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Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Three Strikes I'm Out

Douglas Stewart, an agent at Sterling Lord, had a lot to say about my work. On the plus side, he appears to have read every word I sent him, which is cool. On the minus side, he sums up my career at that moment by saying (1) my nonfiction is my best writing, but has no hook, (2) my novel sucks and didn't "warm" him, and (3) who cares about my short stories (not him), if my novel is a cold fish. I blacked a lot of what he said out because dude got pretty personal. I mean, he might as well have tossed in that my hair is shaggy and my feet too big.


Anonymous said...

Sucks. I guess it's good that he paid attention to your work, but it's sure frustrating.

He told me a few months back that he straight-out wasn't interested in my work. But I had a "dream" agent write a longish letter in reply to my novel ms. that sounds similar to what you're saying here -- she offered to represent my next nonfiction project. And that part in my query about how I've been doing nonfiction for money, hating it, and trying to start my career as a novelist?

It's the second agent to say that to me. Another was at SLL, actually, who told me that if I want to do a nonfiction book in a certain area I have some experience with, she'd love to represent me.

What's with these agents requesting well-honed pages from fresh-new-novelists-who-write-nonfiction-just-to-pay-the-rent
and then encouraging them to stick with the nonfiction they've been coasting through with their eyes closed? And what's with Sterling Lord Literistic anyway, do they have any agents who love good old fashioned supremely literary fiction?

Eileen said...

I guess on the upside he didn't include a free sample of hair conditioner.

Unknown said...

Keep trying man. Wear them down with your persistence.

Anonymous said...

No, do not resend a ms. They keep track.