Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Re-submitting to an agent

I frequently hear writers discussing, and often confused, over the idea of re-submitting a story to an agent. Is it O.K.

You better believe it is O.K. BUT... (and you knew I would inser this), there are some things to keep in mind.

First of all, there is nothing against re-submitting to an agent, but you should not re-submit a story that has already been rejected. There is a twist to this. If an agent has given you a ton of revisions, and told you to re-submit that story if you wish, you should do it. There is no doubt in my head about this. They took the time to actually give you a lot of feedback, this means there is some interest there. Now, if they didn't say to re-submit, I would recommend kindly emailing the agent and asking. Tell them you appreciated their comments, give the agent a time line of when you would have the material revised and follow through.

Now, what about submitting future stories. There is certainly nothing wrong with this either, but SLOW DOWN!!!! We won't forget you. Most of us have data bases so when a writer submits a story to us, your name will likely pop up. But here is the biggest word of caution. If an agent has rejected one work, take the time to review the comments about the story. Make certain that the new story is not doing the same thing the first one did. If you see you can make some changes to better fit what the agent is looking for, I would recommend doing so before submitting.

I have personally seen too many writers continually fire off one manuscript after another to me. I almost felt the writer had the new story in the envelope and ready to go as soon as the rejection showed up. For some, if it was an e-query, I would often get a new story submitted within hours of my sending the first one. What was interesting in nearly all of the cases, was the simple fact that all of the stories were rejected for the same thing.

I will tell you there are some writers that I have seen potential and, although the first story doesn't work, I hope to see more. In some cases, I tell the writer to send future projects. It could simply be an issue of bad timing. The story just isn't what the agency is looking for at that time. But you know something, your second story just might be what we are looking for.

Keep trying.

Just remember though. If they tell you to please not submit anymore. Don't push it.

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