Skip to main content

Are Agents Just Looking for an Excuse to Reject Your Work?

Are agents just looking for an excuse to reject your work? Do literary agents want to accept your writing?

Q: Doesn’t it seem like agents are just looking for excuses to reject work? —Anonymous

A: Actually, the complete opposite is true. Agents don't want to reject your work, they want to accept it and sell it to any publisher willing to take a chance—after all, that's how they pay their rent. Agents may tell you that they reject work because the writer used poor grammar or didn't follow submission guidelines or shares a name with a grade-school bully whom the agent has never forgiven (all of which make it sound like they are out to get you), but the dirty truth is this: Agents are willing to look past all of that if you have a story that's worth selling. Grammar can be fixed; a bad story idea can't.

    Lisa Jewell | Writer's Digest Interview Quote

    The WD Interview: Lisa Jewell

    The New York Times-bestselling British author discusses creating thrilling plot twists and developing characters in her 19th novel, The Night She Disappeared, in this interview from the Jan/Feb 2022 issue of Writer's Digest.

    5 Tips for Successfully Pitching Literary Agents in Person (That Worked for Me at the Writer’s Digest Annual Conference)

    5 Tips for Successfully Pitching Literary Agents in Person (That Worked for Me at the Writer’s Digest Annual Conference)

    Author Anat Deracine found her agent at Writer’s Digest Annual Conference. Now she’s sharing what she’s learned to help other writers become authors. Here are her 5 tips for successfully pitching literary agents in person.

    Tips for Reading Poetry in Front of an Audience

    8 Tips for Reading Your Poetry in Front of an Audience

    Poet's Market editor and published poet Robert Lee Brewer shares eight tips for reading your poetry in front of an audience.

    Plot Twist Story Prompts: Strength Lost

    Plot Twist Story Prompts: Strength Lost

    Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, let a character lose their powers.

    Sharon Short | Point of View Quote 1

    Managing Point of View: Mythbusting

    In the first of this three-part series, novelist and WD columnist Sharon Short breaks down 7 of the most common myths about choosing which POV is right for your story.

    Channel Your Inner Authorpreneur for Your Writing Labor of Love

    Channel Your Inner Authorpreneur for Your Writing Labor of Love

    As self-publishing continues to become an attractive and popular options for writers, it’s important to know what you’re getting into and to have the right expectations. Here, author and entrepreneur Tom Vaughan shares how to channel your inner “authorpreneur” to help your book find its readers.

    Mark Kurlansky: On Coincidences Driving Memoir

    Mark Kurlansky: On Coincidences Driving Memoir

    Award-winning author, playwright, and journalist Mark Kurlansky discusses the experience of channeling Ernest Hemingway in his new memoir, The Importance of Not Being Ernest.

    In-Between: Writer's Digest 2nd Annual Personal Essay Awards Winner

    In-Between: Writer's Digest 2nd Annual Personal Essay Awards Winner

    Congratulations to Alyssa Rickert, Grand Prize winner of the 2nd Annual Writer's Digest Personal Essay Awards. Here's her winning essay, "In Between."

    Things To Consider When Writing About Ghosts and the Supernatural in Fiction

    Things To Consider When Writing About Ghosts and the Supernatural in Fiction

    From maintaining subtlety to visiting haunted places, author J. Fremont shares everything to consider when writing about ghosts and the supernatural in fiction.