Who do I address my query to?
June 23, 2016 7:05 PM   Subscribe

So, I finally wrote a novel and I'm ready to start looking for an agent. I found this via twitter, and the agent looks like a good fit for my book. The submission guidelines at her agency say "Please mail submissions to the attention of ETHAN ELLENBERG".

So, should I follow that instruction, but mention Lewis's post? That seems the best fit for following the specific instructions, but it just feels weird.

Any advice would be most welcome.
posted by notbuddha to Writing & Language (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
It would be one thing if Lewis gave different instructions, but even her post says that submissions are to go to a general Ethan Ellenberg mailbox. So yeah, follow their instructions.
posted by amro at 7:10 PM on June 23, 2016

Ellen Ellenberg is the agency. Bibi Lewis is the agent.
posted by showbiz_liz at 7:11 PM on June 23, 2016

And just to add: there are only three agents at the agency, and I imagine all three have access to the submissions.
posted by amro at 7:14 PM on June 23, 2016

As a general rule, it's a good thing for your query letter to convey that (a) you have a specific reason for submitting to this specific agent, and (b) you have done your homework and followed the agent's preferred format for querying. So, your instinct -- to follow the instructions, but mention the post and explain why your book is a good fit-- is right on.

I agree with you that it feels weird, but querying is an awkward process and is always going to feel a little weird! The approach you're taking -- doing your homework and trying to respect agents' preferences-- is the best way to go.
posted by yankeefog at 4:14 AM on June 24, 2016

Thanks folks.
posted by notbuddha at 6:23 AM on June 24, 2016

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