Forum: Query Rejection

Query rejection is not our heroine’s favorite subject either, dear Reader. Nonetheless, it must be faced as a fact of life for a writer. It’s going to happen. If it doesn’t – let me know. I want to rub your head for luck.

We can learn from rejections. Even better, we don’t have to wait for our own to pile up. We can learn from the rejections of others. There are many sites devoted to the topic. I snagged a few that caught my eye.

Before we demonize agents who reject, let’s remember that they are human, too. They know what we put into these novels before we query and bite our nails until we hear back. They also taste rejection at times. Putting it all into perspective is BookendsJessica Faust with an article titled The Confusion of Rejection.

Janet Reid wrote a short but powerful article titled Feeling Rejected? regarding why and when she sends out form rejections. Form rejections can be the most depressing. Give this a read to better understand why they’re sent.

In the same spirit, Colleen Lindsay has an article in her The Swivet titled Why I may have rejected your query letter this week. Another straight shooter, Colleen gives the cold, hard facts. She points out that we have control over what goes into our queries. Paying attention to these items significantly increases our chances of being read.

For the mother of all query sites, I strongly recommend Query Shark. On it, you’ll see queries examined and thorough comments made. It’s not for the tenderhearted. Neither is querying, for that matter. If you plan to query, take a deep breath and read this site.

Now, Writers Relief Blog likes to sell stuff, but scroll down a little bit to find Top Query Letter Mistakes: Avoid these Amateur Errors. Everything from general mistakes like a cheesy lead to specific phrases to avoid. Will this keep you from getting rejections? No. It may help you avoid automatic ones.

Rejections sting. They always will. The point is to keep going and hone your query letter. Take advantage of the resources available to help you look at your query with fresh eyes.


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5 thoughts on “Forum: Query Rejection

  1. Jeff Cocking January 20, 2010 at 12:36 pm Reply

    Thanks for the lead to The Query Shark. I haven’t queried yet, so hopefully I can do some learning the not-hard way. Thanks.


    • Jessica Rosen January 21, 2010 at 6:32 pm Reply

      I’m in the same boat, Jeff. In the rewrite/polishing stage on my novels, I’m gathering the tips I can about the submission process. Going from the creation phase to the business phase is difficult enough without some info beforehand. Good luck with it, let me know how it goes.

      Take care,


  2. […] her Friday Forum to Tuesday, but it’s no less valuable. Check out this week’s list of links Query Rejection. Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)lunch hour links for writers – week of […]


  3. Lindsay Oberst January 22, 2010 at 9:01 pm Reply

    Informative post. I like the focus. Also good to know about queries as I’m soon to start submitting some of my work.


    • Jessica Rosen January 22, 2010 at 11:20 pm Reply

      Thanks for the comment, Lindsay. Queries are a tough hurdle, but part of the writing life. I hope these links help you, too. Best of luck with your queries. Let me know how it goes, please?

      Take care,


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