Back in the September Swing


Happy fall, everybody! Hope you all had productive summers filled with mountains of writing, which you will polish to a shine and then query me about.

After my last post about closing to queries, I wanted to thank you all for going along with this kooky adventure. I was shocked by a couple of things:

  • How well the vast majority of people honored the request. I deleted maybe 30 emails a week, which is a bit less than a tenth of the queries I’d usually be getting.
  • How extremely rejuvenating it was, but not for the reason I expected. Yes, it was nice to not have an extra to-do at the end of the work day, but it is also really lovely to not have to tell people, many of whom have done everything exactly right, “thanks but no thanks” 300x a week.
  • How much it helped me get caught up (or at least something like swinging distance to caught up).

But I’m open again now, and although my list is of a satisfying size and shape, I think it’s important to be open as much as I possibly can because so many of my wonderful clients did come to me first via query.

I’m not requesting as much right now–out of the 400 or so that came in between Tues and Friday I made 4 requests–which means I’m also acutely aware that I’m declining to see likely-publishable projects that are just not the right complement to what I do best. Good queries, probably good books, just not right for me right now, which means the response is still a no. I know it’s hard out there on the receiving end of those letters, and with so much talk about “rejection” on the internet, I sometimes wish that we could talk in terms of “decline” rather than “reject.” There’s no moral judgment here, just an opportunity I won’t be part of.

More soon as fall kicks into gear. Also since last I posted, we’ve added a new agent here, and although you can find him elsewhere online, maybe I can rope him into joining us here too.


6 Responses to “Back in the September Swing”

  1. Welcome back. And since you’re back, I think it’s time to try you again, time to be one of those special 400 of the new week. I think it should be mandatory for all citizens to receive a four-week sabbatical, along the old European model. Come Autumn!

  2. Welcome back! šŸ™‚

  3. I really, really needed to hear this right now. Thank you!

  4. I hope fall brings some fabulous submissions to you!

  5. Dear Holly,
    Came upon your blog through Miss Snark. It was lovely to meet you at Rutgers and I’m glad to hear your “sabbatical” went well. I appreciate learning the word origin! I hope that you will find some gems in your fall submissions – maybe I will be one!
    Moira Donohue

  6. love, love the last

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