Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Perfect Pitch: Getting Me to Request Your Manuscript With Guest Susan Brower

Literary Agent Susan Brower
Rejection is a frustrating reality for the unpublished writer and it often feels like a personal attack from some unknown critic who holds your career in his/her hands. It’s like applying for a job and being told you are not the right fit, or the position has already been filled. I can tell you from experience, though, that editors and agents open your proposals with all the anticipation of a child on Christmas morning.  We love story, and we are dedicated to providing quality writing to readers.

Let’s assume you’ve followed my guidelines for queries and proposals. You’ve sent me your proposal as an attachment to an email and now you wait for the reply.

Why do I not ask to see the full manuscript after reading a proposal?

Ø  It’s not what I’m looking for right now. We have to follow trends of what is selling and where the market is saturated. Editors tell us what they are looking for and it makes sense to go out and find the genre, tone or style that they want.   

Ø  It’s not a good fit.  This really isn’t a cop out. There are books that I just don’t feel I can represent well. It’s in a genre that I am not comfortable with.  Usually this will be identified in the query stage, but I do try to focus on certain genres in both the mainstream and Christian markets. Regardless of the marketplace, I am not likely to ask for a complete manuscript that might have graphic violence and language. I also don’t care for horror or dark images that give me nightmares. I look for hopeful (not sappy) endings and justice for the bad guy.

Ø  I don’t like the characters. The hero is weak or arrogant; the heroine has no spine. I may feel sorry for them, hope they are able to change, but I have got to care about them from the very beginning.

Ø  The synopsis indicates that there are just too many plots; I just can’t see how the writer can wrap everything up without having a hurried ending or a confused reader.

Ø  The story is too “issue” driven. I am not interested in politics or issue-driven agendas. If they show me something about the characters, fine. But don’t tell me an opinion. 

Ø  The writing in the sample chapters is not compelling. Dialog is stiff, characters are not likeable, and there is no sense of time or place.  You’ve got to show me your very best writing in every part of the proposal.

To get me to request a full manuscript, you have to draw my interest from the very beginning. I should be pulled through the document from the first Jacket Blurb to the last page of the Sample Chapters. I should be tearing my hair out that I don’t have more chapters to read right away.  That’s a compelling proposal. My favorite quotes capture the feeling I anticipate with every novel I read. 

“…fiction does its work by creating a dream in the readers mind.” “…one of the chief mistakes a writer can make is to allow or force the reader’s mind to be distracted, even momentarily by the fictional dream.”— The Art of Fiction by John Gardner

I love this!  So what am I looking for in the proposals I come across now?

Ø  The Jacket Blurb is intriguing and fits the genre in which the novel will fit. I am reading it just like I would be reading a blurb in the bookstore or on the internet. You have five seconds to get my attention.

Ø  The hook has to be something that I can use to 1) identify the publisher that will be the best fit for this author and 2) focus the marketing on one key them that readers will respond to.

Ø  The synopsis gives me a beginning, middle and ending and a general idea of how the main characters are going to make that journey. Identify their biggest hurdles and tell me how they are resolved. Include major plots and subplots.

Ø  Much of the marketing is something I can work on with an author.  But I need to know that you are willing to partner with your publisher to promote and publicize.

Ø  I would also like to know your ideas for future novels. Is this the first book in a series? Briefly tell me about plans for your next 2-3 books. 

Ø  Show me something unique. This is very subjective, but what I want to see is something that fits within a popular genre like suspense, but has a new twist.

Ø  I love emotion in the novels I read and I want to care enough about the characters to cry.  Show me in your synopsis or overview how you are going to engage the reader on a deeper level.

Ø  I want to read about strong women, flawed heroes, and tragic characters. I like to read about community and friendship and dogs…yes, dogs.

The #1 way to attract my attention is to learn your craft! If I have a well-written story that shows the writers talent and ability, I am more than willing to work on the market and find the right audience.

Questions?  Do you get enough feedback from agents on your proposals? How do you respond to criticism? What recommendations would you make to your fellow authors?  Have you learned anything new about how writing proposals? What is your biggest takeaway?

A chance to pitch to Susan Brower. We can all learn how she wants you to pitch to her the next two days--but you are eligible to enter the contest--ONLY if you were involved in SPEEDBO--The rules are under the rules tab at the top of the page for our PERFECT PITCH CONTEST!
Sue Brower is an agent with Natasha Kern Literary Agent She is looking for novels in the Suspense, Romance (contemporary and historical), and Women’s Fiction categories.  She is also a consultant and freelance developmental editor at Susan Brower Editorial


  1. Thanks for having Susan here, Tina. I am so thankful for agents like Susan who gets those fantastic books into my hands!
    Thank you

  2. Coffee's brewing!!

    Thanks for the insights. I've picked up some tips that should be helpful.

    Decisions, decisions.

  3. Oh, this makes me excited. And I don't need to be excited before bed or I'll never sleep. :)
    I haven't submitted to an agent yet, but I have this feeling that the time is book is almost ready. It's so exciting to anticipate God's plans, isn't it?
    Okay, I really must get some sleep or else I'll be an exhausted mess at work. Ha! Again, I'm excited for the contest.

  4. I'll be nosy about this and hope to hear how many pitches Sue gets through this contest!

    and how many of you add a dog to your story (ha ha)

    Have a great day everyone!

  5. I love how you mentioned its a bit like a rejection for a job application. It can be really hard when you are told you are a close second. It is also encouraging when given some imput on how you could improve a letter of application.

    I cant wait to hear how the pitches go.

  6. Good morning!

    It's been great to meet Susan Broweer here at Seekerville.

    For some reason, I always include a dog in my stories and a sports thread.

    I will definitely study Susan's comments in order to pitch. Thanks so much for sharing!

  7. See, now this post makes me smile. It essentially says "Write well. Write in a way that makes me forget the four walls currently surrounding me and takes me somewhere else."

    That I can do. That I LOVE to do.

    And then there's all that marketing/pitch stuff to worry about afterwards. Major bummer, that.

  8. You know, Mary Connealy, I still get occasional questions of "What did your query look like when you sent it to Natasha? Can you send me a copy of it?"

    At that point, I think my face gets red and I mumble something about "Well, I kind of never sent a query--thank you, Mary Connealy."

    Because seriously, if I had to pitch something on my own, I'd still be wandering around agentless. So thanks again, Mary. I smile whenever I think of that. :-D

  9. I am so guilty (not as much now, I hope!!!) of some of these points!!!!

    Too many plots....

    Too much telling.

    I could just keep listing. :(

  10. Ooooo-oooooo ... I have a dog in my WIP, so I'm excited!! A black lab named Beau who whines for bacon, so maybe he can bring a little home to me, eh?

    Thanks for clarifying just why I got those 45 rejections on A Passion Most Pure, Sue ... nobody bothered to explain why ... :)


  11. Congratulations for getting close to the finish line, Courtney. Working a full-time job AND writing a book is true dedication. Keep up the good work. It will definitely pay off in the long run. Sue

  12. Naomi, if the writing is there, the rest falls together. Sue

  13. I'm looking forward to all the dog stories! So what kind of response would I get if I said I was looking for a legal thriller?

  14. This information is so encouraging. We're all working on the same goal--to get readers like Marianne and Jenny the best book possible.

    I'm printing out these two posts twice. One for my office and one for where I really work.

    I don't have a dog in my ms, but do have a cat and a little girl.

  15. Cats and little girls are good too!

  16. My favorite part about what you said today? Hearing that editors and agents open proposals with ANTICIPATION. It's good to know this is the mindset editors and agents have. :)

    Thanks for sharing these thoughts today. They make a lot of sense.

  17. Another keeper!! Thank you, Susan, for being so clear in your explanation of what hooks an agent, as well as what grabs the reader.

    I saved your post to my desktop so that I can read it again later this afternoon when things slow down a bit. :-)

    I'm happy to see that you offer editing services.

  18. These last two posts are GOLD for me, Susan. Thanks for providing a guide, especially to uber rookies such as I. So new, I don't have a complete manuscript... yet. No dogs, but it's got scuba diving, illegal treasure hunting, and killer cone snails.

    Hmmm, I could give the hero a dog though...

    **scurrying off to write after having been inspired by today's post**

  19. Susan, I like what you said to Naomi: "If the writing is there, the rest falls together." One of the things that intimidates me is the social media piece -- Except for here, of course. I've decided to take a few months off from any NEW social media, and focus on craft.
    I don't have a dog, but I have a couple of yoke of oxen...and a remarkable (stolen) horse, Rebel, 18 hands and black as midnight. Who carries over to the sequel.
    Who I wish I had if I could ride, but I can't.
    He's like the horse in "Winter's Tale," but he's not magical and he can't fly. Oh, and he's not white. Other than that...
    I'm READING "Winter's Tale" now, such a trip.
    Kathy Bailey

  20. Craft, craft, craft. It's the "location" buzzword for writing, if any of you are Realtors. Or have worked with a Realtor. Or know a Realtor.
    Because without Craft, we don't have a prayer.
    Without prayer, we don't have a craft.

  21. The manuscript I'm working on has an adorable little dog. He was in the story before I read this post! :-))

    I worked him in where the heroine rescued him from the streets of New York.

    My sister and I rescued him in reality from a country cemetery.:-)

  22. And his name is Winslow. He's a black and white terrier with sky blue eyes.

  23. Great post with a lot of helpful insight!
    I do have a dog named Mutt in my ms, and three adorable little girls.

    Do you represent coauthored novels? I asked this late last evening, but I'm not sure you saw it so I'll try again today. I cowrite with my daughter, although we've kind of split to write our own mss, and only help the other out when we get stuck. The ms I'll be pitching has a few scenes that my daughter wrote. Hope that doesn't kick me out of the contest!

  24. Well, pooh. Is it too late to change out the kid in my story for a dog????
    Thanks for the post and the amazing advice. This is so exciting!!!!

  25. Well, Naomi, sweetie, you are the exception to ALL THE RULES.

    And also, you will never know the joy of years of abuse and rejection, it builds a tough rhino hide that ... well, I guess that's a good thing but all things considered, I wish I'd have gotten published way way earlier!

  26. Crystal, I must have missed your question. Co-authored novels are most welcome. Do you plan a number of these novels, or just the one? That could be a problem for getting picked up by an agent or publisher. It definitely doesn't kick you out of the contest.

  27. Mary Connealy is the power that got Ms. Brower here. Rah, Mary.

    So much good information, Susan.

    Thank you!!!

  28. Kid, dog, what's the difference, LeAnne. How about a talking dog??

  29. I have no dog in my current series but I do have a fantastic horse named GREW.
    I started to have a dog but I realized I needed to have someone sneak up on someone else and the dog gave him away, or else he's a worthless dog.
    And I didn't want a worthless dog. Mine was just to I deleted him.
    Maybe next book.

  30. KAYBEE I am already in love with your horse REBEL.


  31. DebH Killer Cone Snails? Really? Well, they have definitely been underused.

  32. I got a response from an agent I queried that was so detailed I was almost embarrassed she had taken so much time and effort to evaluate my project. She had requested a full manuscript and obviously read the entire thing based on the comments she gave. What I took away from that was a deep respect for her job perspective as an agent - very different from mine as a writer. Thanks again Susan for sharing from your point of view. It's so helpful.

  33. Kaybee, I loved your comment so much, I am re-posting. "Craft, craft, craft. It's the 'location' buzzword for writing..." This is so true. I see so many well-written proposals with so-so sample chapters. It's all about the writing and as editors are becoming more and more overloaded, the better your chances are if your mss is good to go.

  34. Wow Mary Hicks, a terrier named Winslow.

    You know, I really see what Sue is saying, I love these quirky animal ideas so I get how an agent would.

  35. More wonderful information. Thanks Susan!

    I learned not to take rejections personally. Especially since I was writing historical romances at a time that few newbies could break in, but when Steeple Hill announced they would launch the LIH line, I was ready and sold.

    Readers taught me to put dogs or cats in my stories. :-) I aim to please and include animals in my books.


  36. Crafting good proposals was a topic at my recent conference. So many new writers are scared to death of having to write one. Next year I plan to have one on one mentoring for proposals to get more writers ready to pitch their manuscript. Once we get it, it should be easier the next time, right?

  37. Sue,
    I started out writing because my then- fourteen year old daughter had been nagging me to write a book for years, and I wasn't two days into writing my first ms when she started writing on it too. Since then we have cowritten ten mss in nine months, some of them almost all my work and some of them almost all her work, but all of them do have at least a small amount of the others creativity.
    So, based on the fact that this could keep us from getting an agent or editors attention, would your advice be for us to split completely or to pick up a pseudonym?

  38. DebH Killer Cone Snails? Really? Well, they have definitely been underused

    lol Mary. yeah, it's not like they make good pets and are easy to find... I needed a way for the heroine to sort of help rescue herself and it seemed like a good idea at the time.

  39. not that my heroine killed the guy, mind you. cone snails ususally maim first...

  40. soooo............ killer cone snails as a weapon of self-defense???

    That's brilliant. LOL

  41. Good morning!

    I didn't stop by yesterday so I'm having to play catch up.

    I'm proud to say I have a dog in my current wip. When my heroine came home from work, something was missing. I added a great dane named Ellie, and Shazam! Everything came to life.

    What an invaluable post, Sue. Today's was not near as scary as yesterday's. Thanks.

  42. Crystal,
    I think your best bet is to polish one of the manuscripts, write a great proposal (as a team)and query some agents. The agents job is to help you with your career and to keep you focused on a brand. If you are planning to write books without your daughter, then a pseudonym sounds great for the co-author line. But do not send out one word until the manuscript has been critiqued and gone through with a fine tooth comb.

  43. Horses, dogs, cats, kids and killer cone snails aside, the point is that memorable secondary characters can be a good way to distinguish your work. Don't get carried away:)

  44. Jan, I wonder if writers filled out their proposals first, their books wouldn't be a little easier to write. If you know who your audience is and you know what the hook is, it will help you stay focused on the plot and characters. It probably doesn't work for "pansters" but "planners" would get a lot out of adding the proposal to their outline.

  45. I love dogs in stories.... and kitties, cats and kittens, but dogs more so.

    And horses.

    Oh, and Beansie-the-dwarf-goat...

    Oh and abandoned puppies.

    And a cow giving birth....

    Oh, and a nest of kittens...

    And Beezer the aged Golden Retriever in "Her Holiday Family" due out this December...

    And "Tank" the deceased dog in "His Montana Sweetheart" for August.... And then "Blue" the pup that comes to the ranch and says life is better with a puppy...

    I love animals in stories, I'm such a farm-lit gal that tucking them into stories just makes sense. I even put them in my city stories, the rescue German Shepherd "Sarge" that shows up in "Try, Try Again"...

    Love and faith and dogs.

    Who needs money?

  46. Ruthy, you just named a new genre: Farm Lit! How fun is that!!!

    Sue, thanks for a second powerful post. Lots of great info. You've given us two day's worth of straightforward and needed instruction into the proposal process. Thank you!

  47. For some reason, I got the first post on April 1st, but never got this one. Today I decided to come online and what I'd missed. The information is terrific--very clear and specific, but am I too late to get into the contest?

  48. Carolyn, You are definitely NOT too late to get into the contest. Look We understand that many of you just finished Speedbo and it will take a little while for you to format and finesse your proposals. The contest doesn't end until April 30. More details are on the blog Home page just under the Keep Calm and Pitch Perfect sign. Just click for contest details. Good luck!

  49. Just a note to encourage all the prepubbers out there. I'm a consistent lurker, but usually don't comment. I have a good reason, I treadmill - fast - while I read blogs.
    Anyway, I never wanted to go to college and didn't know I wanted to be a writer when I grew up until I was in my 30's. I wrote 3 books and got 104 rejections before I gave into the concept that I needed to learn how to write a book.
    I spent 9 1/2 years going to every writers meeting and conference I could afford, while reading every craft book and magazine I could get my hands on. Before I discovered ACFW, I was convinced agents and editors had some mass conspiracy to keep me from getting published. Really. I was so frustrated.
    ACFW gave me hope and made me realize there was still so much I had to learn. After 3 ACFW conferences of learning, getting requests, and then rejections (a few from Sue), I was that frustrated again.
    The most common feedback I got was it's not ready yet. I railed at my husband - what does that even mean? How in the world am I supposed to know when it's ready. Luckily, he's a patient and supportive man.
    And then I took that class that made the scales fall from my eyes. Suddenly, I knew what needed to go in a book and what didn't. For me, it was Margie Lawson's EDITs System. You can take it on her website. I applied what I learned to my WIP, got a request and the call - actually an e-mail.
    Once you get published, you work with editors and you learn more. Somewhere in the process, you suddenly know what you were doing wrong all those years. Writing at publishable level is just something every writer has to learn. It takes time and effort. For each writer, it's a different class that gets them there.
    Rejections are nothing personal against you and there's no conspiracy. So treat yourself to a real ice cream sundae and keep plugging along, keep taking classes, keep reading craft books, and keep attending conferences. You'll get there and some awesome agent like Sue will snap you up.
    Here's a tip - my crit partner never went to a writers meeting or conference. Her very first conference was ACFW. She pitched her book, got a request, and a 3 book contract. How did she learn to write? She did go to college and majored in English. But she learned to write inspirational fiction by reading all the archives of Seekerville.

  50. I love animals in books! Pets really add something to a character. I just finished reading an older Susie May Warren book "Escape to Morning" where the heroine is a Search and Rescue worker with a wonderful canine partner! Awesome book!

    May I say that our snow is MELTING and we have sunshine today! Spring is coming!!


  51. Shannon, thanks for sharing! You will be an inspiration to a lot of aspiring writers out there!

    Great story!

  52. Another excellent post, Sue! Thanks so much for sharing this insider's view.

  53. Awesome story, Shannon.
    104 rejections?!@# Most people would've quit before then and so glad you didn't.

  54. Sue, thanks for this timely post. It doesn't matter whether you're pre-pubbed or a multi-published author, your advice holds true. I hope to talk with you more at the Blue Ridge Writer's Conference next month.

    And Hey Julie! I'm doing great--just passed my two year mark with my back surgery and life is just peachy!

  55. What a great post. The contest sounds like a lot of fun.

  56. >> Susan Brower said... I'm looking forward to all the dog stories! So what kind of response would I get if I said I was looking for a legal thriller? <<

    Tails from the Bench?
    The Dog Who Read Briefs?
    Chasing Justice?
    Barking Up the Wrong Tree?

    Yes, yes, I'll stop.

    Sue -- Because I'm into self-publishing, I almost didn't read yesterday's and today's posts when I saw an agent was sharing what she's looking for.

    But I am so glad I did read both. Everything you shared applies no matter what publishing road an author follows. You are, for all purposes, the first 'reader.' If it catches an agent's attention it will undoubtedly grab a reader's. Thank you for all the super info.

    Nancy C

  57. I've definitely learned something new. I have heard that you should mention if a work has "series potential," but I didn't know whether or not I should include anything about the next book(s) in the initial query. I have only sent manuscripts to a publisher/editor and not to an agent yet, so I was unaware of how proposals work. The most I've done is participate in pitches on twitter. Thanks for the wonderful tips!

  58. P.S. I have a romantic suspense that has been requested through a few different pitches. I would be interested in being entered to win a pitch.

  59. Sue, thanks for your insight! There are so many things that can trip up an author.

  60. Thanks Shannon. You have affirmed me. I think one of the reasons agents and editors don't elaborate on why something doesn't work is because it's hard to put into words. I'm taking Margie Lawson's Body Language course and am beginning to see when dialogue or subtext falls short. When it needs to be written fresher, the pov needs to be deeper, when those characters need gestures, tones, looks to get the meaning across.

    This is why I couldn't take Tina's class (sniff). The body language course was extended into April and I knew I couldn't take both at the same time.

    And you're right, the Seekerville archives is like a college education in itself.

    Every writer's walk is different, but we're all alike in that the more we write and study, the better we become.

  61. Thanks Shannon. You have affirmed me. I think one of the reasons agents and editors don't elaborate on why something doesn't work is because it's hard to put into words. I'm taking Margie Lawson's Body Language course and am beginning to see when dialogue or subtext falls short. When it needs to be written fresher, the pov needs to be deeper, when those characters need gestures, tones, looks to get the meaning across.

    This is why I couldn't take Tina's class (sniff). The body language course was extended into April and I knew I couldn't take both at the same time.

    And you're right, the Seekerville archives is like a college education in itself.

    Every writer's walk is different, but we're all alike in that the more we write and study, the better we become.

  62. Shannon, what a great testimony! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    I'm laughing and cringing because I've been on your side of the coin and the reason we started Seekerville was to have a place where folks could learn from our mistakes and mis-steps.

    Hooray for your crit partner!!!!

    Taking direction... and copycat writing to learn what you feel good about.... those are two big components. And then applying what you know to what you do.

    I think our 24-hour limit on whining was a BIG HELP. We allowed ourselves 24 hours to whine over a rejection or a judge or a smackdown...

    and then we pulled our big girl panties up and got on with our day.

    Huge help.

  63. Susan, Thank you for another informative post on pitching. I have only sent out 2 queries so far, but I'm looking forward to the day I get feedback from an agent. Because it will be my sign that I'm on the right track.

    I've read more than a few agents say they love animals and babies in books. The question I have is how to let them know my book has them? I have two completed manuscripts, both with dogs and kids, but the dogs and kids don't appear in either synopsis. They also don't appear in the first few chapters. Is a dog a big enough draw to mention it in the query letter? Or do I just aim to get my writing craft strong enough to keep the agent reading and they will discover the dogs/children/snails on their own?

    I also gained some of my writing education from the University of Seekerville. And yes, sometimes the comments section feels like a college party except with coffee and baked goodies.

  64. Good afternoon, Sue! Wouldn't it be superb if there was an avenue for writers to find out what the editors want and write their heart into a subject from the editors' and agents' wish lists? I've seen the MSWL tag on Twitter on occasion. Is there one for inspy fiction that I've missed?

    Unfortunately, I don't have a legal thriller. And my current MS doesn't have a dog, but I have a piglet! :) The hero's baby sister thinks the piggy is her puppy and ties bonnet strings around its neck to lead it around. Man, I love those scenes. :)

    Thanks for sharing with us yesterday and today. These posts are saturated with phenomenal tips. I'm taking notes and hope to get my proposal sparkling for the Perfect Pitch contest!

  65. Elaine give me a cat over a dog any day (I have a fear of dogs and after yesterday I now feel guilty for the fear of dogs that may have resulted in a dog being hit by a car. I know its not my fault but I feel guilty).

    So give me a cat anyday

  66. Lee, writing about animals and kids is kind of like making movies about them--somehow they can upstage the main characters. The only time I would want to seem them in a synopsis is if they are a character or a motivation in the story. Mystery writer Judy McCoy had a dog-walking sleuth who could understand what dogs, including her memorable rescue Rudy, said. But this was the theme for an entire series until Judy passed away last year. A baby can easily be brought into a synopsis because they are often either a conflict or a motivation integral to the plot. Animals tend to be the side-kick. I hope this helps. Maybe it fits into the overview when you are describing who your audience is.

  67. Patty,
    I would love to catch up with you. Send me a message on FB so we can schedule something. Sue

  68. Chill N,
    Don't laugh, those titles may show up next year! Thanks for the laugh.

  69. Shannon,
    Thank you for sharing your journey. I think the reason agents and editors don't share more in their rejections is because they just don't have time. I tend to procrastinate on rejections because 1)I don't want to discourage anyone, 2)I hate to send something that does not have some action item on it, and I don't have time to compose the email and 3)I think something might have potential, but I can't work with it RIGHT NOW. So I just say "no." Rejection does not mean I hated your story. Good for you for your persistence.

  70. Don't forget that you enter the contest on the Home page for the blog. Look for the big red sing "Keep Calm and Pitch Perfect," Right below is the link to enter the contest. You have until April 30 to create the Perfect Pitch. I look forward to reading your proposals!

  71. Susan, Thank you for your help and the suggestion for the non fiction book. I have printed off yesterday's and today's information so I will have it when the time comes.

  72. I am wanting to print off all the helpful blogs for speedbo. Is there a way to do it with out all the stuff.

  73. There is no Wilani. We decided not to do that as some of the Seekers are publishing their posts. So for now just hit Highlight the post hit CTRL C and then CTRL V to copy and paste. You can hit delete on the pictures.

  74. Shannon,

    Thank you, I am new to all of this but it has been a dream and a desire for years, I know it will be a long process.

    You have been an encouragement to hang in there and learn along the way.

  75. Thanks Tina,

    I appreciate knowing that.

  76. I ended up getting over 200 rejections before I got published. I stopped counting at 200. But over half came in those years when I thought I could just write a book and someone would publish it.
    I totally didn't mean anything bad against agents and editors by the way. I know there aren't enough hours in the day for them to tell writers exactly what is wrong. I didn't hold it against anyone who told me it wasn't ready yet - I just wanted to know what that meant. Looking back - there's no way they could have told me everything that was wrong - not enough time in the day.
    Sue, I don't envy you your job and I do think you're awesome - even though you did reject a couple of my manuscripts when you were an editor. My writing deserved to be rejected then. Some of it still does :)
    I just wanted to encourage everyone to keep learning and keep submitting and know it's nothing personal when you get a rejection. And like Sue said, it doesn't mean the agent or editor hated your work.
    All the agents and editors I've met are really nice and I bet they'd love to have time to mentor, they just don't because they have a job to do.

  77. Thank you, Sue!!

    Thank you so much to all of the authors and the participants! It is amazing that so many people gave freely of their time to teach, mentor, and encourage us. Thank You!!!!

    I have learn so much, and I know myself better as a writer. This is a whole new world to me. When I first read that someone had finished a “5K”, I thought they were talking about running a 5K. :) !!

    And now to add a puppy to my story! :)

    ***And a Special Thanks to Ruthy for her enthusiasm & fun comments!

  78. Just FYI I taught Tina had to do that CNTL A, CTRL C, CTRL V thing.
    Remember? In Tulsa?

  79. Geez, bad day to check in late! I am very much looking forward to participating in the contest and after the info, hope to pull all that is required. Should I publish, my acknowledgement will go to Seekerville and the pub authors who hold all of us seekers hands. Either way, the process is healthy and important and I thank you, Sue for the time given to us.

  80. So, I left the laptop home and took my printed out Speedbo story to break into chapters and look for outstanding boo-boos. We took our daughter more than 250 miles to look at a college. Our little motel had wi-fi even, but not a public computer. So I'm doing a crash catchup on Seekerville. I have 3 Morgans, 2 sets of work horses, a cat that had kittens, a rat that reached a sad ending and of course a milk cow and chickens. I grew up on a ranch, raised my kids on one and still live out here in the sticks of South Dakota. I'd have to move to learn how to write about city folk.

  81. Mary Connealy...I started reading Swept Away on my Kindle on that long trip home. How in the world am I supposed to get any sleep tonight? I won't be able to lay it down again.