AGENTS: THE WAS THERE THAT ISN’T HERE

Educational Alliance on East Broadway held an event they call the Pitch-Palooza. I signed for a ticket and sent a one-page description of my project, “The Enormous Island.” Out of those applying ten were chosen to be questioned by a panel of experts, agents, marketing and so on, a panel of four.
One of the agents on the panel was Susan Golomb. She had to leave early and so did I, and on the way out I asked her if my memoir of homelessness was some sort of taboo topic. I really wasn’t asking her to take it, but she said it “sounded interesting” and asked twice if I had the complete manuscript. Yes I do twice, and she said I should send it to her. I fired off the book on February 25th, the day after the Palooza, and I heard no more about it until yesterday when I sent an e-mail to inquire if she will represent Island. Less than an hour later I received a form e-mail that as of March 2nd she was associated with Writers House, a big-time agency.
Did her agency tank, or is it a matter of convenience? I tried to send e-mail to the address given in the form letter, but yahoo rejected it as not a valid address. I called a number given, and a very grouchy young man insisted that the address was correct. I think I heard a touch of a growl in his tone. I looked up Writers House and checked the agent list against my submission/query record. One of their senior agents is Daniel Lazar, who took five days to respond, “Not seem right for our list.”
So, that’s it for Susan Golomb et al. At least one agent said interesting, so perhaps another might and be in better shape.

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In a previous Agents entry, I listed agent replies up to 2013. Below are 2014 and two so far in 2015.

John Silbersack? 01/28/14 Said already sent, but to Glass, NR;
Johnathan Lyons 02/04/14 NR a/o 03/01
Michelle Tessler 02/11/14 NR a/o 03/06
Scott Waxman 02/20/14 NR a/o 03/14
Peter Steinberg 02/20/14 NR a/o 03/14
Liza Dawson 02/23/14 Project doesn’t fit 02/24
Matt McGowan 03/02 NR a/o 03/24
Ayesha Panda 03/02 NR a/o 03/24 09/17/14 Unfortunately, the project you are describing is not the right fit for us.
Splendidity 04/15 NR 05/06
Chicago Review Press 06/15 we do not feel that we would be successful in marketing this work. 07/08
Jennifer Unter 08/07 (No after 3 mos. nr) NR 08/29
Jonathan Lyon 08/07 (” If you do not receive a response within three weeks then I have passed on your project.”) NR 08/29
2015
Stuart Krichevsky Agency 01/10/15 NR 02/06/15
Geri Thoma 01/10 01/20 While we found your concept to be engaging, we don’t feel that your work is right for us at this time.

From this current crop of 14 agents queried, seven were NR. Ayesha Panda, perhaps working from an Eastern concept of time, took nine months to say no. “Not the right fit for us”; “Project Doesn’t fit.” Fit what, exactly? One bright note from Geri Thoma: “While we found your concept to be engaging…” and “…don’t feel right for.”
Chicago Review Press sounded the crack of doom and perhaps the true meaning of “doesn’t fit.”

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