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View Full Version : Does "unsolicited" refer to queries as well?



Mollys Mum
09-23-2009, 01:04 AM
Forgive me if this question has been asked elsewhere; a search failed to turn it up. I'm a newbie, just finished my first novel, and I'm wondering what exactly it means when an agency refuses to consider "unsolicited work." In particular, I was looking at the ICM website and on the home page it states rather forbiddingly:


ICM has a policy that neither it nor any of its agents or other employees shall accept or consider any unsolicited material, ideas or suggestions of any nature whatsoever ("Unsolicited Materials"). Accordingly, you may not use this website or information obtained there from to submit Unsolicited Materials to ICM via any means (including, without limitation, via mail, fax or e-mail). Should you nevertheless contravene this express prohibition by sending Unsolicited Materials to ICM, please be advised that the Unsolicited Materials will not be considered by anyone at ICM,Clear enough, one would think. Yet when I go to the AgentQuery page for Lisa Bankoff, one of their top agents, it states that she "accepts queries," with the submission policy "Snail mail: query with SASE."

What is a poor newbie to believe?

David J Griffin
09-23-2009, 03:37 AM
Hi Mollys Mum, I'd suggest to send a letter to Lisa Bankoff, to see if you get a reply; then take it from there if you do. But I'd also add "there are plenty more fish in the sea" when it comes to agents; and a lot of their websites give clear submission info. I'm sure you're aware of The Writers' and Artists' Handbook. There are many agencies shown who accept queries and sample chapters. Hope that helps....

Good luck!

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http://thewritersladders.blogspot.com/

Mollys Mum
09-23-2009, 03:57 AM
Thanks David. :) I do know of the W&A Handbook, and I also have Jeff Herman's Guide. Was just curious about the definition of "unsolicited." It seems rather, shall we say, "fluid"...

LOL.

lauraannwilliams
09-23-2009, 05:32 AM
As far as I know, it goes like this:

If you send the manuscript unasked, it's unsolicited. If you send a query letter, and they tell you, 'send the manuscript', it's solicited.

katiemac
09-23-2009, 09:26 AM
Forgive me if this question has been asked elsewhere; a search failed to turn it up. I'm a newbie, just finished my first novel, and I'm wondering what exactly it means when an agency refuses to consider "unsolicited work." In particular, I was looking at the ICM website and on the home page it states rather forbiddingly:

Clear enough, one would think. Yet when I go to the AgentQuery page for Lisa Bankoff, one of their top agents, it states that she "accepts queries," with the submission policy "Snail mail: query with SASE."

What is a poor newbie to believe?

Laura has the right of it. You can send a query letter.

The language you quoted from ICM's site protects their agents not only from receiving a crapload (official term) of unprofessional projects and things they didn't want to read, but also from people who send a full manuscript, then claim later when a similar project appears that 'you stole my idea.'

Lisa_Ahn
12-09-2010, 11:39 PM
So happy to find this information right at my fingertips -- question answered. Thank you AW.