Write Life Saturday: I’ve started querying again!

QUICK NOTE TO START: Past Emily is scheduling this post. Present Emily is almost in the car, on the way to the beach for a week. She will have no internet. This is quite a scary thought. But she will definitely be reading lots of books. When she gets back next Saturday, she will catch up on all your blogs and stop typing in third person 🙂

For those of you who aren’t writers, I’ll give you a quick rundown of querying:

It’s when you send off a few paragraphs to an agent, in the aim of acquiring representation (agents help sell your book). They may also ask for a synopsis and/or sample pages from your novel.

At the moment, the novel I’m querying is Mutual Weirdness. It’s about unconventional relationships and science and stars and not fitting in the right boxes and friendship and family and orange things and dandelions and Dr Seuss and finding out who you are. No matter what happens, it will always be one of my biggest accomplishments.


There seems to be this trend among writers that we don’t talk about rejections, or negative things. Which seems weird to me, because as a writer, there will be rejections. No matter what happens, that’s part of the business.

So over the next few months, I’m going to talk about all of that stuff. Rejections, awful queries, the whole lot. And I’ll probably look back and cringe. But I have already improved so much, and I actually like getting rejections. It means this writing thing is real. I’ve even kept all my rejections 🙂 I just imagine the agents doing something like this:

Somehow that makes it better.

I’m not going to share my actual query on here, at least not yet. But I’ve sent off three, to three different literary agents, over the past few days. I’ll let you guys know when/if I hear back from them!

Now I’d love to share an excerpt of Mutual Weirdness. I hope you enjoy it! Excuse the formatting – it didn’t come out very well.


“It all began with a shoe on the wall. A shoe on the wall shouldn’t be there at all.”

~ Dr Seuss


James was never late. But 7:00 had come and gone, so where was he? Traffic, maybe. Or a plague. Probably not a plague. Unless James had somehow invented one and then caught it himself…

‘Calm down, Jess,’ said Mum from her spot in the dining room. She was wearing a very nice dress that looked like a lampshade, all pale orange and wide at the bottom. ‘He’ll be here soon.’

‘But it’s 7:06. And James is unfailingly punctual.’

She shifted some of the knives and forks at the table. Eight places for all of the relatives coming over. ‘Sounds like an exciting person.’

‘Mum,’ I said, joining her at the table, ‘please try to like him. For me. Can you do that?’

Dad entered the conversation, plucking a piece of carrot from a dish. ‘No way. If he tries anything—’ He demonstrated a fighting stance— ‘The gloves are off.’

‘Dad, he’s a nerd. He’s not going to try anything on me.’

Then the doorbell rang.

Right before I opened the door, I smoothed my hair back, adjusted my shirt approximately thirteen quintillion times and breathed a silent prayer to the science gods. Please let this turn out well.

So yeah. That’s the beginning. I’m nervous, obviously, about these queries.

But I will always love writing more than I’m scared of sharing it. And I think that’s important. To all the writers out there, embrace your rejections! To the readers…run away from writers. They’re nuts.

Thanks for listening to my ramblings today 🙂


13 thoughts on “Write Life Saturday: I’ve started querying again!

  1. GO YOU FOR QUERYING. I know a lot of writers who didn’t mind rejections (and a whole bunch of writers who KEEP their rejections). But somehow I never failed to cry at each one… xD Plus every time I got a query critique the critquer said, “Hey your book is wrong” because it’s YA with a child narrator and, well you know all that now. 😉 Buuuut, talk about DISCOURAGING. I even won a few author critiques and they said it! I mean, heck, I figured they were right after a while and stopped querying…but magic happens. 😉 That’s why I reckon, if anyone EVER says your book is too “weird” or “different” or something….ignore them. 😉 Anyway CONTINUE IN AWESOMENESS EMILY.

  2. Hooray for querying! One day I hope I can be at in the querying stage, but that’s waaaayyyyyy in the future. xD I’m kind of excited to be rejected, even if that sounds masochistic. It means that I at least tried and put myself out there. 🙂

    ‘Dad, he’s a nerd. He’s not going to try anything on me.’

    You had me at this. Your story sounds really good. I wish you luck!

  3. Well done, you! I am totally with you on the nervousness – I’m in the same boat right now. But well done – and your book sounds *awesome*. I’m crossing my fingers for you. Also, have a great week at the beach. *jealous* 😉

  4. I’m currently querying too, so I appreciate how nervewracking it is. And I keep all my rejections too. I could wallpaper a room with the ones I got for Isla. :p

    But one thing: if you want to read a really good post about why it’s not a good idea to post a play-by-play summary of your querying journey, Summer Heacock has a great one: http://www.fizzygrrl.com/art-of-oversharing/ If you decide to do it anyway, that’s up to you, but I’d personally caution against it.

    • Haha, I’m on my way to wallpapering, that’s for sure 🙂

      That is a fantastic post. I cringed quite a bit. Obviously I wouldn’t name specific agents/publishers or anything like that. If I’m sharing anything at all, it will be discreet (well, hopefully). But thanks for sharing, that’s really helpful 🙂

  5. I think it’s great you’re being open with talking about querying. I might well join you, though at the moment I’ve put a pause on my new batch of querying, since I’m not sure my first few pages actually make sense. #headdesk

  6. BEST OF LUCK WITH YOUR QUERYING, EMILY! I really enjoyed that excerpt. Querying is scary, and hard; I just sent off my requests for the ones I got for Nest Pitch, and I’m already biting my fingernails anxiously… Waiting is just horrible. And while getting rejections definitely hurt, it’s not the end of the world. The publishing industry is very subjective. Good luck. 🙂

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