Author Topic: Coincidence?  (Read 487 times)

Offline mysticatical

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Coincidence?
« on: February 21, 2021, 11:57:12 AM »
I have been working as a freelance writer and editor for 5 years. One month ago I started querying (I've queried 8 people and had 4 full MS requests, 2 of which came off the back of an anthology and writing festival last year and haven't replied, 2 of which said no but one was a Revise and Resubmit).

Something which feels like a huge coincidence just happened. For the first time in 5 years working as a writer, I got an email from a big agency asking, out of the blue, if I might be querying and looking for representation, by any chance. I said yes and the agent asked to see my full MS. Is this some huge serendipity or do agents talk?

Offline redseafish

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Re: Coincidence?
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2021, 02:50:47 PM »
Have you double-checked the email address to make sure it's genuine? There's some kind of unknown scam going on by people trying to take unpublished manuscripts (not sure if they are taken only once offered): https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/21/books/publishing-manuscripts-phishing-scam.html

The article says the email addresses usually have some subtle change.

If it's all genuine, then I've got no idea what's going on! I would have thought that if agents recommended you to someone else, they'd let you know. After all, your email address and your communications about your manuscript should be regarded as private.

Congratulations on all the full requests!

Offline Miss Plum

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Re: Coincidence?
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2021, 07:54:45 PM »
I got an email from a big agency asking, out of the blue, if I might be querying and looking for representation, by any chance. I said yes and the agent asked to see my full MS. Is this some huge serendipity or do agents talk?
At least one agent, Christopher Schelling, trolls for clients (I mean this in the legitimate fishing sense, not the being-a-troll sense) in journals and anthologies. If he sees a writer he thinks he can develop, he'll reach out to them. I saw this in a video interview of him with another agent and now I can't find it anywhere, which is driving me crazy. If I find it, I'll add the link.

Offline littlewritings

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Re: Coincidence?
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2021, 12:56:38 AM »
As far as I know, it's highly unusual for an agency to reach out to a writer, although it does happen, especially when you already have a fanbase or are in some other way established as a writer.

My advice would be this: Before you send them your manuscript, ask them how they got your email address and why they're interested in your writing. Reach out to that agency in a separate email (use the email address from their website, not the one they contacted you with), tell them what's going on and ask if they really sent that request. I've heard of several scams where "agents" reached out to writers and I hope you got a genuine request, but you can't be too careful.

Offline mysticatical

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Re: Coincidence?
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2021, 05:18:44 AM »
Thanks for the responses. Yeah, my first thought jumped to scam but I checked the email and it's genuine. I asked and she said she found me via Twitter! It just seems such a weird case of serendipity that she would know I'm querying after 5 years of not querying?!

And thanks re the words of congratulations! I've realised a full MS request is still far from being an offer of representation, but it's encouraging.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2021, 05:22:27 AM by mysticatical »

Offline Viddiest

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Re: Coincidence?
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2021, 05:04:28 PM »
Glad to hear it's a genuine email. Hope you get a positive response on one of your fulls soon.

I had an interesting this happen lately where I received an email rejection from an agent in the same thread as a different agent I queried. This flummoxed me because the two agents don't work in the same agency and I had queried both separately. Then I noticed that agent A had bccd "undisclosed recipients" so she had clearly forwarded my query to Agent b at a different agency.

Sadly rejections from both. :) I thought it was nice of her but now it does make me wonder about the ethics of disclosing my email and query without my knowledge.


Offline Miss Plum

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Re: Coincidence? Agent Christopher Scheller
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2021, 03:31:53 PM »
If Agent Christopher Scheller is that open, why not initiate the contact yourself. He's legit. Here are 2 links:

https://www.selectricartists.com/about.html

https://literary-agents.com/christopher-schelling/

Not sure whom you're addressing, but I was offering my little insight on the question at hand -- is it weird to be contacted by an agent?

Schelling says in that interview that he gets his clients something like 60% from people approaching him and 40% from him approaching people.

Offline mysticatical

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Re: Coincidence?
« Reply #7 on: February 24, 2021, 03:33:36 AM »
Thanks Miss Plum, it's definitely interesting to know that agents don't just find writers from the slush pile. It was such a weird coincidence though that this one found me the one month I am querying!