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Little Rose
02-26-2006, 11:00 PM
In the literary agency section of Writer's Market some agencies have a contact person (I assume that's who you adress the query to), but one agency has that with mulitple names listed. Should I adress it to the first name there (it says he's the chairman)?

Also, I read somewhere that even if an agency does not request you send sample chapters, you ought to send them the first page or so of your novel so they get a feel for your voice. Would anyone recomend this?

Thanks :)

clara bow
02-27-2006, 09:47 AM
my answers are not the be all and end all, but here's some info FWIW:


In the literary agency section of Writer's Market some agencies have a contact person (I assume that's who you adress the query to), but one agency has that with mulitple names listed. Should I adress it to the first name there (it says he's the chairman)?

Depending on the listing, you may have a couple of options. One is to query the name of the agent who reps the genre of your book. this is often broken down in the listing. The second is what you stated, to query the first name, especially if there is a lack of any other information. I would also suggest visiting the agency Web site if one exists to confirm the info in WM, since it may have changed since the publication (e.g., an agent has left). When in doubt, call the agency and ask (don't ask to speak to the agent, of course!).



Also, I read somewhere that even if an agency does not request you send sample chapters, you ought to send them the first page or so of your novel so they get a feel for your voice. Would anyone recomend this?

It probably can't hurt, but the general recommendation is to follow the agency's guidelines. Some agents may be judging a writer based on her ability to follow said guidelines as well as the strength of the query. Seems like one could always get away with just sending a query, but to add any extra pages when none are requested will be risky with some agents. If the query is strong enough, you won't need to include a sample page to entice an agent; he/she will be excited enough from the query (i.e., so why waste your paper if you have a solid query?).

Thanks :)

waylander
02-27-2006, 02:17 PM
Also, I read somewhere that even if an agency does not request you send sample chapters, you ought to send them the first page or so of your novel so they get a feel for your voice. Would anyone recomend this?


Unless the agency specifically says 'send only a query letter' I would put the first 5 pages of the work. There was a recent debate on this topic on Miss Snark's blog and it is what I do when the guidelines say 'send a query + SASE'.