View Full Version : Probably a stupid question

10-02-2012, 12:12 AM
Hey guys, is it okay to use 'To whom it may concern' if you're sending a query to an agency in general, on one of those submit to all emails, or maybe a Dear Sir/Madam?

10-02-2012, 12:45 AM
I still use a specific name. Half the time, I get a rejection from a different name, but I prefer to at least aim for the one I think is a better match.

10-02-2012, 01:46 AM
Unless the guidelines specifically require you to submit to the agency as a whole, rather than to individual agents, I'd use a name. Anything else may cause the recipient to assume it's a mass email, which they may not like.

- Victoria

10-02-2012, 01:53 AM
Thanks, that's perfect.

10-02-2012, 03:03 AM
put it this way: you wouldn't address a loan application cover letter that way......not if you wanted the loan.

10-02-2012, 07:49 AM
"To Whom It May Concern" might wind up concerning nobody.


10-12-2012, 09:26 PM
Definitely write Dear Name of Agent. If you're unsure which agent to query at a particular agency, pick one that seems like they'd be a good fit -- many times, agents pass queries on to other agents in their agency. I've queried agents and then gotten replies from other agents at the agency asking to see the manuscript.

Hope that helps and good luck!

10-12-2012, 09:43 PM
"To Whom It May Concern" will wind up concerning nobody.



Erin Kelly
10-16-2012, 12:20 AM
If you're submitting to agents, they want to know that you've done your homework. A generic greeting automatically lets them know that you haven't. It's never okay, unless that's what they ask for in their guidelines!


10-16-2012, 12:26 AM
_ _ _ To Whom it May Specifically Concern, would be better.


10-16-2012, 12:56 AM
I think does you a real disservice.

IMO, the sad reality about the query system is that agents are looking for reasons to reject writers. A "To Whom..." might be enough to get a query rejected right there. And if not rejected, put the rest of the letter under a pall. Everyone wants to have fun at their jobs, so - help the agent have fun at his/her job! :)

Not only do I address each query letter directly to the person, I researched every person I sent a query to, and I still follow several of their blogs. IMO, Query Writing 101 includes: know thy prospective agent. Make your query personal and personable as well as professional.