Jenny Rae Rappaport
For a limited time only, here at the L. Perkins Agency, we'll be offering a unique twist on the standard form rejection letter...

...instead of just getting told politely that the material isn't for us, our temporary intern will be writing out personalized rejections to your query letters to me, saying why they didn't work for her. Her name is Jodi Meadows, and she'll be blogging about her experiences amidst the query slush piles, in a similar manner to how I do the mailbag posts. Everything discussed will be kept vague for professional reasons; no personal details about authors or titles will be revealed. Jodi wanted to get some experience reading slush, and I'm always happy to take on interns whose taste is similar to mine. This also gives my current electronic intern a wee break from dealing with new queries for two weeks, as he studies for his comprehensive exams (he's still going through my backlog, never fear).

Here's how it's going to work:

Any queries that you send to me from July 9th-July 23rd, using my standard submission guidelines (see sidebar), will be forwarded on to Jodi. Please only query, if you truly do have a completed novel that meets my guidelines. Jodi will read the query letters, and write personal rejections for the ones that are not suitable for the agency. Any queries that are for material I would find interesting will be sent back to me, and I'll be requesting partials for them. (This is a similar manner to how most agents work with their interns.) Any material sent after July 23rd will be read by myself and my regular intern, and will go back to receiving form rejections, if it is not suitable for the L. Perkins Agency.

Enjoy the personalized rejections while they're here!
23 Responses
  1. Jodi Meadows Says:

    Send queries, people! Make me regret this fit of madness! ;)

  2. Alex Fayle Says:

    You're a brave woman, Jodi!

    (Query sent)

  3. Chro Says:

    Good luck, Jodi, and godspeed.

    *Sends Query*

    By the way, is this the sort of thing you want us to advertise on other sites, or is your masochism limited to people who already visit the blog?

  4. I have a question for Jenny and Jodi, then. I sent a query to you back in March but never got any kind of response. Would it be acceptable to resend the query now? I wanted to be patient, especially with your really bad month, Jenny, but I also want some kind of opinion on my query.

  5. Just_Me Says:

    Hey- how do I get a job as an e-intern sorting query? That's not a job I would mind doing every now and then, maybe a temp intern so the others can take vacation?

    Good luck, Jodi!

    If I were ready to query I'd send you something, but nothing is that polished yet.

  6. Natalie Says:

    Wow, should definitely be an interesting experience.

  7. Ryan Field Says:

    I like that her blog is on livejournal.

  8. H. L. Dyer Says:

    Wow! Thank you. What a great opportunity.

    And BONUS: another cool blog to follow. :)

  9. Jodi Meadows Says:

    Chro, Go ahead and tell everyone! I'll be reading all the queries for the next two weeks. (Unless Jenny keeps some for reasons mere writers cannot understand. They go through her first.)

    Leeann Flowers, If Jenny doesn't mind if you resend, I don't mind. I expect to get them aaaaaall for the next two weeks. What's one more? :D

  10. JKB Says:

    Oh jodi, I just sent you one! Be gentle! LOL

  11. David Says:

    Frivolous question, Jodi: Do you drink? And if so, did you drink before starting this?

  12. Jodi Meadows Says:

    David, Hee, just lots of coffee.

  13. Eilidh Says:

    So I tried you and received back a "Sorry not for me."

    Hmmm. Did I do something wrong? Could very well be. Not that I am in a huff or so, but I had hoped for a "not marketable", "writing needs improvement", "Boring storyline", or anything like that - just a tad more personal than the usual Get away message.

  14. Jodi Meadows Says:

    Eilidh, see these two entries as to why sometimes my comments aren't as "here fix this and all will be well" as we'd like them to be.

    I'm not sure which one you are, so I couldn't tell you for sure -- not that I would on a public blog anyway -- but if you received a note like that, chances are there was nothing wrong with your query, it really just wasn't for me. You didn't do anything wrong. :)

  15. Eilidh Says:
    This comment has been removed by the author.

  16. Eilidh Says:

    I'm fine, no worries, Jody.
    Your reply "Sorry, yours isn't something for me" tickled me because I perceive it to be unpersonalized. ;)
    It's an endeavour, isn't it? I don't envy you at all. Good luck with making the right choice!

  17. Hi Jodi,
    I know there's been a lot of discussion of what you've been doing over the past week and a bit on forums like youwriteon but, as recipient of a personalised rejection for Under a Different Star, I'd like to issue an unqualified and enormous thank you for everything you're doing. The snippet about making the characters more proactive has made me realise the importance of using the query to sell/emphasise the various aspects of what's in the story. And following your blog has been incredibly instructive - especially for someone who loves ferrets! (BTW, aren't they stoats/ermine? In England we only call them ferrets if they're brown)

  18. Jodi Meadows Says:


    Oh man, YouWriteOn! I haven't even looked there, though I do keep seeing queries with it mentioned.

    I'm glad my response was helpful for you. Yay! :)

    (BTW, aren't they stoats/ermine? In England we only call them ferrets if they're brown)

    They're all ferrets here. I think stoats and ermine are actually different species, but I'm not an expert on all weasels, so I couldn't tell you for sure. :)

  19. Hannah Says:

    Actually, they're called ferrets in England (and the rest of the world!) no matter what the colour is (sable, black, albino, champagne etc. there's loads of colours). Stoats and Ermines are different species, though related I believe.

  20. Jodi, you're a legend on Youwriteon! It's Chro who pointed us in your direction (sorry to land you in it, Chro :)) and whilst I'm sure we're all disappointed by the rejections, most of us are hugely appreciative of what you've been doing.

    And sorry for the slight on the ferrets - whatever the species, they're incredibly cute!

  21. jenny2write Says:

    Hi Jodi,
    I sent you my query on 23rd July - the 23rd July in the US, I mean.Here in England, it was already the 24th. Does that count?

    (PS Unbelievably, I called you Lori in my query. Apologies. I can't think why. It WAS past midnight (here) of course...)

  22. Jodi Meadows Says:


    I don't have the query in my archives, and everything sent should have been answered already. (I think there's one that keeps bouncing that's still sitting there, but that's not you.) Looks like yours must have gone to Kenny.