Saturday, May 09, 2015

Query question: agents asking where you're querying

 I have a question about terminology. I received a request for a full along with a detailed synopsis "...and a list of submissions to other agencies or publishers, if any." I wasn't sure if this meant a list of queries sent or just a list of any agencies or publishers who also have the full ms.

It means a list of places that are looking at your manuscript. That's a submission. A query is only a query.

Those kinds of blanket requests bring out my inner curmudgeon too. I'm tempted to say "what the hell business is it of yours?"

On the other hand, if I've read your ms, and liked it, and want to discuss how fabulous I will be for your career, only to discover that other agents have their mitts on the manuscript too; well, then, I DO ask who has it cause if it's Barbara Poelle, I know to deliver a case of vodka to her office to distract her.


Ardenwolfe said...

I must admit, I understand the question about publishers. But agents? That kind of throws me.

Unknown said...

So what is an author to do in this case? I too would be sorely tempted to say none of your business, but isn’t that a bit of biting the hand that feeds you? On the other hand (bad pun usage, sorry), we’ve all been trained to strap on a jet pack and take off every time an agent says jump. And it really puts the author in a tough spot, where whatever the author does is unlikely to help his cause. If your book is already on submission to Janet Reid (congratulations) and you tell the agent, she might think the manuscript is hot and read it right away, or, she might get worried that reading the manuscript is a waste of time because if Janet offers then the author won’t sign with me. And what if Janet then fails to offer? The book must be terrible. Alternatively, if the author says the book is not on submission to anybody the agent might think the book is a dud, or that she has all the time in the world to read it, or that she better read it right quick so she’s the only one fighting for it. I hope the agent eventually recognizes that some authors are already neurotic enough, even without these kinds of terrible conundrums, and stops asking these kinds of questions until she at least tells the author she is seriously interested.

In the end, I think I’d answer the question. The agent is a future business partner. Honesty is usually, no, always the best policy there. And best to find out right away if she’s going to treat you well and be responsive. If she reads the book in a week, and she tells me that she loves it, well those are pretty good indicators that she might be the right agent for me.

ProfeJMarie (Janet Rundquist) said...

I am pretty open and flexible about lots of things and rarely get too worked up about most of this query and submission process.

However, this question would make me extremely uncomfortable and I'd be inclined to answer vaguely (such as, "3 other agents/agencies have my full manuscript - answering with a number, but no names). You either love my manuscript enough or not. The "competition" shouldn't matter. And if it does, you probably aren't the right agent for me.

Of course, I was never asked this, so I suppose I might react differently when faced with the actual scenario, but this is my gut feel.

Ellipsis Flood said...

Something that confuses me:

This question assumes that querying is a serial process rather than the parallel one ("query widely") it is.

So what if you turn out to be the next Lee Child and agents are having pit fights over your ms? By the time you send your queries, you know nothing about this yet, so you could only mention the actual queries you sent.

...and there I thought I'd left those botherful asynchronous requests at work.

Unknown said...

Maybe it's simply a matter of time management. If it's out on submission to 12 different agencies, the agent knows she better hustle it up. If she's the only one; she has more time. And if that were the case I might want to bracket it by saying it was in the early process of querying. *If that were true, of course.

Anonymous said...

I ran into one of those agencies a while back after someone said, "Julie! Agent ABC is looking for a story like yours."

It just makes me want to go all Scarlett O'Hara (or better yet, Regina Grace Waverly DuMonde, my Civil War vampire) on them.

A shadow crosses over me, but I continue to fan myself and look the other way as if I hadn't noticed. "Err, Miss DuMonde?"

I halt the fan and drop it just my neckline. Some of the ladies have poseys tucked in their bodices, but I've never found it necessary to be so bold in drawing attention to my assets. Mr. Darby peeps over the ivory fence at my rounded breasts and then looks up, blushing. "Miss DuMonde. I was wondering if your dance card is full? Has anyone else asked you to dance?"

I gasp and slap at his leg playfully with the fan. "Why Mr. Cosby. You know a gentleman never asks a lady her age, her weight, or if her dance card is full."

He blushes again. A man whose blood rises so easily is so--delicious.

"Pardon, Miss Du--"

"It's fine, Mr. Cosby. I know what you meant." I pull my dance card from the small velvet pouch at my wrist and study it. "I have an opening at the end of the third set," I say brightly.

He grins. "Thank you so much. I shall call for you then. May I get you something to drink?"

"Oh, no, but thank you. I'm quite content."

In truth, my entire dance card is open since I had been occupied seducing and killing Harrison Baird McLeod until moments ago, but it's just so uncouth to ask if a lady's card is full or who she is dancing with. Manners, gentlemen, manners.

Bah, sorry. Obviously, I've been ignoring Regina and she's letting me know.

I've run across some of these agencies and haven't queried them as yet because it seems like bad manners to me, but I may have to if no one wants to dance with me.

Anonymous said...

The problem with that is they may well ask you for the names. I do have X fulls and partials out, so I could answer truthfully, but I'm not comfortable querying agencies who want this information.

Colin Smith said...

Julie: You're a riot! :)

I see no reason to get hung up about this. If an agent wants to know how many queries I've sent out, the answer ought to be, "lots--I hope you weren't expecting an exclusive!" But when it comes to a full request, I presume the agent requests because she is interested. If whether or not she is the only one requesting makes a difference to whether she reads it, then why request? She's not interested enough in the ms., she's just concerned about being left out. I doubt very much this would be the case with most good agents, though. I assume most good agents would ask who else has the ms because they're very interested and they want to weigh the competition. If the agent is the only agent looking at it right now, then she does a happy dance and reads it ASAP so she can get an offer in first.

Many things in life really aren't worth worrying about. This, I think, is one of them.

LynnRodz said...

Omg, Janet, I spit out my tea reading about Barbara Poelle! Between you and many of your commenters (Case in point, Julie's comment! Thank goodness I didn't have any more tea in my cup.) you really need to put a warning label on your blog:

For the safety of your electronic equipment, eat or drink at your own risk while reading this blog.

Yesterday I read in the archives real praise for BP (she listened to 75 pitches) and then today's post got me thinking, if you ever want to give Barbara a unique gift, you can make a book just from all the comments you've made about her. You could call it, LOVE LETTERS FROM THE SHARK TO THE POELLE (work with me here) or something like that. It could even be a picture book with illustrations from many of us who draw, paint, sketch, etc.

Okay, okay, I better go make another pot of tea.

Donnaeve said...

If the request for a synopsis and who else has it was listed as part of the usual querying process up front, then I'd be all like, "what the hell?"

Here's what I see as good news. It sounds like it was asked for AFTER the fact, which IMO, sounds encouraging..., i.e. more like Ms. Janet's non-curmudgeonly response. Maybe they're wondering who they might have to pre-empt..., or..., who they should send the vodka to. Wouldn't that be GREAT? Hey! Maybe they're wondering who they might go to auction against. THAT would be epic!

I hope it's something like the above two scenarios for the questioner. Anyway, this is how my brain works on stuff like this, known as the woodland creature way of trying to read between the lines. Then again, if this is a standard thing they do (no way to know) then maybe none of the above matters. That was the direction my head went though.

Unknown said...

Personally I wouldn't have any problem supplying agency names. I fall into Colin's camp on this one.

Dena Pawling said...

My dance card is non-existent because I'm the type of person who trips over the larger air molecules. Last Tuesday I fell out of an elevator that stopped half an inch below the floor level. Too bad that courthouse didn't hear PI cases lol. My fall from grace was witnessed by more than 20 people, so the court manager was REAL nice to me as I completed the incident report lol

Was there a question today? Sorry, my knee still hurts.

I think I'd be inclined to "misread" the question and start by mentioning just the number of full requests out. Then if I was specifically asked for names, I'd give them. This assumes, of course, that multiple folks were actually reading it. My ms is not the edgy/gritty which seems to be what's selling right now.

The Sleepy One said...

I've been asked this before when an agent has requested a full manuscript. No one has requested specific names, but have asked "Please let me know if any agents are looking at this." I had no problem saying it was also out with several other agents. One agent asked if any publishers had seen my manuscript. She didn't request the manuscript before I said no.

Note: two different friends have ended up with offers of rep from more than one agent. Both disclosed the other agents who'd offered rep to the other agents.

Anonymous said...


Well, there is a reason I keep a completely stocked veterinary supply cabinet at the house, and it isn't because Gage the Wonder Dog is accident prone. Vet supplies are as effective as human supplies, come in much larger quantities and are cheaper. Except Robitussin cough syrup. That's cheaper to buy copious amounts of generic human stuff and explain to the store manager you are in fact not cooking drugs and are actually buying 40 bottles of cough syrup for horses.

So, you have company. I hope you're all right. I have some neon pink leg wrap that would make your knee look awesome!

There's definitely two sides to this question. If I queried someone who asked the question because say an agent had the cosmic blue shirt and other attributes I can't resist, I'd answer truthfully, but I wouldn't want to. I know agents know you are querying elsewhere, but when a querier comes back and says, "I have three fulls and seven partials out" does that make the author look like a query butterfly? Will they be more inclined to read or not want to bother?

Requests for partials and fulls really don't mean much, after all. There's certainly no commitment. There's simply heightened interest.

Julie said...

Why is it naive of me just to want to answer the question straight? What am I missing? If I overstate my cards, I come off looking arrogant; understate and come off looking falsely humble (and thereby possibly arrogant in a different way).

I figure I'll let the MS speak for me and not who else has it. (Shrug). And if the Agent's a jerk, pretty sure that'll come out at some point before my name's on the dotted line - but I'm not fabulous at making the "jerk/non-jerk" call.

I recently had to post to a social media individual: "Actually, I'm a horrible human being; I have leprosy; and I smell like cheese. And my husband was just released from prison for serial homicide - he convinced them he didn't do it. Chainsaws."

So maybe my naivete bar isn't set quite at the appropriate height.

But at least I'm no longer getting random calls from Baltimore. :)

DLM said...

Julia, it just feels presumptuous. A submission is great and all, but it's not a commitment, and getting into particulars like these feels early. It's like being on a first date and getting asked how many kids you want or whether you'll convert religion at the wedding. Even the BEST first date - bit soon for stuff like that.

For an agent to ask this question is fine and reasonable at a certain point. It's strategic knowledge they deserve to have - at a certain point. But until I know they've actually reached that point (and the initial submission request is not that point), it feels "a bit much."

If I were in the situation, I might give a numerical answer, or I might give particulars. It would depend on MY interest in the agent ASKING. If I were pretty het up about them, I'd probably be specific. But if the query had just been a "take a shot" and they were getting this cozy at this point, I might just do the numbers. It is, on our side, every bit as subjective as it is on the agents' side. I don't believe there's a one size fits all answer for ... well, anything, in the query trenches.

Anonymous said...

Yes! That was what I was trying to say - a week ago, I think - a query is only a query. It's not a submission. Now, if only I could remember what I was addressing when I was trying to say that...

I don't think having other agents know who a manuscript has been submitted to will hurt your chances. I really doubt they'll use it to judge you or your novel. They'll probably use that information more to prioritize their reading - as some have said, if a lot of others are reading the partial/full submission, the agent might look at it earlier, so they're not caught by surprise if one or seven other agents offer representation before they do.

Agents know you're sending your material out. Agents know you're most likely querying wide. I honestly don't see any negatives to answering the question honestly and fully. I don't know exactly *why* they want to know, but I don't see anything negative in it. And I can see the negatives in anything.

Which is just what Colin said. And Donnaeve. And others. Only shorter.

I'm happy I'm not the only klutz here! I can sprain an ankle stepping off a low curb. I was once wakened by an early morning phone call after a very late night, and wound up running into a wall on my way to answer it. I have learned to be VERY careful when walking, going down steps (that fall head first down a flight of stairs on my trip to NYC has really made me suspicious of steps), and to avoid all ice, because I know one of these days when I inevitably fall, I'll break a leg. I'm not as young as I used to be.

I am unreasonably happy this morning. My furnace just turned on, after days of nearly-freezing weather. Yes, I need to do something about the furnace. I just want to wait until the summer when I might (hopefully) be able to afford a new one.

I got sushi today. And you know what they say, "If you see sushi like I see sushi..." (ducks behind a wall in anticipation of groans)

angie Brooksby-Arcangioli said...

If the writer admitted that other agents asked for fulls and declined would that put out the fire?

Like teachers read last year's report card, think "can't give an 'A' Master Buttonweavar failed him."

Unknown said...

"Many things in life really aren't worth worrying about. This, I think, is one of them."

Colin, I think this is very good advice.

I am trying so hard not to to over think anything about the querying process. If asked, I will answer with the names of the other agents who have pages, and then go back to distracting myself with Tweetdeck.

ProfeJMarie (Janet Rundquist) said...

Julia, I definitely don't think it's naive at all to answer straight. And maybe it does no harm.

To clarify why this situation makes me uncomfortable: As a querier, I'm already nervous and on tenterhooks waiting for the "yes". I've sent out 45 queries and this agent is my first request for a full. Now s/he has asked me who else has it. "Um, no one." Now I feel like this request has no chance at all.

Or, I've sent out 20 queries and have 3 fulls out. Now "rock star agent 007" wants to know who has them. I say "new agent X", "lesser known agent Y", and "so-so agent Z". Does it make me look less appealing if the so-so agents are the only ones requesting?

Sure, Rock Star Agent 007 might be thinking, "heh, those agents have no idea that I'm going to swoop in and make a killing on this manuscript" but... it's just so hard to know and all I've got sometimes is my instinct. This "who else has it" question is one of those things that my instinct says, "I don't like it."

You can have a great interview with a potential employee/employer, have great references, and still not know if it's all going to work out, so probably just answering the question straight up is the best, "don't-overthink-it" way to go, though, huh?

John "Ol' Chumbucket" Baur said...

I keep coming back to the image of the negotiation between writer and ptential agent less like a job interview and more like a high school mating dance – there's the flirtation (OMG OMG OMG! I think he LIKES me!) and the courtship, and at the end of the ritual – the prom! I mean, the offer to represent. And then if things don't work out, the nightlong ice cream binge texting all your friends (Why does he like HER instead of me?)
And in that regard, you want to appear desireable but not unapproachable. And the object of your affection wants to know what HIS chances are, what's the competition? Does he have to move fast? Can he take his time?
Jeez, I['m getting acne just thinking about it.
Or in another sense, it's a little like a poiker game. You want to make the other players think your hand is stronger than it is, but you never want to show all your cards.

Anonymous said...


"If the writer admitted that other agents asked for fulls and declined would that put out the fire?"

*Takes a sip of minted tea* Miss Angie, a lady never discusses rejections in polite company, or otherwise I might add. We simply put them out of our mind and set our sights on that dashing Mr. Beauregard Sherman.

Anonymous said...


You're making me very sad. I apparently screwed up the whole high school mating thing and did it all wrong. What the heck did I miss out on?


Anonymous said...

Angie, I think 'admitted' is the wrong word. It makes it sounds like the writer did something wrong. They didn't. This is business. The writer might 'divulge that information', the writer might simply shrug and say, "Yeah. Ms Awesome Agent has it. And Mr Also Awesome Agent. And that lovely Mrs Agently at Terribly Awesome Literary Agency." But a writer should never have to 'admit' to being businesslike.

You don't tell them if any have declined though. That's not what's being asked. They just want to know who is looking at it NOW. At this very point in time. Past and future doesn't matter.

Prof Rundquist: You don't answer, 'um, no one'. Spin it. You answer, "No one is looking at it at this time." Or "Yet." "You are currently the only ones looking at it." That just shows that you're confident there will be more, but at this very point in time, the requesting agent has a (very tenuous) 'exclusive'. Or simply that they're 'first'. Like the first commenter of the day here on the blog, it's a teensy triumph, but it won't last long.

Agents KNOW you're sending your work out to others.

Perhaps the reason they ask is sort of a compensation for no longer asking for an exclusive. Instead of saying, "We want to be the only ones looking at this," they ask, "Who else is?" Since they no longer have the confidence that they're the only one reading it, they want to know how many other agents they'll need to out-read.

Ice cream this time. Though neither of the pictures looked like the example (the example was someone scooping ice cream out of a box; the chosen ones were ice cream cones)

Jennifer R. Donohue said...

The more I think about high school, the more I wonder why I even wanted to go to the prom. I wasn't "dating" anybody, I didn't (and still don't) dance, etc. etc. I took male friends both times (junior and senior) and had fun, that I recall. Still have the dresses too....those things are expensive! Though I'll probably end up donating them to one of those places that makes 'em available for kids who can't buy their own.

But yeah, agents. Submissions. Erm. I guess it makes sense, to want to know if the full is anywhere else (especially, perhaps, if that "anywhere else" is a publisher which might then offer a contract which needs navigating)

Dena Pawling said...

Julie, I'm fine, thanks for asking. My foot went numb for a few hours, kinda like when you bang your elbow and your hand goes numb. And my knee is gouged but it'll be okay in a week or so. I'll be at that courthouse again this coming week, tho, and I'd love to have a hot pink knee lol

So I'm here at my local RWA meeting now. Our afternoon speaker is a literary agent talking about querying. She's taking pitches after the meeting, so I bit the bullet and signed up. I'm #1 on the sign up sheet! I hope I have fingernails left when the meeting is over lol. I'm gonna be outlining my pitch and practicing it during the morning session and at lunchtime. I have three hours to prepare. I also need to google her again to remind myself what she reps.

Court seems easier than this =)

Anonymous said...


My contact info is on my blog if you want fresh eyes on anything. Good luck with the pitch and I'm glad you're ok. We laugh about them, but falls, even minor looking ones can be serious.

Want me to send a fairie dragon to keep you company while you heal? They can get kind of surly, and pompous (typical little dragon complex) but they're great conversationalists.

LynnRodz said...

Okay, getting back on topic, less is more in this case. You tell them who has your ms because bottom line, as Janet pointed out, she wants to know who's competing with her so she can distract them with vodka. You don't volunteer information that wasn't asked, like who read the full but passed on it.

If no one else has asked and this agent is the first, you just say, "You're the first, so far." Like bjm said, it shows you're confident there will be more. And if you haven't queried far and wide, I would add, "You're one of the first agents I've queried." This way the agent knows to jump on it before others become interested as well.

Angie, I see we now have Felix's cousin, Master Buttonweavar, joining us. I believe he's a distant relative to the Buttonloomer clan.

Rob, Rob, Rob, you are a woodland creature par excellence! (Then again, aren't we all?)

Break a leg, Dena! (Opps, considering your situation maybe I should just say, good luck!)

Anonymous said...

The submission instructions say "list of submissions to other agencies or publishers, if any."

Personally, if no one had the manuscript, I wouldn't be offering any information. The less you say, the better. They don't need to know if they're the first or the 90th. All they want to know about is active submissions out there.

Karen McCoy said...

LOL, Julie! Your post reminded me of this.

Like Angie, I'd be hesitant to show all my trump cards at once(especially those that might not be in my favor). So I think Lynn's advice is sound.

But I'd probably would anyway--I think it's the librarian in me. I'm too honest for my own good. My husband keeps telling me I'd make one of the world's worst criminals.

Lisa Bodenheim said...

Dena: yes, good luck with your pitch!

All of this thinking and conversing here feels way over the head of this woodland creature. Think I'll stay in hiding today and watch. But great biting humor--several of you in top form.

(whining: I only get numbers anymore. Feeling very left out)

Craig F said...

Is that the point where you incredulously ask if they want an exclusive (go steady in John's parallel universe)?

Then you can start asking how long it will take to read it and how much an exclusive is worth. You know, negotiation with aces and eights.

I got pizza this times.

Anonymous said...


Yes, deal me that dead man's hand. It's sure an omen of good tidings.

Anonymous said...

Julie, that fairie dragon is adorable! I want one.

Now I can't remember what else I was going to say.

OH! I was going to tell Colin I hope TS Ana moves out faster than they're predicting and that he doesn't have any flooding to deal with down there on the coast. None of the rain bands have made it this far inland yet, although we get a nice gust of wind every once in a while.

On topic, if an agent asked me a question, I'd figure they had a good reason for wanting to know and I'd answer it. But now, reading all these other comments, I'm starting to think I need to be more neurotic about it. Or something. Thanks, guys. Thanks a lot.

Dena, good luck! The only time I ever pitched to an agent was that same situation, at a chapter meeting. She was very enthusiastic and requested a partial, which I never sent. I cringe when I think about how clueless I was back then.

Blogger made me look at bread. Blogger hates me.

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

I once had to list all the agents I had sent a query to, regarding a manuscript an editor was reading for me. The list was so long it was embarrassing. Needless to say, the editor was not enamored by what I had written.
Then I realized, because no fulls were requested by all those amazing agents, "it was the query stupid."

Colin Smith said...

kd: Thanks, but we're not right on the coast--"Coastal Plain" they call it--so we're getting intermittent spells of heavy rain, but nothing really tropical storm-ish. At least not yet. :) I don't think the forecasts for us say anything beyond rain and potential thunderstorms.

Donnaeve said...

Dang, Colin. I thought I knew where you were, but maybe you're further east and little north of me. (?)

We've had one hellacious initial band come through here- winds whipping hurricane style (probably only around 35-40 but it seemed hurricane'ish) with a "white out" downpour. It stopped. The sun came out, and now it's raining again. Last I saw, the "eye" would go right over where I'm at.


Donnaeve said...


KD, I didn't know you were in NC too! How'd I miss that?

Anonymous said...

Julie - good point about not saying anything if there are no other active submissions.

If I'm not too late - good luck, Dena! If I am too late - you did a great job!

I keep getting sandwiches. Does Blogger know I can't eat them? But at least they're easy to pick out among the cake, sushi, and other foods.

Anonymous said...

Donna, yep, I'm in Raleigh. For some reason, I thought you were in the NC mountains. But I also thought Colin was at the beach. CLEARLY, my hermit brain is trying to place the two of you as far away as possible within the state, to avoid potential contact in real life. ;-)

Julie said...

I've lots of family in the Research Triangle area - both sides with sibs and their families in Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill & surrounding towns. :) Be safe, all.

Colin Smith said...

kd: If you plan to be at Bouchercon in Raleigh this year, then your plans will be foiled. Both Donna and I will be there, and we'll hunt you down... ;)

DLM said...

We should find some good mid-Atlantic event where those of us in the MD/Carolina/Virginia area can all meet. Not to self-serve or anything, but the James River Writers Conference is in October ...


Dena Pawling said...

Thanks for all your good luck wishes, even LynnRodz who wants me to break a leg despite reading my elevator story =)

Someone must have told this lovely literary agent that SoCal has been in the 80s and 90s for the last two months, which is true, but it rained yesterday and today was cloudy and cold [which for us means 60s]. Said lovely agent wore a sleeveless dress, and if I'd been wearing a sleeveless dress today, I'd have been FREEZING! But she wasn't shivering or rubbing her arms, so she must have been enjoying our weather even tho the rest of us were wearing sweaters.

She spoke on queries, synopses, and loglines [I can see Janet shuddering even as I type that last one lol]. With the exception of loglines, everything in her hour-long talk was something I've already learned here and on Query Shark, no surprises, which made me feel slightly less clueless than I usually do.

She reps romance, not women's fiction, but she listened to my pitch and gave me pointers on which parts to emphasize. She also said that altho she'd probably send me a rejection, she invited me to email her my query and first few pages, and if I reminded her in the first line of the query that I'd pitched her today, she'd try to send me a personalized rejection with a short sentence or two regarding the quality of my query and first pages.

I still have all my fingernails!

General things I learned [not specific to my actual pitch] -
1. She was very nice and polite.
2. I'm pretty sure she puts her pants on one leg at a time, just like the rest of us.
3. I need to practice a one-minute pitch.
4. I'd rather be in court.

Definitely worth my stress tho.

ProfeJMarie (Janet Rundquist) said...

Dena (and any others) - are you a member of the Womens Fiction Writers Association?

No pressure to join, just thought I'd throw it out here in case you weren't aware such an org exists. I know I was happy to find it since often forums and whatnot are often heavy with YA writers and harder to find like-minded writers in the genre.


Anonymous said...

Well done, Dena! And how nice of her to offer feedback. That was my take on the one pitch I did, as well. A learning process and well worth the stress (just to get the first one over with). The one big surprise I had was when she asked about what else I was writing or planning to write and asked about plans for my career. I remember sitting there, speechless, "Career? She thinks I have a career?"

Colin and Donna, yes, I plan to be at B'con. I even finally registered, although I might be sleeping on a park bench in Moore Square if hotel rooms don't open up. *sigh* You'll recognize me by the oak leaves and pine straw in my hair.

Craig F said...

Donna, quit being a wimp. You could live in Oklahoma.

Roses, first time I have seen those on Captcha

Anonymous said...

Yay Dena! High fives!

Sandwiches again. Tease.

Julie said...

I'm pretty sure that everyplace in this country has its own weather disasters.

Except California.

California is practicing Armageddon.

Dena Pawling said...

Yep, that was my first ever pitch session, and I survived =)

WFWA is on my list of things to do this year. Thanks for mentioning it and reminding me.

Sam Hawke said...

I've come across this a fair bit, predominantly when querying UK agents. I've found it's a really common question even in submission guidelines over there. It always feels so awkward putting it in your query. The MS is with 5 other agencies (which reads like, haha sorry you're low on my list!). The MS is not currently with any other agencies (no-one wants me, don't even bother reading this). Just one more thing to overthink. :)

angie Brooksby-Arcangioli said...


LOL, I forgot the lady etiquette my mother tried and still trys to bake into my brain. Her eyes are lasers.

BJ says it the way I can hear it. It's business. Admitedly word choice is key.

Good luck to the OP.

Congrats Dena, hope your knee is okay.

Stephanie said...

I had an agent ask this in addition to requesting a full, and when I told her the full was out with two other agents and a small publisher, she balked and said no thanks, no way. She wanted a three month exclusive and said it was out far too widely for her to even consider, and she was kind of short about it- as if she was going me a favor. After that, I crossed her off my list and moved on.

LynnRodz said...

Dena, courtroom drama is like being on stage in a theater. I couldn't resist, bruised leg and all. Sorry.

Well, this is a first, I got to choose wines. Right up my alley!

Dena Pawling said...

LynnRodz, a colleague of mine loves jury trials because, as he puts it, "If I have to do the dog and pony show, I want an audience to watch." Most of the time it's boring, at least to me, but sometimes it's definitely theatrical.

I never get to do anything except check the box [and on my phone, not even that]. I haven't even had to type house numbers now for over a month. I'm feeling unloved and deprived.

Anonymous said...

I've never heard of anything like that, Stephanie. Kind of sounds like she figures she's not going to be chosen, anyway, if you have a choice of agents. An agent like that is probably not what you're looking for, anyway. Glad you moved on.

Donnaeve said...

Craig, ha, are you kidding? I've seen what rips across the plains, i.e. no thank you! :)

KD - yeah, not sure how you thought I was in the mountains - although I DO love them! I might have mentioned that a time or two. I'm in the Sandhills region, i.e. Dunn. I was born/raised in Raleigh and go there once a week to help Mom out.