As of 12:45 pm, Friday, June 29th, I'm caught up on queries. That means I have gotten the query inbox down to 0. If you queried me this week and didn't get a response, double check the submission guidelines and send off the query again.

(And I just put up the Auto Response so if you're querying anyone at New Leaf, you should now get the auto response).

This week there were 240 queries in my inbox(es)!

Of those...

I got 3 bouncebacks saying my email wasn't accepted by the domain. (If you have an author site and your email goes through your site, make sure you can get your emails!)

The most common genre this week--Science Fiction. I'm definitely getting a lot of sci fi queries right now, for both adult and YA projects, and even some middle grade (yay)!

Why I rejected most queries--What is your book about?
Most of the time I'm really rejected something because it just doesn't grab me. This doesn't mean it's bad, just that nothing stands out or really jumps out and says UNIQUE!

And this is true for today too, but as I went through my queries there were a high number that I rejected because I couldn't understand what the book was about. I got a high number of queries that talked just about the author and then started in with the pages or had no mention of a main character or the conflict. There were even a few that I couldn't tell what genre the story was either.

And for less extreme examples, there were a number of queries I got (usually fantasy/science fiction) that had a lot of names, terms, and backstory that cluttered the plot and left me confused.

Queries I regrettably passed on--3

YA Historical--I passed because of the werewolf element. If it had just been straight historical I would have requested
YA Contemporary--I passed despite really loving the voice in the pages because the concept sounded too much like something I'd read before.
Adventure MG--I really loved the concept but the pages didn't grab me.

Manuscripts I requested--4

Women's fiction--great concept and killer opening line
Adult urban fantasy--unique concept and amazing voice in the pages
Middle grade mystery--fun concept with great writing (in the query and pages) and a very engaging tone
YA sci-fi ish--this is the closest one to a referral. When I've looked at an author's previous manuscript and really liked it (even if I ended up passing) or when one of my colleagues has done the same, I always want to look at their next project.
2012 has been a big year for me--and an awesome one. The newest big/awesome piece of news was in PW Daily today. If you missed it, check it out here.

Joanna Volpe is our new fearless leader and our agency name is changing to New Leaf Literary and Media.

This is beyond awesome. We're still in the same office with the same phone numbers and working with the same clients, and we're really excited about all of the things we're going to be doing in this changing and growing industry.

But what does this mean if you're querying or if I've requested your manuscript?

Well, if you're querying, check out my updated submission guidelines, just below this post. I've updated them! (The big change is just the email address, but I've also updated what I'm looking for).

And if I requested your manuscript, don't worry, I still have it. I ported all my emails (not quite as fancy as it sounds) so they've all been sucked into my new New Leaf email address.
How to Query 

To see a pretty simple breakdown of what you need and how it's different for fiction, memoir, and non-fiction go here. For fiction and memoir, your manuscript must be complete and polished. Don't send unsolicited attachments of any kind. Be sure to include your full name, email address, mailing address, and telephone number in your query (and on your manuscript!). For fiction, include the word count (use the word count tool in your word processing program).

For well formated query examples, go here.

***I now accept only email queries. ***

Make sure you only query me when your manuscript is COMPLETE. (And by COMPLETE, I mean you've drafted, revised, and polished your manuscript). 

  • Send all email queries to QUERY(at)newleafliterary(dot)com Put "QUERY--SUZIE" in the subject line 
  • Please include your first 5-10 double-spaced sample pages within the body of the email 
  • I do NOT open attachments Include all necessary contact information 
  • You will receive an Auto-response confirming receipt of your query 
  • You'll get an additional response from me within two weeks either requesting or letting you know it's not for me

Other Query Information:

  • You don't need to respond if I'm passing. I appreciate your thanks but I'm just doing my job
  • If I request your manuscript, when you send it to me, you'll receive a "confirmation of receipt email" which will tell you how about how many days it might take me to read the ms. Hopefully you'll hear before then, but if those days pass and you haven't heard, please feel free to check in (email only). 
  • Don't send me a synopsis--they're totally evil. 
  • Please DO contact me if I'm considering your work and you have received an offer from another agent or editor.

The fabulously talented Chelsea Fine's second novel in the Archers of Avalon Series is out today.

The first installment of the trilogy, Anew, is for sale as an ebook. It's only 99 cents on Amazon and so make sure to check it out.

Today is a very special day and one that has been a long time in the making.

When I was still an assistant, I got a query about a girl who thinks she has nine lives and her twin sister who doesn't even get to keep her one life because she has leukemia.

A little less than a month later, I finally had a chance to sit down with the manuscript on a train ride from NY to Philadelphia. And I loved it. The manuscript made me laugh, it made me cry, and it made me sit in the train station for an extra twenty minutes while I turned pages until it was over. I wasn't willing to get in my car and drive home until I knew what happened.

When I read the last line, I knew this was a book that had changed my life.

I got second reads and everyone at my agency loved it as much as I did so I spoke to the author and offered representation. We did some revisions and went on submission.

It was the second book I sold.

It's a book I've read a number of times, through each revision. It's also a book that has quotes that I've typed up and taped to my wall. It's poignant and beautiful, funny and also heartbreaking.

And today it's a real book available in stores.

Happy Release Day to Sarah Wylie!