My most recent submission to a literary agency has been rejected. I’m disappointed, but I’m not dejected.
I haven’t received a “We are not the agency you are looking for” letter.
– Four of these are in my file, and all four – to their credit – suggested resources that helped me narrow down my range for submitting my work.
I haven’t received a formulaic and unsigned “Thanks but no thanks” letter.
– I’ve received two of these, both of which were polite but uninspiring.
I haven’t received a letter, signed by someone’s secretary, that bears so little reference to my work that only the sender’s address might give a hint as to what it’s about.
– Thankfully I’ve only received one of these; that agency plummeted in my estimation as a result.
For the first time, I’ve received a personalised, hand-written note from the agent. I hope the agent won’t mind my sharing it here (I have removed the salutation and valediction):
“I’m sorry this isn’t for me – the women’s fiction market is so tough at the moment that I have to fall 100% in love with the story and concept. Do try other agents.”
I may be simply kidding myself, but I’m very encouraged by the suggestion that I try other agents: if my submission was truly terrible, then that last sentence would have been omitted, wouldn’t it?