Friday, November 5, 2010

The Strangest Rejection Letter I've Ever Received

I've truly only just begun querying, if I look at the "big picture."  Today's shocker was totally unexpected.  I received a long-awaited query response, but it definitely was not what I was expecting. 

The note read, in part: "Thank you for your note.  I am no longer an agent...and will now be working in...  If you'd like to submit to another agent..., please visit our website for a list of agents and our submission guidelines.."

The first thing on my mind was a blog-buddy who was repped by this agent.  Thankfully, I read a post where another agent at the same literary agency picked up representation.  Whew!

That's kinda like when a favorite teacher retires, or goes off to jail, as my 4th-grade teacher did, mid-year.  Seeing how hurt I was, my parents allowed me to write a letter to this teacher and read his remorseful response. 

An agent's quitting is similar to a breach of writer/reader trust, as was so dutifully discussed on another blog-buddy's blog this week. 

In the end, though, after combing through my emotions like curly hair on a humid day, I have to wish this agent the best for himself and his family.

I thought about the chosen and unexpected career changes that I've made, too.  Technician to trainer, to process writer, to project manager, to program manager.  And also, poet to actress, singer to musician, reader to writer.  And single to married to mother.

We change and grow throughout our lives.  We, for the most part, can only choose how we ourselves will act and react.  Circle of life, yeah.


  1. The thing I always have to remind myself of is that agents are people too, with human flaws and failings just like everybody else--and they've got just as much right to change their mind as anyone.

    That said... I know that should I ever receive an offer of representation, I'd want to know how attached to agenting the offerer was. I think I would be heartbroken if an agent left me for another career. I'm just glad your blog buddy was acquired by another agent in the agency!

  2. You raise a good point, Meagan. Once receiving "the call," if I ever get to that point, I will need to find a way to ask just how long the agent intends to be an agent.

  3. LOL I got one of those too--from Nate when he changed careers.


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