writers. Writers can help you with writing, structure, and pacing but agents and editors are the ones to ask about why your work isn't getting past the slush pile.