Agents’ Responses to Submissions

Falling off the edge

Falling off the edge

Usually Agents are too busy to give feedback to a submission unless they are interested in your work. So, when you get a rejection, it is usually a formatted response to all….

Occasionally, you get more. A handwritten comment scribbled and signed, a personal touch, a word or two that stands out.

And sometimes you get a little extra typed into the formatted letter. Well, this happened yesterday from the Fraser Ross Literary Agency. My manuscript had been with the company a month, so a fairly quick response. As well as the standard words, there was this:

‘….Your commitment to this work is clear and I admire your achievement, but the children’s book market is crowded and extremely competitive place and I’m afraid I feel that we would struggle to place Noise of Snow with a commercial publisher.’

Maybe not high praise, but any comment is helpful. Thank you to Kathryn Ross for taking this time. It is rare.

Writers work alone for much of the time, in a time warp, in isolation, in a void. On the long road, feedback to us baring our souls, putting ourselves on the line, is necessary and yet often difficult to come by.


‘I can’t paint!’

A Saturday or two ago, I met someone, very upset, who said they couldn’t paint. When they were little, a teacher told them that they couldn’t draw. That comment stuck. The belief that they couldn’t draw stuck. One comment. And is it true? It’s subjective. A child hasn’t usually learnt who they are, and isn’t strong enough to weigh up the subjectivity of a comment and that it often says more about the person saying it, than it does about the one receiving it. A child will often take it at face value.

So, my friend, as an adult, when asked to draw a self-portrait, didn’t feel she could. Interestingly, she said, she felt who she was, was ‘inside’ and she wanted to paint what is ‘inside.’ That is who she is, not the outside face.

Painting seems big at the moment. Just seen that a new series is coming on TV like The great British Bake off, but for Art. This is wonderful. When there are cut backs for the Arts, we are being shown how important the Arts are.

So, my friend. We will be moving our bodies, feel how our bodies move and translate that to our brush strokes on paper. We will make lists of what we love, what our interests are. What makes us tick. We will see how we feel on that day, happy, tired, stressed…however and translate that to colour and shapes and brushstrokes and the objects we draw. Love how we fire up each other. Edvard Munch 'The Scream' (2)

Painting session next week and we’re going to get MESSY!!! 🙂