It’s Not My Cup of Tea

A couple of weeks ago I attended the Missouri Writers Guild Just Write! Conference. During the conference, I had the opportunity to pitch to two agents. I researched them online, scouring the Internet for information about their likes and dislikes. As a bonus, the Missouri Writers Guild conducted interviews with each of them and even asked how they like to be pitched.

My first pitch resulted in a full request. When I went through the same pitch with the second agent, she answered, “That’s not really my cup of tea.” She said even if the writing was spectacular, that kind of story just didn’t appeal to her. And you know what? I respect that. We obviously wouldn’t be a good fit, and that’s such an important aspect of an author/agent relationship.

I’ve been reading through the other entries for #TheWritersVoice contest, and I’ve discovered that many of them aren’t my cup of tea, either. The query and first 250 words might be well-written and compelling, but they’re just not the kind of stories I’d read. It gives me a new perspective on how an agent reads the slush pile and what they mean when they say the business is subjective.

As for #TheWritersVoice judges, it will be interesting to see which entries are their cup of tea. Good luck to all!

Responses to “It’s Not My Cup of Tea”

  1. T.L. Bodine

    It’s true. I haven’t finished reading all the entries — I’ve made it a little over 1/3rd so far — but I very quickly figured out my preferences for writing style, subject matter, queries, etc. I found I could tell within a few sentences if I’d get drawn in. And that’s only from reading like 75 queries! It’s so much easier to understand what agents are thinking when you’re wearing that hat yourself. Good luck in the contest, btw!

  2. Rena

    Yeah, I’ve been going through them as well, and yes, this. When I find one that I like it makes me just about want to jump up and down, and those are pretty few. I see plenty that are well written, well crafted, but just not my thing.

    And good luck, and we’ll see what the judges have to say…

  3. Carrie-Anne

    I’ve found the same thing as I’ve gone through the entries. I’m a tiny minority of historical fiction writers in this contest, so I’ve felt like the closest thing for me in the other entries has been contemporary, since they’re about real people in real situations. Even if something is well-written, if it’s not a genre I’m normally that into, I probably wouldn’t be interested either as an agent.


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