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)

1 Answer 1


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.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.