Friday, February 18, 2011

Question from a Writer - Delayed submissions

An agent asked me to send her a partial two years ago. Unfortunately, I was sent to Iraq and just finished it. Is it too late to send it now? If I do, what do I say in my cover letter. BTW, she also wanted a synopis, but her website doesnt say how long or whether it should be single or dbl. spaced. Thanks!

First of all, let me say thank you for the service you are doing for the U.S. You are greatly appreciated.

Now, as for the submission, I wouldn't panic so much. Honesty is always the best approach here.

I would first contact the agent again and treat it like a regular submission. Don't make excuses but tell her the situation and ask if she would still be interested in the project. This is important because things do change a lot, especially in two years. What worked then might not work now. I have to say that, for myself, if someone contacted me after 2 years of no response, I might not have a clue who they are. I start a new database each January so I wouldn't even have record of your submission. If the story is good though, and timeless, then you should have no problem.

As for the submission of a query, the standard for all submissions (manuscript and synopsis) is double-spaced. It makes the reading easier. In terms of the length of the submission, I have to say personally that if you can't tell the story in 3-5 pages double spaced then you have a problem with knowing what is important and not important with your plot. If this happens in the synopsis, the odds are the same problem is showing up in the manuscript.

Hope that helps and best of luck on this project!


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