How does one address an agent in a query? Dear Jessica? Dear Jessica Faust? Dear Ms. Faust?
Such a little thing to obsess over, I know, but since I rarely query/submit to people I haven’t met at conferences or other places, it feels odd to call them “Ms. So-and-so.”
I guess it depends on the agent. If you met an agent personally I suggest first names first. I’m always happy to be addressed by my first name when I’ve met someone. Please note, though: My name is Jessica, not Jennifer. I HATE it when people get it wrong, and if I’m in the wrong mood I will possibly reject you based on this alone. I know, I can be such a witch.
I’m a little old-fashioned, though. If we’ve never met then I guess I prefer either Jessica Faust or Ms. Faust. I’m not sure why, but it bugs me when people use my name informally if we’ve never met. I guess by the same token, if we’ve never met (or at least corresponded in an informal way) I will always address you by your full name or Ms./Mr.
Keep in mind, meetings can sometimes happen over email. When in doubt, go with Jessica Faust and wait to see how I respond to you. In the end, though, as long as you get the name right it’s probably not that big of a deal.