Sunday, January 3, 2010


By Karen Cino
President, RWANYC

I have battled one of the hardest addiction there is in life, nicotine. I had no problem quitting smoking cold turkey six years ago, yet I have a hard time sending out my query letters to prospective agents/editors. I have let my fear of rejection get the better of me. Hard to believe, isn’t it?

So I decided that it was time to sit down and evaluate where I want to go with my life. The one thing I know is that I love writing, creating characters and sharing my stories with others. So what’s holding me back? Fear. I’m sure I’m not the only one that feels this way. One of the biggest challenges for a writer is not writing the first draft and making the revisions, but submitting the dreaded query letter.

Keeping this in mind, I think it’s time to make a rash decision -- To Submit! I’m not going to get representation or a rejection letter unless I submit. So now that it’s a new year, it’s time to begin the process.

Do your research. Make a call to the agency to make sure the person you are sending your query to still works there.

Make sure every query letter you send is personalized. Name the agent/publisher in the body of the email, making it more personal and showing that you did your homework.

Follow guidelines. If they ask for the synopsis in the body of the email and the first three chapters attached in a RTF or PDF format, then do it. It is easy to convert these files. All you need do on Microsoft Word is: File….Save….and then press the drop down menu and save to a new format. It is imperative that you send your query letter to the proper agent/editor.

Keep in mind you’re not alone in this process. Every New York Times bestselling author was in the same position we are now.. At National in Washington DC, Janet Evanovich told us of her big box full of rejections.

The key is to keep writing and keep submitting. There is a home out there for our manuscripts. Our chapter is the stepping stone to a long and successful career in writing. With each manuscript we pen, we improve our writing and learn something new. Our chapter has taught me more about the craft, and has opened the door to long lasting friendships.

For 2010, I pledge to send out my manuscript, cherish the rejection letters, and have a celebration if I find an agent/publisher.

I wish all of my fellow writers much success in the coming year. I hope as a group we will submit, and be a support group for one another. So get those manuscripts tweaked and out there!


  1. Karen,

    Here. Here. So true! Rejection always stings, but you can't obtain publication or representation if you don't submit. I've already started. Happiness and success to all this year.


  2. I agree. Submit! If rejected remember, "Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I'll try again tomorrow." ~Mary Anne Radmacher