Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Another Bad Creation

Here is another query I sent out on May 7th 2009. Same query again, except this time with the added mistake that I was querying an agent who lives and works in the UK. If you're not already published this is pointless (agents and published authors please correct me if I'm wrong).


I am writing to you seeking representation for my young adult fantasy-adventure novel which has the working title, Warrior-Monks, which is complete at approximately 475,000 words. The sequel, which is untitled, currently exists only in outline form. I am enclosing a synopsis but will not include any sample chapters because the Trident Media Group website clearly states that you will request a manuscript if you have an interest. I will say though, that this story really has to be read to be appreciated as the synopsis included here simply does not do it justice.

I love Eastern Cultures and art forms – Martial Arts, Calligraphy, Japanese Swords, Tea Ceremony etcetera and all the tradition and high level of art that go into them. I also love magic and fantasy and eastern religions such as Buddhism, Hinduism, and Taoism. Warrior-Monks incorporates all of these themes in a fantastic way which has never been done in young adult fantasy to my knowledge.

Lee is a troubled young man from a broken family. After being expelled from boarding school and having experienced several brushes with the law, his adopted parents, who also happen to be his cruel aunt and uncle, decide to ship him off to a strange and distant reform school which is in the remote wilderness in the panhandle of Northern Idaho. He becomes a member of a group of 12 other students who arrived at the school at the same time as him. They are all very afraid and apprehensive about what will be going on at the school but they are soon pleased to discover that it is not nearly as bad as they had feared. After working in the Wood-Corral for several months they begin taking classes like Aikido, Kenjutsu, Calligraphy and Meditation. It is some time before they discover that through meditation they can imbue their calligraphic scrolls with ancient magic. The book consists of many themes such as the beauty of nature, the life-energy that exists in everything and the awkward struggles that teenagers go through as they grow into themselves and become adults. Lee’s coming of age and struggling with the loss of his mother and the breaking of his family form the core of this introspective but also character driven tale.

I have never been published but I am confident that you do not have to be a highly experienced or best-selling author to write an incredibly entertaining book. Please feel free to reply to this email, or to call me on my mobile phone at any time at 206-555-1212, or to write to me at home at:

Street Address

Thank you for your consideration of this proposal. I look forward to hearing from you soon.


Matthew M. Rush

His reply:

Thank you for sending us your submission.

We’ve considered your proposal carefully, but I’m afraid we don’t feel able to offer representation in this instance.

And we’re sorry you’re receiving a form letter but the volume of submissions we receive makes it very difficult to reply individually.

Thank you again for giving us the chance to consider your work.

Yours sincerely,

Number Street
Oxford UKZIP

So he admits this is a form rejection, right after saying they've considered the proposal carefully, which doesn't seem to add up but with that query who can blame him? As usual it would have been nice to get some kind of personalized info or advice, even just "seeing as you live and write in the U.S. you might want to consider querying agents in your own country" would have saved me continuing to query UK agents in my ignorance, but it's really not his job to take the time to make sure every writer that queries him is well informed.

I promise that eventually the queries will evolve, even sooner or later get halfway decent, but the point of the blog is to publicly post every query I sent in regard to this novel, so that others can learn from my mistakes, and hopefully I can let go of some of the foolish guilt I've felt because of them. Please keep coming back, commenting and following, I'm feeling a little better already.


JE said...

I think the funniest thing is when you get a form rejection that says "sorry for being a form rejection". I mean, really? I've got some of those too - it irritates me and makes me laugh at the same time.

Matthew MacNish said...

Justine, I totally agree. It's kind of like: 'thanks for being sorry, but a personalized rejection would have been SO much more appreciated'. Oh well.

For those of you out there who can't seem to find any submission advice check out Query Shark, Ask Daphne! or Justine's recent (3/11 I think) post about "Publish This Book". Just click on her name in her comment and then you can get the link to her blog.