Pub Rants

Agent Reads The Slush Pile Tomorrow – Wednesday, July 25

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STATUS: Have to leave a tad early today. My plan is to read a good portion of a client manuscript this evening.

What’s playing on the XM or iPod right now?  LAID by James

At conferences, the biggest complaint I hear from aspiring writers is this: there is never any feedback given when an agent or an editor sends a rejection letter.

Or, if there is a response, it tends to be generic–something along the lines of “I just didn’t fall in love with the story.”

Writers don’t have a good sense of what is really causing an agent to stop reading.

Well, this webinar is designed to answer that question. It’s a no holds barred (and a tough workshop so be warned) but if you want an honest, straightforward, and helpful response as to why your sample pages might be getting rejected, then this is it.

This is a “fly on the wall” glimpse of an agent reading her slush pile.

I read the first opening 2-pages submitted by the participants of the workshop. If I would have stopped reading, I stop and clearly say why. In general, we tackle about 20 entries selected at random. 

The I crush the writer’s fragile ego under my critique hammer… Just kidding. This is not American Idol style.

I don’t pull the punch but I do try and be sensitive and helpful. This webinar is not about denigrating the writer but it’s also not for the faint of heart.

If you think you are ready, then you might want to consider it. Register here. And I’ll see you tomorrow.

17 Responses

  1. Buffra said:

    There’s no way to move up the waiting list if we did the last one but weren’t chosen, is there?

    It was very helpful to hear what you said about all the submissions, but I am also really interested on feedback for my opening. (like everyone else!)


  2. Anonymous said:

    Buffra, I believe it’s not a list, but rather pages are chosen at random. Think of it like playing the lottery. Not winning one time doesn’t increase your chances of winning the next time.

  3. Carolyn said:

    I registered but haven’t received an e-mail telling me where to send my pages or how to connect. Don’t know what to do….

  4. Agent Kristin said:

    Carolyn and Anon:
    Just call the main line listed on our website and we’ll put you through to Lori, our Digital Liaison, and she can assist you.

    If she hasn’t already! I checked with her this morning and I think she has been in touch with you Carolyn!

  5. swedishfish said:

    I participated last time and pretty much wanted a drink after the first two. And neither one was mine! (and I don’t drink.) BTW – Kristin, I remember you saying something about trying to get a quick/frief off-the-cuff email critique to those of us who didn’t get critiqued. I never got one and I’m wondering if I just imagined that.

  6. Linne said:

    I loved this seminar. I thought the advice Kristin gave was great and applicable whether she read mine or not. (I still secretly wished she’d read mine. I’m dying for feedback!) But I did brush up my opening pages, and I think I’m getting closer to finding an agent!

  7. Poet said:

    Hi Agent Kristin. I was wondering have you every had a client who was 18 years old trying to be a story published?

  8. Anonymous said:

    Oh, wow. Can’t believe I missed this one. I also signed up for the last webinar but my entry wasn’t chosen to be read–like the poster above I thought we were supposed to get brief feedback via email regardless but I never received this??

    Either way, fwiw Kristin, don’t worry about being too sensitive or helpful on these critiques. Although appreciated, I think we get more out of it if you read to a point, then STOP. If you don’t like the entry, give a brief reason why, then move on to the next entry. Yes, it stings, but blunt feedback is still helpful and more entries get a chance to be read. Thanks for doing this!

  9. Kate said:

    If Kristin enjoyed our pages during the webinar, can we query (mentioning this fact) even if we’ve already queried Sara in the past and been rejected based on the query only? (ie: no pages?)

  10. Andrea Jones said:

    Think I’ll just pop the popcorn and watch while my butterfingers jot down notes on how to not get eaten alive…..

  11. Brian Biunno said:

    I just found your blog, Kristen and I’m excited to join the next Slush Pile fun. My ego has been crushed, smashed and stepped on so many times that it barely resembles an ego anymore. So I look forward to (hopefully) getting some constructive feedback in place of a form letter. 🙂

  12. Kate said:

    If Kristin liked our pages during this webinar, would it be alright to re-query (noting that fact) if we already received a rejection from Sara (based on a query only prior to the webinar)?

  13. Anonymous said:

    Dear Kristin here’s one for you I have a great story (every aspiring author does right?)

    But to be honest you scare me I have 2 queries I have been racking my brain over on which to send you, and still at a loss I am not sure if your looking for the the hook grabbing Query or the book outlined synopsis.

    I am hoping to someday find my courage as it has run off as of late, and finally query you, Until then I wish you all the best…see you at Comi-con !