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I am in the process of querying agencies over a manuscript I have written. Some agencies' websites say something along the lines of "Please query agents directly", while others say "Please do NOT query agents directly. However, some agencies simply state: Please send queries to [address]

On the one hand, putting ATTN: on my query for a specific agent who specializes in my area of writing could let me reach out in a more targeted way. On the other, it could seem presumptuous to target a single agent, especially if the agency has its own method of distribution.

Is there a best practice in this situation? If the agency doesn't specify, is it always best to query towards a specific agent? (Obviously one can always ask the agency to clarify, but I'm curious if this is a situation where it is better to ask for forgiveness than permission)

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Do as the agency says. If they wanted you to target a specific agent, they would say so. If they forgot to state this, they are not an agency you want to work with anyway. Think of an agency's submission guidelines as a writer's version of a university admission test. If you cannot follow simple rules, how can they rely on you being able to work with them?

tl; dr

Do exactly as the agency says.


If you are unsure, call their office and ask.

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