Reviews, rants, and tidbits from an overpassionate novelist

Posts tagged ‘query letters’

KELLEY SONNACK AT ANDREA BROWN LITERARY AGENCY ~ THOUGHTS

I’m back! I thought I’d share my thoughts on an agent I had an experience with recently: ┬áKelly Sonnack with Andrea Brown Lit. I got a positive response to a query I sent her back in September and traded three or four rounds of subsequent emails with her before I was ultimately rejected.

Ms. Sonnack was very polite. I can find no fault with the professional nature of her emails, as I could with other agents. She formatted all of her criticisms with “I like… but…,” the exact style I encourage wherever I can.

She did say one thing that got under my skin. She didn’t like the narrative choices I had made with my story, and at one point she expressed this in a way that made my writing sound like a mess that needed to be “put together.” That may simply say a lot about my sensitivity, though.

Overall, she was helpful. Based on her criticism and the concerns of a few other of my trusted critics, I began another rewrite. I reworked the narrative into a simpler if less compact form.

Another positive experience!

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THE SOUTHEASTERN WRITERS CONFERENCE

All right, I have to take this chance to recommend to all aspiring writers out there, if you’re in the south, the Southeastern Writers Workshop is an ideal place to start. That’s where I began my journey, and it has given me the boosts I need. I didn’t understand why I needed to go to conferences, honestly, and I got much more than I bargained for.

On my record now are:
The SWA Juvenile Writing Award – 2nd place and $30
The Smith Moseley Poetry Award – 2nd place and $30
The M.L. Brown Award for YA Lit – 3rd place and $10 (2008) & 1st place and $50 (2009)!

So those cash prizes aren’t extravagant, but the thing is those awards are perfect credentials for a query letter. If you want to be published, people, build them up!

The conference also gave me the chance to meet with Mollie Glick from Foundry Literary + Media and agents from Sullivan Literary Agency there on St. Simon’s Island.

I’m going to be posting every day for the rest of the summer and quite often after that. Hold me to it, please! I don’t mind nagging. =)

~Courtney

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