What is needed in your queries is only your experience in writing long fiction and not that in writing scripts, poetry or any journalistic endeavors. If this is your first novel, ever, state that and only that in your query. If you have written other novels but they are not the ones you are querying on, please mention them.
Make your guess, then click on down below for the right answer.
Okay, you’re here, here’s another excerpt:
We realize that many writer boards advise members to list all writing experience in your query letters, but this agency thinks it a waste of time and effort. It means nothing to us as we judge your ability on your writing sample(s) only and not what you say about yourself. We cannot use this information to impress editors, consequently, for us, it is meaningless and unnecessary information.
That’s right, an AGENCY broadcast this. I guess this particular agency doesn’t want to know about experience a) working with editors b) working with deadlines c) that guarantees you know how to compose a beginning, middle and end… I’m sure there are a slew of other arguments, but I’m too flabbergasted to come up with them at the moment. When another writer came back and presented a rebuttal to this, citing the deadline argument, the agent wrote,
The deadlines for articles and novels are different, as is the rhythm of the publishing process and how it proceeds. For me, it would be like saying that if I have held a job selling screws, that I would be an expert at selling automobiles because they contain screws–if that makes any sense. :)
If I were Forrest Gump, I might say that sense is as sense does. But I’m not, and only an idiot would want to go head to head with an agent, right? Granted, writing an article on peripheral arterial disease doesn’t say I or anyone can craft a lengthy, complex novel, but having experience as a paid writer or even being a career writer is of no consequence? C’mon!
But maybe it’s just me.