Q: How do you query with a rewrite?

shaking handsQuerying your first novel is a process that morphs over time. In a perfect world, agents request–and LOVE–the book you are querying and you find an agent quickly without (many) revisions.

However, for most of you it won’t be a ‘perfect world’ scenario. You might not get any requests, you might be lucky enough to get some direct feedback from an agent, and if you’re REALLY lucky, they’ll ask you to requery your novel after you’ve done work on it.

So how to do you query again after you’ve done a rewrite?

Do agents want to see the book again?

What if I already sent it to my dream agent and they passed? Will they want to see it again?

Am I even allowed to re-send?

Yes, you are ‘allowed’ to requery, but here are some general guidelines:

1. Let us know that we’ve seen a version of it before.

2. If you’re going to send it to us again, make sure you’ve done a considerable amount of work.

3. If we provided you with specific targets for revision, let us know that you accomplished them. 

4. But be warned, you only get one chance to make a first impression and you’ve already used it.

Books are never considered finished until they go to the printer. They are in a constant state of creating, editing, revising and writing. It’s okay to tweak and polish as you go.

However, you only have one chance to wow us and often times querying with a rewrite isn’t beneficial unless we’ve specifically requested it.

Q: What questions do writers have about resubmitting projects?

Further Reading:

Wait before you hit send. Are those revisions really ready?

First Impressions

Published by Carly Watters

Carly Watters is a SVP, senior literary agent and director of literary branding with the P.S. Literary Agency. She is a hands-on agent that develops proposals and manuscripts with attention to detail and the relevant markets. PSLA’s mission is to manage authors’ literary brands for their entire career. Never without a book on hand she reads across categories which is reflected in the genres she represents and is actively seeking new authors in including women’s fiction, commercial and upmarket fiction, select literary fiction, platform-driven non fiction and select memoir. She occasionally represents children's book projects. Carly is drawn to emotional, well-paced narratives, with a great voice and characters that readers can get invested in.

2 thoughts on “Q: How do you query with a rewrite?

  1. I love reading your posts, because they highlight the gray areas in the querying process that aren’t usually discussed elsewhere.

    I have one dilemma regarding resubmitting: let’s say the agent has read part of the manuscript (and talked to the writer face-to-face) at a conference and asked the writer to resubmit after changes. In this scenario, when the writer is ready to resubmit, does she query formally (as in a business letter with the agent’s address at the top, a paragraph with an overview of the mss, and another with the writer’s bio etc.in the body of the letter) or does she keep it semi-formal (still addressing the agent formally and mentioning that they’ve requested the pages, but omitting some of the other aspects of a formal query letter)?

    This has stumped me a time or two, and I’d love to hear your take on it. Thanks!


  2. What is the proper way to address this in an e-mail? “Hi so-and-so, I’ve heavily revised the ms” ? I’d love to see a basic structure for this. Thank you!


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