Writer + Photographer

The Power of Hope in the Querying Phase (An Update)


So, after four-ish months, I finally have some sort of update for you guys.

After I queried those first 100 agents for my young adult sci-fi novel, In the Sky, I have slowly been querying more and more along the way. The list of agencies has grown to 150, and the list of agents is even more based upon which agencies allow submissions to different agents.

Out of those 100 or so original queries, three agents came back wanting to read more. Two of them had some issues with my manuscript, and the third finally got back to me a couple weeks ago. She gave me what I have now learned is called an R&R, or “Revise and Resubmit,” with specific edits she’d like to be made.

I don’t think this manuscript is quite ready yet, so I need to pass for now, but I see potential here. If you’re in a position to revise and resubmit, with my comments in mind, I’d be happy to take another look. Thank you again for the chance to consider this!”

When I originally got the email, I assumed it was something that may be common to get and honestly, that the chances of her actually accepting it after the revisions were low.

But I decided to completely double-down. I knew it was the first real chance I had.

Because the edits involved something I have always struggled with–voice–I reached out to Facebook and found some amazing beta readers to help me on this revision journey.

I also, ironically, bought The Emotional Craft of Fiction by Donald Maass a while back, so I’ve been digging into that too.

So far, I have a lot of hope. Especially after receiving this message about how rare getting an R&R is. (That was also the first time I saw it called that!)

R&R Conversation Screenshot.png

I also just got this email from another one of the awesome people who agreed to read my book and give me feedback:

Beta Reader Screenshot

So far, only one of the wonderful women I’ve spoken to on Facebook has finished beta reading In the Sky, and the rest are all in the process. I can’t believe how awesome the writing community is on that platform, and they have already given me more information and insight than I ever had when this process first started.

In fact, when this process first started as a teenager, I stayed up late googling “how to get published” over and over and I still didn’t really get it.

I truly never thought I’d understand all this stuff, but I do now. I’m too far in to not. It’s crazy to think about, really.

When it comes to my manuscript, I know I’m going to have to make a lot of changes. I know it’s not going to come close to the amount I had to make in the original editing process, but it’s going to take time. Like I got told by a lot of people on Facebook, I need to take my absolute time with it. This is a huge deal and I can’t screw this up.

The ball is in my court now, and I fully intend on making the shot.

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