@virtwriting Hello! Many thanks to @virtwriting for inviting me to talk about #HowIGotMyAgent. I owe a lot to the panel at Penguin Random House’s #WriteNow mentorship event in Bristol for what I learned about the agent querying process (thread 1/15)
@virtwriting The advice that kept repeating was to make sure that you’re happy with your MS before sending it off. You’ve read it out loud, on different mediums, & maybe asked beta readers for feedback—everything possible to gain distance ie. fresh eyes. You feel in your gut it’s ready (2/15)
@virtwriting The agents wanted clarity, conciseness, & a pitch that drew them in. The latter is subjective & why it’s important to shortlist agents who are a good fit for your MS. Who do they represent? What are their tastes? Check on agency site, interviews, twitter (3/15)
@virtwriting Writing achievements are good to put in query letter, tho not necessary. Publications, prize longlist/shortlist etc. It made me feel confident going into the querying process to show my passion for writing (tho you can show this in other ways) 4/15
@virtwriting Rejection is a natural part of the querying process. Even if you think you’ve found your perfect match, the agent you’re thinking about will have their own personal reasons for turning down the work, even if it’s brilliant (5/15)
@virtwriting You want an agent who is passionate about your work, who will cheer you on and rave about you to editors. Important to remember it has to work for you too (6/15)
@virtwriting It’s a good idea to query in waves versus mass querying. If you get flat out form rejections in one wave, it’s maybe an indication that you need to look again at either the query letter, opening chapters or synopsis. (7/15)
@virtwriting Query agents at different stages in their career—those with established lists, those still growing their lists and also agents who are starting out at well-established agencies who are eager to find new writing. There are benefits to all these categories (8/15)
@virtwriting Work on a new project. It helps with the wait and with self-confidence. You can write more than one thing! It feels less like all your eggs are in one basket. You’ll relax about the project you’ve sent off a little (9/15)
@virtwriting If an agent asks for a full MS, let the other agents you’ve queried know. It’s courteous, & also, they’ll want to read your work sooner as they respect their colleagues. But don’t pretend you’ve had this request if it isn’t true (10/15)
@virtwriting Don’t creepy stalk agents. This includes private DMing them, unprompted on Twitter to ask if they’ve read your submission yet. Be cool (11/15)
@virtwriting There's a tendency to move the goalpost of success. Thinking you'll make it once you’ve got an agent/editor, once the book is a bestseller, once it's shortlisted for a prize…. I’m learning to appreciate the process vs outcome. Easier said than done! Meditation helps (12/15)
@virtwriting I made a video about the agent querying process: halehagar.com/publishing-tip… with PFD of my query letter. There’s no standard way to write them, but I found it helpful when agents at #WriteNow Penguin event provided an example query letter, so here’s mine (13/15)
@virtwriting Also a video/checklist to help you decide if your MS is ready to send out: halehagar.com/publishing-tip… (14/15)
@virtwriting Be gentle with yourself. Eat a cinnabon. Happy querying! Feel free to msg here if you have any questions (15/15)

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