Saturday, June 27, 2009

7/1/2009 Query Policy


As of 7/1/2009, these are Robert’s new query and submissions guidelines:

I am only accepting queries from writers who fall into one of the following categories:

A. I met you at a writer's conference.

B. You were referred to me by a publishing professional (agent or editor)

I am now closed to all other queries until further notice.

From the above date forward and until further notice, any query received that does not meet these guidelines will be rejected without response.

Robert Brown, Agent
Wylie-Merrick Literary Agency


Scott Jensen said...

First ... WOOHOO! ... a new post. :-) I have bookmarked this blog for a long time now and it is part of my daily routine. Nice to have something new to read. I was wondering if you might have lost interest in blogging. Good to see you haven't.

Second, just my luck. My bad luck. Now you're up for mysteries and the current book I'm working on is a science fiction, not the YA kind. *LOL* Oh well. After this current one (I just stepped over the minimum halfway mark of 43,000 words), my plan is to take another crack at formulating a solid mystery series.

Now I do have an "old" mystery (85,000 words and written last year) but when reading it over, I know write better now. Maybe I'll view it as the first draft and re-write the story. I like the set-up as its detective operates outside of the law thus without a safety net (a.k.a. police back-up, no FBI forensic lab, etc.). Then again, my goal is to create a series so maybe I'll just chalk up the first story as practice and write a brand-new story for the "next" in the series.

And after looking over that "old" manuscript, it got me to thinking. I wonder how many authors look at their old stuff and go, "Oh god, that's horrible." I pulled out my oldest novel (a ten-year-old 120,000-word science fiction) and it is almost painful to read. It deserved every rejection letter it got. Not that I felt that way at the time. No, I thought I was the next Isaac Asimov back then. But I wonder if even the great writers felt the same way when they re-read their earliest published novels. If Ian Fleming re-read "Casino Royale" and groaned. If Ernest Hemingway re-read "The Sun Also Rises" and wished he could retract it. If Agatha Christie re-read "The Mysterious Affair at Styles" and wish she had done it under a pen name. As I look at my first novel, it makes me wonder.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the update.

I've changed my agent spreadsheet to reflex your new guidelines, and though I've never submitted to you, its good to know what your requirements are. Is it possible that Sharene Martin-Brown will also list what her requirements are at some point?

ladylynxx said... what hope do us new authors have? I certainly can't get to meet you at a book fair since I live in the UK and I don't know any agents yet either.

I guess it's a shame, but I'll keep on reading your blog. :(

Wylie Merrick Literary said...

Dear Ladylynxx,

maybe you should contact a UK agent. Now there's a thought!!

Anonymous said...

It is sad to hear that, because I'm based in Indiana as well and you were, ironically, the first agent that my search gave me. Maybe one day, I will meet your criteria but then it will be too late for you to realize that your new submission guidelines have closed a door to so many possibilites. My dreams are just beginning and to see that you are not accepting "unrealized" authors doesn't sway my passion to continue of my quest for publishing. If anything, it will make me search harder to find that perfect fit between an author and her agent, so thank you for the extra boost. Have a great day.

Joshua Lane said...

That's cool, Robert. I am an author here in San Diego, California. I would really like to both meet and work with you. Will you be attending any writer's conferences here in Southern California any time soon?

kristine said...

Do you, (and perhaps this is dreaming), attend any writers' conferences in Guadalajara? Don't laugh too hard - one can always hope. I live near Lake Chapala, Mexico but am frequently in the SF Bay Area, California (I don't think there is another). If you could post what writers' conferences you will be attending in the near future many of us aspiring novelists would be forever grateful.

I have my first YA Sci Fi novel of 79,000 words 261 pages touching on multicultural issues in the present and 300 years in the future - a dual, but relative storyline. Was that a plug? Well, you can't blame a girl for trying.

Wylie Merrick Literary said...


Would like to go to Guadalajara but we only attend conferences by invitation and so far no one's invited us. We would prefer winter, however, because I hear it's quite hot there in summer. Have visited Belize on a cruise ship in late July, so I can imagine.
Our next two conferences are in St. Louis,9/25 and Orlando,10/23. Maybe next conference season we'll be closer. In the meantime, query me on your YA SF. Sounds interesting.

Scott Jensen said...


How about you do blog posts on the next conferences you and/or Sharene will be attending? I'd suggest posting more than one. One when you've accepted an invitation, one a month before the event (for those that might try to attend it), and one "Hey, if you're nearby, attend this!" one the Monday before the event.

And then about how about a post-conference blog post telling how it went. And include photographs of the you two on discussion panels, meeting famous authors, drunk at post-event parties, and such.

Jennifer Cloud said...

Gosh and I just moved from Orlando. Guess it wasn't meant to be.

Brianna Knickerbocker said...

Of course, right after I got my hook down! (and by "right after" I mean two months after) Two soul seeking teenagers are transformed into animal spirits and finally feel freedom from the harsh, extreme world of 2050; but if they don't change back, neither will all the unknowing changed humans. I found out about the conference too late:( Who knows when I'll get to say hello in person. Is Sharene possibly still accepting YA?

vanessa said...

So if you're supposedly a brilliant off-the-cuff female who has written a great memoir/self-help/humorous novel of essays and is half clown/genius-Buddha you're out? :( Sigh...It's all who you know, so true. So true.