Agent Kristin Nelson’s Top Ten Rejection Reasons

Since its Halloween and the day for scares, I decided to write about something really scary to writers. Rejection. If you haven’t faced the terror yet, you will. But you won’t die from rejection, unless you die of a broken heart or stop writing so long you die of old age. I have an upset stomach today anyway, so I’m not sure if my heartburn is all from being sick or from recognizing the fact that I just sent a query letter with some of these mistakes. It’s enough to give me indigestion all week.

Hmm, writers are supposed to put their entire plot in a single pitch paragraph? Oopsie. I’ve read a bunch of other query letter advice and that point never sank in.

So although this list doesn’t apply to every writer, and probably not to every agent, it’s an important resource for writers of SF&F, or Science Fiction and Fantasy. For writers of other genres, it’s still a good starting point. But then each writer should research rejection lists of other agents who work within the applicable interest area.

Here is the link to her website: . If given permission, I will post the list too. I’d like to keep it close to hand before I query again.

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Indie author-friendly freelance editor, children's book blogger for picture books through YA, kid lit, SF/fantasy lover with special fondness for middle grade, pun-loving SCBWI member, meter-maid for poetry and rhyming picture books.

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