Saturday, 20 August 2011

American? British? Markets? Eh?

What it's like to get a personalized answer from a literary agent...

I recently received a reply from Hilary Churchley, a UK literary agent who happens to be American. I also happen to be American - doesn't that mean we share a common interest and we should become best friends?

She kindly but firmly rejected my submission for my novel on the basis that my work "would only be suitable for the American market," and that I would need an American based agent to submit to.


At least she didn't say it was "not interesting enough to capture her attention." So I suppose my self-esteem can remain somewhat intact from this response.

This adds to the tangle of agency pet peeves that I am trying to avoid. Many UK literary agencies say they do not want submissions from people from the US because they feel that a local agent can serve them best. Understandable. I am submitting to the UK because I live in the UK. I can get to London faster than I can get to New York. And because I think, personally, this work could be good in the US, UK, Mexico, France, all over the world even. It could be translated into 30 different languages, I don't mind. It is the work itself that is real and accessible to everyone from everywhere and from all walks of life.


US agents were next on my list anyway.

And that makes Rejection # 18.

To all those slush-pile warriors out there - keep strong. Myself included.

Happy Saturday, all!

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