Wanted: Literary Agent

I received another rejection for my manuscript today. I’ve heard that’s supposed to be a good thing, that you should file your rejections away somewhere so that you can learn from them. But it still stings, and is very frustrating. Sometimes I wish there was a sort of “dating” website for literary agents.

I wish I could place an ad, send it out to the literary universe, and then wait for the agents to find me.

Wanted: Literary Agent for dedicated writer. Women’s fiction writer seeking agent for long and profitable relationship. If you represent character-driven, female-centric stories, please contact me. No sparkly vampires, no over-the-top supernatural plot lines. If you like flawed characters that fight with their inner demons, or females who join forces to make their lives better, then let’s talk.

But, sadly, that’s not the way it works. It’s not that I haven’t done the research, because I have, and will continue to do so. But the odds of finding the RIGHT agent that represents what I write AND that is accepting new clients AT THE VERY MOMENT that I query, seems more and more to be a real luck of the draw.

I appreciate all of the “How I Found My Agent” posts that I read, but they really aren’t very helpful, because finding an agent is such a unique and individual experience. Sure I can learn from someone else’s experience, or their mistakes, but the odds that their unique situation will be remotely similar to mine are rare. Not to mention that most of those posts or articles are written by people that got an agent within their FIRST FEW queries. Rarely do I read one that says, “After 175 (or more) queries, I finally got an agent.” THAT’S the story I want to hear.

I know this is just a fantasy, because, let’s face it: most agents aren’t looking through the want ads for new authors to represent. They don’t have to. They have more than enough authors seeking them. They’re like the hot guy on Tinder who gets swiped more times than he swipes. It’s just a fact. The “slush pile” is real.

But it’s sort of fun to pretend that a literary agent would actually be seeking me. A girl can dream, can’t she? I’ll keep reaching for the brass ring until I find my perfect match.

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13 thoughts on “Wanted: Literary Agent

    • I often wonder what the “slush pile” was like before the internet. I imagine it was much smaller and probably easier to get through simply because writers had to make more of an effort to get seen by agents and publishers. It wasn’t as easy as clicking “send.” Best of luck to you and thanks for the follow 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I must have gone to Hawaii in my mind halfway through that comment. Sorry! I was wondering if you were in a writer’s group or if you have others who can eye your manuscript. I’m asking because an acquaintance at my kids’ school was telling me the other day that she queried for a long time & was on the verge of giving up or starting over or going the self-publish route. She joined a group & some of her readers helped her make minor changes to her structure & not long after she found an agent. That, again, might be an obvious question, but figured I’d ask anyway. I’ve been looking for a good online writer group fit for a while. I think I need an in-person group, though, because I need accountability at the moment.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I found one in-person group, but it wasn’t a good fit at all. I’ve been looking for an on-line one too. What genre do you write? A lot of the writers groups I’ve found are SciFi/Fantasy, and though they are great people (I’m married to one – LOL) I can’t bring myself to read the SciFi/Fantasy genre and critique it fairly, so it made participating on my end difficult. I hope that doesn’t sound snobby, the genre just isn’t my cup of tea. Maybe we should start our own. I’ve often thought of starting one where we could skype, so there would actually be some accountability to knowing who you’re talking to. Just a thought. By the way, hope your mental trip to Hawaii was lovely 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’ve encountered some of the same type thing. I actually did some editing work for a friend part time a few years back and enjoyed a lot of it…except she started taking on more and more fantasy/SciFi stuff. I couldn’t make myself read so much of it. I feel snobby saying that, too, but it is not my favorite thing to read. I would definitely be up for a writer group online. Skyping occasionally would work well. I write more of the type of thing you describe — “character-driven, female-centric stories.”

        Recently I’ve been writing more short stories and querying a bit, but I’ve honestly been stuck in a rather uninspired place. I have too many writing projects that are “in the works” as far as novels go so I’m trying to do different things to get the creative juices flowing, and more than anything, to stay motivated.

        Think a bit on what might work well for you as far as a group and we can chat and I’ll do the same.
        My email is:
        vivianne.jennings@gmail.com

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Well. A writer’s job depends mostly on talent. But a little bit of luck here and there is important too.
    I’m sure when the right time comes, your rejection pile will decrease and maybe you’ll even get the attention of an important publisher or something.
    Good luck ^^

    Liked by 1 person

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