When Query?Complications Ensue
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Friday, March 27, 2009

Q. When's the best time to query a spec?
I asked this of Amanda the Aspiring TV Writer, who thinks querying is futile:
At my agency, we're instructed to send all query letters to Business Affairs, though perhaps this isn't the case at smaller places. From what I see in Hollywood, everything happens through relationships, not query letters. Make friends with people, because people want to help their friends, not strangers. We're all willing to suck it up and work as underpaid secretaries so that we can develop the relationships needed to forge ahead. Why should we grant favors to these people when we're working so hard to earn our own favors?

If people insist on querying, I'd suggest waiting til after staffing season when people aren't so busy. [I.e. June.] Right before the winter break (agents take at least 3 weeks off) also might be good since a lot of people catch up on reading then.

Also, don't discount management companies. Many writers get managers before they get agents, and all agents are more willing to read writers who already have managers.
I think many smaller agencies do read queries, especially if the query says something like "[name of development executive] suggested I email you..." And according to the comments below, many major agencies do take queries. But Amanda's positive advice is still excellent. If you can make a personal connection, even with an agent's assistant, you'll do much better than if you're a stranger. That's why being in LA is so important. How do you make those connections if you're not there?



Pardon my denseness, but what does it mean to "query a spec"?

By Blogger daveednyc, at 11:14 AM  

"How do you make those connections if you're not there?"


By Blogger Paul William Tenny, at 1:16 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

By Blogger whit, at 2:50 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

By Blogger whit, at 3:01 PM  

Hey whit, could I possibly read your query? I'm about to go through that process and seeing a successful one would be the bomb... a bomb that explodes happiness when it detonates.

By Blogger just some guy trying to write, at 12:49 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

By Blogger whit, at 2:27 PM  

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