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  • Writer's pictureMarve Micheal

Full Rejections from Agents on the Manuscript that Got Me a Three-Book Deal

Rejections are never easy. And worse, they never stop coming. For every yes, there are a multitude of no's. Writing this on a day I got a rejection from something else and while I know my yes is just around the corner, it's still quite hard to swallow every time.

Here are some of the rejection emails I got from agents in the final weeks of querying.

P.S. You can read my full query letter here, read about how I got my agent here and read about my three-book deal with Penguin here.

A few disclaimers before reading my full rejections:

  • I have intentionally omitted any agent or agency names 9Please don't ask me for more details on this).

  • I have intentionally omitted anything with spoilers or information that makes the agent/agency identifiable.

  • I secured representation and a six-figure book deal for the very version of my manuscript that received all the below rejections, which proves that no matter how many passes you get, there's still a chance someone will say yes. It's all subjective.

  • I got two revise and resubmit requests but I wasn't willing to change my book from the plot-line I'd worked on, and I had enough interest to ignore this request.

  • These are only some of the rejections, an overwhelming majority dropped out with a one-liner email when prompted with an offer. This could go both ways, agents could rush to finish or rush to bow out. I had more agents bow out than those who read until the end of the deadline.

  • As a black writer, there are often a few more concerns than other querying, especially with many responses you see online where agents are unable to 'connect' with a non-western story or unable to champion you in the ways required. Luckily, my agent snapped me up quickly and has been my biggest cheerleader.

  • Lastly, I am grateful to every agent who read and sent a note back. This piece is to share insight for querying writers alone and nothing else.


This was one of my faves. It was so beautifully kind, and while rejection hurts, if they were to come at all, these would be the kinds I like. This had been a referral from another agent in the agency who rejected then passed it on.


There definitely was a running theme of time in those last two weeks. Life happens and while I could have pushed it another week, I was quite smitten with my agent already.


I must admit, my main character is quite a determined one who has much to learn. While I'm not sure I agree that she's not likeable, she sure does have room for growth. Which just might be the best thing about her. I love her so much because as her story continues, she learns a few things, and becomes unlikely to make the same mistakes twice. This is one of those rejections that left me feeling, there's nothing I can do about this. However, I should mention that after four rounds of edits since then, our girl is even more endearing to readers!


Another step aside...


This was basically a form rejection.


Another bow out, it's always best to believe agents if they say they might not be your best champion.


Another note I thought very very kind.


A good note to end on, this was perhaps my favourite rejection of them all. I also think Firstborn has all the makings of a big-screen film/series... and can't wait for that dream to come true.

I hope you find this post helpful. Remember rejections are a part of the process. If there's a connection issue, or an agent thinks they can't sell or champion your work, believe them. You want someone who wants to be that cheerleader not just for this book but for your career.

As always, happy to answer questions in the comments below.



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