Querying exclusively

Normally, I will only query to an agent or editor who accepts simultaneous submissions, meaning they are okay with me querying other agents/editors at the same time, as long as I let them know if another party is interested. There was one notable exception, though.

Last year, I attended the New Jersey SCBWI Conference where I was fortunate enough to sit in on a session on character development given by Cheryl Klein, Senior Editor at Arthur A. Levine Books (an imprint of Scholastic). I even thrust my hand in the air and asked a question that she graciously answered.

And then I went up to her and complimented her on her web site, with its many wonderful writer's resources. By the way, her new site is still a bit under construction, but her blog is quite good. I am fairly certain I must've appeared to be a stalker the way I walked up to her in the conference, and had to rush off as the next speaker commenced. Ah, well.

Anyway, I submitted The Children of Midian to her in a query packet via snail mail (which she prefers) last October, with SQUID written on the envelope (if you ready her submission guidelines, you'll understand why), and a series of SCBWI conference stickers affixed in a few prominent places. She also prefers not to receive simultaneous submissions, but will accept them nonetheless. I took the hint and submitted exclusively because, in this case I really thought it was a fit and she was the editor I really wanted to work with.

Well, it's nine months later, and no word. Based on what I know and have read about her--she always responds--I wonder if my packet got lost in the mail. If so, I guess I'll chalk it up to a lost opportunity. I mean, I had the stickers and everything! (I think they help keep you off the slush pile or something.)

But if not lost in the mail, a few months back I assumed that no response meant "no", so I began to query again. I'm not big on sending a reminder eMail or letter to an editor or agent, unless they explicitly say to. The one time I did, the "no" came back fast! I'm sure the "no" would've come back anyway, but I'm superstitious about such things now.

I haven't given up hope, though. Onward, I say!

Have any of you had similar or related experiences?

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