It’s been a month of interning at my literary agency internship and it has been really fulfilling. I read a large amount of submissions from aspiring writers and get to make the decision of rejection or acceptance. It sounds callous, but seriously, there are over 600 online query submissions that have to be read on a daily basis and if a submission is written well and the content is interesting, a sample is requested. If the sample is solid, then it moves to the next phase in which the agents look it over and go from there.
Being a writer interning at a literary agency, I feel the whole process as daunting because one day, I’ll be in the same position and will have an intern or agent look over my submission. I like that I have that edge in which I’ll know what’s happening on the agency side but it’s hard to put yourself out there. I commend every author willing to put themselves out there for their work.
One suggestion for writers is to Research. If an agency doesn’t represent them, go to the next. Additionally, research a small print press and go from there. Even if the work isn’t worldwide, keep going through different avenues. This isn’t the only way to publish one’s work.
As my writing instructor told me once, be a writing ninja. Really do your research based on your genre and research publishing companies. There was a great article in Poets and Writers or The Writer’s Magazine about a woman who had an agent but was having a hard time getting a publishing company to buy her work. She took matters into her own hands and researched companies and their imprints, gave the information to her agent, and lo and behold, she was published.
If you’re really passionate about being a writer and getting published, don’t be stopped in the face of “No.” Keep Going! There is a home somewhere out there for your writing. Guaranteed.
To sum up, even though I am rejecting queries left and right, I send them off with a little hope and blessing. If they are serious about sharing their craft with the world, they’ll get it right the next time.