A few years ago I did a year-long internship for a fabulous, huge literary agency. Since then I've had an agent and lost her again in an amicable breakup.
I've now written another manuscript, and the agent at the head of the agency I used to intern for is my #1 querying choice. However, she's closed to unsolicited submissions.
When I interned for her, she told us she was always interested in work her interns did. But that was a few years ago, and I can't find out whether or not this is still the case, and I can't find information about whether or not ex-interns count as exceptions to "unsolicited".
What should I do? I don't want to be a nuisance, but I don't want to miss out on what could be a great opportunity.
We're following each other on Twitter, so one option is to DM her, but the idea makes me nervous. I definitely have the patience to wait for her to open to submissions again, but knowing how popular she is, that could take years, and I don't want to wait if it would be okay to just ask her.
Thanks for reading, and for any advice you might have!
Under no circumstances (unless specifically told to do so) should you DM an agent about anything related to querying. Twitter is not where most of us conduct business, and there's no way to know if she'll ever see the message. (In fact this prompted me to check direct messages since I haven't thought of them since summer '16)
The other thing you need to do is believe people when they tell you they're interested in your work. If I had a nickle for every author who has said something akin to "well, she said that but maybe she says that to everyone" or "yes but, maybe she's changed her mind" I'd have enough money to buy myself a bar.
And you're not annoying her if you write to confirm she's still interested in looking at former intern's work.
Well, you're annoying her if you write to her sixteen times asking sixteen questions, and phoning to confirm her email address, but that's not what you intend to do is it?
While I respect your effort to behave professionally, never let that interfere with advancing your career in a polite, prepared way. When I say prepared I mean you are ready to send the query or manuscript the same day she replies with "yes I'm still interested, please send."
And by polite I mean you say thank you not apologize for writing.
The bottom line is this: Yes, you need an agent, but agents also need writers. Assume your work is something we want to see. We'll let you know if that's not the case.