What Does a Rejection Mean?

As a literary agent apprentice at the Corvisiero Literary Agency, Meg receives hundreds of queries from novel writers seeking representation. However, since Meg is also a writer and knows what it’s like to be on the other end of submissions, she tries to assist writers (time permitting) on the long (and fun!) road to publication.

When to Query

Before we get to rejections, let’s lay a quick foundation for deciding when to query.

Send Meg a query if:

  • You have a completed (polished) manuscript. (No first drafts, please!)
  • Your manuscript fits into Meg’s manuscript wish list (#MSWL).
  • Meg is open to unsolicited queries or requested you to query her (either through a conference or Twitter pitch event).
  • You have not already submitted the SAME manuscript to another agent at the Corvisiero Literary Agency. (Note: a rejection from one agent means a rejection from all at CLA.)
  • You previously received a rejection from Meg on another manuscript and have written a new manuscript that fits her MSWL.

***Make sure to follow Meg’s specific submission guidelines detailed on her CLA page!***


What a Rejection Means

Unfortunately, Meg cannot work with every single writer who queries her. (If only there was enough time in the day!) One new initiative that she is doing is to provide writers with one-line feedback on WHY she passed on their work.

Here are a few examples of what that feedback might look like:

  • Loved it, but not for me
  • Cool concept, but not for me
  • Needs additional editing—keep working on craft
  • Story starts in the wrong place—consider starting your story closer to the action
  • Needs more world building/setting/character development
  • Not in my MSWL—make sure to research before querying
  • Consider reevaluating your word count—your current word count is either too high or too low for the genre and age group

A few other things to note:

  • Due to the quantity of submissions, Meg cannot provide additional feedback or respond to follow-up emails. (However, thank you emails are always appreciated!)
  • Keep in mind: This is only Meg’s take on your story. Everything in this industry is SUPER subjective, so take her feedback with a grain of salt and keep working hard!

A note from Meg: Whether or not we work together, I’m rooting for you! The road to publication is a long (and fun!) one, so do what you can to stay encouraged and keep pressing on! If you continue to work hard and better your writing, your day will come. Be strong. Be persistent. Be kind.