Skip to main content

Exclusive Submissions: Treading Carefully

Q. I have been sending out multiple submissions for the past few months on my completed manuscript. I received and granted a one-month request for reading exclusivity to an agent. The next day, I receive a request from another house. What is the best way to proceed with the second request? I am not sure if I should tell the second agent to wait 30 days or just stall and send the manuscript to the agent in 30 days. What is the etiquette for this situation?
- Dave

A. First of all, congrats on getting multiple requests for the full ms.
Now, on to your question. The best etiquette is to simply be honest. Reply to Agent #2 (by e-mail, hopefully), saying how excited you are about their request for the full text, but you regretfully have to inform them that it is in the middle of an exclusive read. Ask them if you can send it to them in a few weeks when the exclusive period ends, providing Agent #1 has ultimately said no to the project. The quicker you can do this and reply, the more professional it seems.
If Agent #1 says no and Agent #2 hasn't answered your question, I advise sending it anyway. They wanted to see it, and they may have not replied because they were momentarily frustrated that you couldn't immediately send it. But, still, they did want to see it, so send the requested ms over to Agent #2 ASAP.

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Dance Time

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Dance Time

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, have your characters dance.

Convention-al Wisdom: Why I Love Attending Cons as a Writer

Convention-al Wisdom: Why I Love Attending Cons as a Writer

Russell James shares how convention act as more than networking events for writers, but as an opportunity to be face-to-face with your readers, to make new friends, and more.

Alicia Thompson: On Writing Romance in Isolating Times

Alicia Thompson: On Writing Romance in Isolating Times

Writer Alicia Thompson discusses what she learned about herself in writing her new romance novel, Love in the Time of Serial Killers.

Examples of Hooks for Books

60 Examples of Hooks for Books

This post collects 60 examples of hooks for books. Also called elevator pitches, these book hooks show real-life examples in a variety of writing genres for fiction and nonfiction books.

How To Turn Artifacts and Research Into a Family Memoir

How To Turn Artifacts and Research Into a Family Memoir

A century’s old family heirloom acted as a clue to the past for author Cornelia Maude Spelman. Here, she shares how to turn artifacts and research into a family memoir.

Miriam Parker: On Writing the Book You Want To Read

Miriam Parker: On Writing the Book You Want To Read

Author and publisher Miriam Parker discusses her surprise at writing her new novel, Room and Board.

Poetry Prompt

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 622

Every Wednesday, Robert Lee Brewer shares a prompt and an example poem to get things started on the Poetic Asides blog. This week, write a story poem.

7 Tips for Fictionalizing Real Historical Characters

7 Tips for Fictionalizing Real Historical Characters

When to retell history, when to imagine new scenarios, and who’s safe to use as a subject—author Gill Paul shares 7 tips for fictionalizing real historical characters.

A Thief in the Market

A Thief in the Market

Every writer needs a little inspiration once in a while. For today's prompt, someone is stealing from small business owners.