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Thread: Zeno Agency (John Parker, John Berlyne)

  1. #1
    Bird In Flight Wonderlander's Avatar
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    Zeno Agency (John Parker, John Berlyne)

    Hi,

    I have a meeting this week with John Parker from the Zeno Agency.

    I know he used to be at MBA until last year and he had a considerable science fiction/fantasy list, and that the Zeno list has been closed to new submissions for a few months now.

    Any info/experiences appreciated!
    Last edited by CaoPaux; 06-08-2009 at 04:51 AM. Reason: fix wonky link

  2. #2
    Got the hang of it, here tbrosz's Avatar
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    The Zeno Agency is accepting queries again, but only for very specific types of fantasy.

  3. #3
    Horror Man seun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tbrosz View Post
    The Zeno Agency is accepting queries again, but only for very specific types of fantasy.
    Nice. That's my evening sorted.

  4. #4
    phoenix blazing Parametric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tbrosz View Post
    The Zeno Agency is accepting queries again, but only for very specific types of fantasy.
    That page is so beautiful I could cry. Talk to me about today's fantasy some more: you had me at Joe Abercrombie.

  5. #5
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin Aliette de Bodard's Avatar
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    They're my agency, and I'm very happy with them. John Parker has a lot of experience with agenting (he was with MBA for a while and then left to start his own agency), and John Berlyne is very knowledgeable and dynamic. They're both incredibly responsive and helpful.
    Aliette de Bodard
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  6. #6
    Got the hang of it, here tbrosz's Avatar
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    You snooze, you lose! Submissions are closed again!

    I suggested that maybe they should call themselves the Brigadoon Agency...

  7. #7
    figuring it all out
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    man, i could totally kick myself right now. I sent Zeno a query and messed up at the end saying that i was attaching things that I wasn't attaching cause I copied and pasted from an old letter and John totally called me out on it saying my query confused him and "what should I make of this?"
    Really sucks.
    So I groveled and apologized for wasting his time. I hope he still wants to see something but I'm guessing that I blew it.

  8. #8
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin Aliette de Bodard's Avatar
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    They're open again for queries (probably again for a short time): http://zenoagency.com/news/open-says-me/
    Aliette de Bodard
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    My blog

  9. #9
    Don't kill the bar, Dude. Epiphany's Avatar
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    I subbed, but my "pitch" was ten sentences long, even though they said to narrow it down to "a few". I wonder if that will count against me.


    Track of the Week: Harald Kloser: The End

  10. #10
    Don't kill the bar, Dude. Epiphany's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EgyptianGoddess View Post
    I sent a query today, and this is what I got back in the email (in about 3 hours):

    Dear Zada:

    Thanks for your enquiry. Can you please send me a detailed one page synopsis that outlines what happens in the book, the first three chapters and a writing CV which gives some further details about yourself and your work?

    Many thanks

    John B


    My only question, what is a CV? I haven't been asked for that before, so I would appreciate some guidance....thanks!

    http://www.cvtips.com/


    Track of the Week: Harald Kloser: The End

  11. #11
    phoenix blazing Parametric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EgyptianGoddess View Post
    My only question, what is a CV? I haven't been asked for that before, so I would appreciate some guidance....thanks!
    Someone who asks for a "writing CV" will be looking for stuff like an MFA or a degree in creative writing, any courses or workshops you've participated in, writing credits, possibly experience in related industries like journalism or technical writing. That kind of stuff.

  12. #12
    Don't kill the bar, Dude. Epiphany's Avatar
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    Bleck. I hate writing CVs. I feel like such a newb when I reread it. Haha.


    Track of the Week: Harald Kloser: The End

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Parametric View Post
    Someone who asks for a "writing CV" will be looking for stuff like an MFA or a degree in creative writing, any courses or workshops you've participated in, writing credits, possibly experience in related industries like journalism or technical writing. That kind of stuff.

    Well heck.....what if you have none of that? I'm just a good storyteller.......Ekkkkkk

  14. #14
    phoenix blazing Parametric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EgyptianGoddess View Post
    Well heck.....what if you have none of that? I'm just a good storyteller.......Ekkkkkk
    If 'twere me, I'd be tempted to email back with the requested synopsis + first three chapters and mention in my cover email that I have nothing relevant to put in a writing CV.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Parametric View Post
    If 'twere me, I'd be tempted to email back with the requested synopsis + first three chapters and mention in my cover email that I have nothing relevant to put in a writing CV.

    Ok, I'll do that, because otherwise I'd really be winging it trying to remember my creative writing class from high school and just how many articles DID I write for the workplace newsletter? lol

    Thanks!

  16. #16
    Don't kill the bar, Dude. Epiphany's Avatar
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    Well EgyptianGoddess, I didn't have the same three hour luck as you did.

    Maybe I'll hear back from them tomorrow.


    Track of the Week: Harald Kloser: The End

  17. #17
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    To clarify, we ask for a CV to give us some insight into the person contacting us. Helping get a writer published is not, alas, simply about the writing! In the corporatised world of publishing, writers are viewed as assets and commodities and as products which must be branded when sold to the market. It's not pretty but we, as agents need to consider these things as well as the quality of the writing.

    I also like to see a CV to find out how clued in the enquirer is into the marketplace - someone who submits a fantasy novel can make me more inclined to look at their submission over someone else's if they can tell me they're a LOCUS subscriber, or even a regular contributor to forums like this one, or that they attended the last World Fantasy Convention. It's not a test or an examination for you to pass - it's merely a method of allowing us further insight into the submission and the author and it should be viewed as a further and favourable way to grab our attention.

    One thing I'd add is that I'm not at all sure how comfortable I feel having my correspondence quoted in full on a public forum like this. (We read them too, folks!) I wonder how folks might feel were I to quote their submission enquiries in full in quite the same way? The arguments for doing so would be the same - transparency, public good, helping other writers &etc - but I would consider it a basic professional courtesy to ask the person who wrote in confidence if they would mind.

    JB
    Last edited by Zeno Agency; 07-23-2009 at 08:07 PM.

  18. #18
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Welcome, JB, and thank you for the details on what you are looking for.

    Re: the email. I expect its brevity put it under the radar of the usual "quoting in full" concerns. Regardless, I'm sure the poster will be happy to edit it to paraphrase.
    ICAO
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    II 2016: 2017:

  19. #19
    I didn't mean to do anything disrespectful or break any rule or social norm in this forum. I've often seen emails quoted, and I posted it to ask what a CV was (and because I was so pleased at a quick, favorable response). I'm sorry for any problem or misconception I may have caused as a result. I deleted that post, but unfortunately it was quoted by someone else in a response of theirs and I'm not able to remove that.

    I do have fulls out with other agents and other partials out as well, but this agency seemed to be a really good one, and I was just excited. I sincerely meant no offense. Now I feel terrible about it.

    I guess that will throw me out of the ball park now on the partial I sent to him.....sigh
    Last edited by EgyptianGoddess; 07-23-2009 at 09:50 PM.

  20. #20
    Oh, the humanity. Giant Baby's Avatar
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    I wouldn't think so, EG. You weren't being a jerk with that post, and most sucessful agents will forgive just about anything else if the manuscript is good.
    Moral of the story: Soy yogurt is evil and don't cross picketlines. -Twizzle

  21. #21
    Cluck that. Twizzle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Giant Baby View Post
    ...most sucessful agents will forgive just about anything else if the manuscript is good.
    QFT.

    Don't beat yourself up over it, EG. We've all made honest gaffs we wish we could undo.


    -Twizzle. Who knows this truth far too well.
    Last edited by Twizzle; 07-23-2009 at 10:07 PM.
    "You're not a schmuck. You're just sort of a schmuck."-Giant Baby 2010

    "Actually, I take that back. There's no 'sort of' about it."-Giant Baby 2011

  22. #22
    Oh, the humanity. Giant Baby's Avatar
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    And that ink is green for a reason. Twizzle knows.
    Moral of the story: Soy yogurt is evil and don't cross picketlines. -Twizzle

  23. #23
    Cluck that. Twizzle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Giant Baby View Post
    Twizzle knows.
    Quoting quoted quote for truth.

    It was a pretty legitimate ques. Good luck with your submission, EG.

    Pushing thread back on track.
    "You're not a schmuck. You're just sort of a schmuck."-Giant Baby 2010

    "Actually, I take that back. There's no 'sort of' about it."-Giant Baby 2011

  24. #24
    Fantastic historian Anne Lyle's Avatar
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    Lo, the mists have parted, and Zeno is open to submissions again:

    http://zenoagency.com/news/zeno-now-...g-submissions/

    As per usual, they have very specific things they are looking for. On the plus side, they're quick off the mark - when I queried last night, John B replied with a request for partial in under 2 hours
    Last edited by Anne Lyle; 12-03-2010 at 12:51 AM.
    Elizabethan fantasy N1ght's Masque - out now from 4ngry R0bot Books.


  25. #25
    practical experience, FTW
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    Thanks, Anne! I didn't see it until this morning, but I've known since the 15th that they expected to open, so at least I was ready. Here's hoping for both of us. Just curious, what is your genre? Mine's fantasy.
    Sincerely,
    Victoria Dixon
    Author of Mourn Their Courage
    A Tribble Ate My Lunch: a Star Trek Cookbook
    http://ronempress.blogspot.com/
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/authorsofasiannovels
    http://sites.google.com/site/glenandvictoriadixon/

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