Sunday, April 9, 2023

A Week in Writing #451 - No Queries, Just Rejections

Hope everyone is staying safe, and, of course, writing.

For me, this past week was not really condusive to getting a lot of writing done. I was out of town from Monday to Friday back in Dallas, Texas, where I'm originally from, visiting my mother on her birthday. I did manage to get some writing done on Skylar and deal with some things related to Powers Squared but I did not send any queries this past week.

But even though I might not have sent any, that doesn't mean rejections stopped. After not hearing back for so long, I, in fact, got two in the same week.

In early December, one agent had asked me for additional pages, which I sent him. I had been considering asking what was the appropriate time to wait to nudge on a partial but I guess I don't need to. While I was in flight, I received the agent's rejection:

Dear David,

Thank you for your query and interest in representation. I regret to inform you that Martin Literary Management is unable to take you on as a client at this time. As I am sure you are quite aware, we receive hundreds of queries a week and, as such, we must turn down many projects that might have great commercial potential.

Please know that I personally read each and every query and that some of these rejections are based strictly on the subject material, which may not be an appropriate fit for my interests. Some rejections, however, are based on writers not having a good understanding of how to prepare and pitch their work as a query to an agent.

If you are at all disheartened by this rejection, I encourage you to seek out the anecdotes of writers who have garnered a fair amount of success for themselves after enduring what can be, at times, a very grueling process.

This rejection is by no means an assessment of your writing abilities, your creative voice, or to "rain on your parade." I sincerely hope that you will find a way to continue on this journey until you achieve the desired result.

I wish you all the best.


I don't know if it's just me, but this seems like a form letter based on a query, not one based on a partial submission. Don't get me wrong, a rejection is a rejection, but I might have expected a different form letter since he had requested pages (three chapters) four months ago. Based on that, it's hard not to take it as "an assessment of" my "writing abilities". However, his is not the final word and I'm not done trying.

But wait, the rejections kept coming. On Wednesday, I received this from an agent that I had sent the first chapter of the book. It didn't sting too much since I had already DNRed the the query since it had been two months.

Dear David,

Thank you for submitting your book, Broken People, to me and I am very sorry for the delay in responding.

I am afraid that it is not quite right for my list at this point. Due to the volume of submissions I receive, unfortunately I am unable to offer more thorough feedback, much as I would like to!

If you would like to know what we recommend after receiving a rejection, you might find this page useful.

I appreciate you taking the time to submit your work.

Kind Regards,

Curious, I followed the link noted in the email above to What Happens When You Receive A Rejection? I guess this is supposed to make you feel better about being rejected and "help" you improve your writing and your outlook.

But there was this passage:

Think about the types of passes you’re getting from agents. Are they all form rejections or are any of them personalised? If an agent has taken the time to personalise then you’re possibly very close and it might just mean you haven’t found the right agent at the right time (there’s a lot of luck involved in publishing) and you should keep trying. But, if all you’re getting is form rejections then it might be time to take a deeper dive into your submission package and the book itself in order to help you achieve your goals.

So, now I'm left wondering is what I received a form letter? It came back with my original email attached and seemed to be personalized but is that just a fancy form letter? It also makes me wonder do agents really spend time giving useful feedback to writers they're not interested in representing? Given how busy they all are/claim to be, I would be surprised if they do.

As mentioned before, I did manage to squeeze in some time on Skylar, mostly late at night or in the morning waiting for others to get ready. I don't have a word count for you on how much I did but I am making some progress; we're up to 63,801 words so far.

The Powers Squared work was related to pages from our colorist, Julia Canon, which arrived on Monday and which Paul and I managed to look at that night. I also had some communications with our former artist, Rachel Wells, who is doing some work on the mascot for me, which she had originally designed.

We landed back in L.A. on Friday afternoon and made it home in time to do our podcast On the Air with Powers Squared. This time it was a Comic Book Club meeting with Rachel, Julia and Trevor joining Paul and me to discuss Stray Dogs by Trish Forstner and Tony Fleecs. You can listen to it now at or watch it on Wednesday on YouTube at

Since we've been home, I've managed to write one review for a documentary I watched on the plane The Real Charlie Chaplin and start another one for Clash of the Wolves (1925) starring Rin Tin Tin. I'm hoping The Real Charlie Chaplin can go up before his birthday next week.

The reviews kept coming on Trophy Unlocked. The Wednesday Game Day review was The Murder of Sonic the Hedgehog and Saturday's Morning Review was Puss in Boots (2011), both written by Paul.

Well, that about does it for me. Keep writing and I'll see you next week.

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