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A Literary Agent Is Not a Critique Partner

It amazes me how often authors seem to use the feedback I give them in rejections as an open invitation for a critique. This is one of the reason that so few agents still give feedback.


You might be surprised by how often we receive emails that go something like this:

I hope you don’t mind an update. I just heard back from another agent who gave me feedback that was very similar to yours. I wanted to send along the first 10 pages again to see if you thought this made a difference. I can’t wait to hear what you think.
Unfortunately, unless you are signed with BookEnds as my client, I’m not your critique partner, or even here to give revisions. The feedback I’m giving is because I like to help if I can, but I don’t have time to do more than I already have.
Don’t ruin a potential relationship with an agent by hounding her. That’s what your critique group is for. Use them.


Category: Blog



  1. It doesn’t matter how often I hear things like this, I am always shocked by how rude some people can be.

    I always advocate, asking for advice and generally people are happy to offer it, if they can or point you in the right direction if they can’t.
    But asking someone to basically work for free, not exactly the same thing.

  2. I agree with Hollie. How can anyone think this is proper business behavior?

    I would be ecstatic if an agent made even the slightest comment on a submission, but I would never take that as a revise/resend unless those exact words were used.

  3. I got a revise/resub once (a number of years ago so I was still a bit green around the gills with these things). I didn’t R&R because I didn’t understand it for what it was and so worried about doing exactly what Jessica illustrated in the above. Unless it is asked for – don’t.

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