Little Acorn's Big Fall--5 Rejections--What's Wrong?
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I've received 5 rejection emails so far. Here are the basics to the query I sent out with a small specific intended for each agent I researched. Is there anything I need to spruce up or is five rejects no biggie?  Thanks!!!


Dear Agent,


It is said only 1 in 10,000 acorns grow into a mature tree.


I'm seeking author representation. I read on your website that your agency represents children's books.


My 500-word picture book, Little Acorn's Big Fall, is a jubilant tale of an acorn forced to grow up. LITTLE ACORN learns the daunting task of keeping the forest alive is his responsibility. The tiny nut with a huge obligation desperately wants to make his father proud. Despite his fear, Little Acorn plunges from his father's branch, and he soon discovers how he will carry out his arboreal duty to the forest.


My work has appeared in Texas Gardener and The Old Texas Rose. I'm a member of SCBWI, and I co-organize a SCBWI local chapter critique group.


The manuscript is available to you upon request. Thank you for your time and consideration.


Best Wishes,

Candy Fite


  • Thanks, Maria! This has all changed. My most recent is in the post, "Another Crack at Little A." My final version does not have the 1, 2 & 3 numbering and I made a few other changes.

    Thanks for the tips though!


    I do not believe it is reassuring to an agent or editor to read "I read on your site..." I think you need to show you did more homework than that. eg, "You represent James Smith and Ann Jones, authors whose books are brimful of wit and wisdom for the under-5 set. "Little Acorn" doesn't fall far from that tree...'

    Well, maybe not the cliche, but the other part, yes; something that shows you didn't practically start at the A's or use a dartboard.

    And I concur with other advice given. maybe use a quote from your mS for the first graf in place of your first 2 grafs.

    I also might avoid words (such as 'jubilant') tougher than the intended audience.

  • Thanks, Sarah! Oh, I went back and read the note from this agent's intern. She does mention me by name, and the title of my book! She also thanked me for my "nice note" to them!

    I'm counting that in my success file (in my mind, of course!).

    Cute pun!

  • I'm glad you're going to take another crack at it.  (Ah!  The pun!)  I think you could bring more out.

    But just so you know, there are queriers out there who would kill for a 1-in-5 request rate.  Just sayin.'



  • Yes, one of the five requested the entire manuscript. She was the one who had her intern write me a personal note. It was not specific to my story, but definitely not a form letter reject because it was addressed to me. Thanks!

  • Thanks, ladies! You all have great advice. It's time I looked hard at my plot and character and bring a bit more of the story into the query, both voice and details. This is all so helpful!

    I'm glad 5 doesn't mean quit! One was even a personal note from an intern. Very professional.

    I have lots to mull over. From reading your comments I will not continue to use this version! Lol. I will rework this tomorrow and give it another whirl...stay tuned!

    Oh, and I'm not an illustrator. Usually, for picture books the author is paired with one later through the pub/editor, unless the author is an illustrator, too.