In search of an Agent

5 Year Writing Goal: March update

do you have goalsI’m taking part in Misha and Beth’s Five Year Project and my five-year goal is to write a novel and get it published.

This is my update on progress this month with my historical novel, The Reluctant Scribe.

After the last piece of very helpful advice from an experienced reviewer, I have completed the following changes:

  • Inserted some introspective reflection to clearly explain my main protagonist’s final actions.
  • Rewritten the ending to include a very satisfactory revenge scene, where the main villain gets his just reward.
  • Inserted a prologue in order to set the context of the story for my reader.

At the beginning of February I sent the first three chapters off to an agent, along with the usual covering letter and synopsis. This agent was someone I met at an educational event. She impressed me by her professionalism – and by generally being a jolly nice person.

It’s always hard to know how long to wait, but I’ve waited six weeks and have heard nothing. So I’ve sent her another email as a reminder.

This week has not been a good one. I’ve had two rejections already – for other pieces of writing. Now I’m steeling myself for another. But also, of course, there is that tantalising flicker of hope…

As writers we have to develop both a thick skin and a sense of eternal optimism. Neither comes easy to me.

Author: Ruth Livingstone

Walker, writer, photographer, blogger, doctor, woman, etc.

20 thoughts on “In search of an Agent”

  1. You’re brave and patient. I never bothered with that route. After I published one myself I sent it to a publisher just to see what would happen and they offered me a contract… but it wasn’t a great contract so I turned it down anyway. It’s a difficult decision to go traditional which is why so many are going it alone. Af course, that’ hard work too, just in a different way.

    Best of luck Ruth, x


    1. Hi Shah. I think you are the brave one to go-it-alone. I guess I have self-publishing in reserve if I fail to get going via the traditional route. And I’m writing some non-fiction guides which I plan to self publish this year.


  2. Hi Ruth, I’m thinking couldn’t you send the three chapters and synopsis out to several agents/publishers at once? That was the advice I was given, as your manuscript might be on their slush pile, ‘to do’ list for quite a while?

    A friend of mine has just gone the self-publishing route, and only today told me that traditional publishing seems to be in a bit of a mess at the moment! She is young enough, and brave enough to do all her own self promotion etc where as I’d be like you trying to seek representation first…

    Good luck with everything, if I hear of anyone taking on historical novels I’ll pass the details along…


  3. Growing that thick skin is so hard. Rejections always kill my motivation, so I let them. For 1 day. I have a day of moping, watching trashy old movies, eating chocolate. Then, I start the next day refreshed. It’s ok to feel bad, and I think we often don’t allow ourselves the grieving time we need. Good luck with the outstanding submission!


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