Genevieve Gagne-Hawes


Book editor at Writers House; manages submissions for Amy Berkower. Ph.D. in English Lit from UBC. Tweets are my own (or yours, if you want them)

Alaska, mostly.

Writers House

Genevieve Gagne-Hawes @genevievejude · 3d

Good to be mindful of the difference between books and authors that inspire you and books to which your novel can clearly & logically be comped. #querytip

Genevieve Gagne-Hawes @genevievejude · 4d

Been getting a lot of queries lately for books that sound like fascinating character studies, but don't have a clear story. #querytip #amquerying

Genevieve Gagne-Hawes @genevievejude · Aug 9

1) Don't send nasty replies to rejection letters
2) See #1
3) But it's a FUNNY nasty reply!
4) See #1


Genevieve Gagne-Hawes @genevievejude · Aug 6

just popping in here with your regular Monday morning reminder that if your adult lit fic MS is clocking in at 200,000 words, that's going to be a major red flag for me when reviewing submissions. #querytip

Genevieve Gagne-Hawes @genevievejude · Jul 12

Amidst all the terrible political news, I've been finding a lot of joy in queries. The dedication it took to tell a story, to write a query letter and send it out moves me. Ditto the imagination it took to come up with a set of characters and their story. #querytip #amquerying

Genevieve Gagne-Hawes @genevievejude · Jul 6

Do: Send us sample pages when you query; I love to get a sense of your writing.

Don't: Send said sample pages (or query letter) via GoogleDoc or file we have to download. I am paranoid about spam/phishing and this makes me not want to read. #querytip

Genevieve Gagne-Hawes @genevievejude · May 24

If you've sent an electronic query to Amy Berkower, we are caught up (less requested partial & full MS's) through May 2, 2018. If you didn't get a reply, please re-query us, as something has gone wrong! #querytip #amquerying

Genevieve Gagne-Hawes @genevievejude · May 21

Strive to back up your claims in your query. If you say, "My book will appeal to women" or "My story is sure to be a hit with millennials," explain your reasoning & tell us why -- especially if it's not obvious from the synopsis. #querytip

Genevieve Gagne-Hawes @genevievejude · Apr 7

As a rule, if we're open to considering a revision of your MS, we'll note that in our initial rejection letter -- it doesn't hurt to ask, but don't be hurt if we decline to take another look. #querytip

Genevieve Gagne-Hawes @genevievejude · Mar 27

Don't try to contort your book into something it's not to woo an agent (ex: calling a commercial thriller literary fiction). Instead, use tools like #MSWL, Pub Marketplace, and @poetswritersinc to find folks who want exactly what you're writing. #querytip

Genevieve Gagne-Hawes @genevievejude · Mar 7

Because it seems to come up over and over again: female characters don't have to be secret martial arts masters / street fighters / any good at punching things at all to be strong. #querytip

Genevieve Gagne-Hawes @genevievejude · Mar 2

Happy Friday! Don't open your query with SUPER AGGRESSIVE negging; it's like I just went on a terrible date with a book pitch that frequented red pill sites. Oy. #querytip

Genevieve Gagne-Hawes @genevievejude · Mar 1

I *love* queries where it's clear the query-er has read books from Amy's list, and really thought about how their project is similar to other works Amy represents. If the comparison is a good, of-the-moment one, it's almost always a request for me. #querytip

Genevieve Gagne-Hawes @genevievejude · Feb 23

If we ask for a revise & resubmit, don't rush the revisions! We're here; we'll remember you; we can't wait to reread. Often I see authors scramble to finish w/n 4-6 weeks, and that can honestly do a disservice to the book. The edits often feel way too raw. #querytip

Genevieve Gagne-Hawes @genevievejude · Feb 9

A query line that never works for me is some variant of: "I'd be happy to come into the city to meet you." I like the idea -- conveying enthusiasm -- but it comes off as creepy & kind of presumptuous. #querytip

Genevieve Gagne-Hawes @genevievejude · Feb 5

Genevieve Gagne-Hawes @genevievejude

Really feeling this after a few of today's queries.

Would add "violence against women's bodies" to the list; let's stop using that to create "strong and silent" male characters, too.…

And more: we've been getting lots queries lately that reference #MeToo, which is great. But if your novel is using sexual assault/harassment/abuse as a plot point or for vicarious thrills -- that's not #MeToo. That's part of the problem the movement is addressing. #querytip

Genevieve Gagne-Hawes @genevievejude · Jan 26

If you're resubmitting a MS to us after a long period of time (say 3-5 years), own up to it! Tell us what you've changed; why you've stuck with the project; if you've gotten it edited, and how.* That's useful information. #querytip #amquerying

Genevieve Gagne-Hawes @genevievejude · Jan 24

This is a good way to make literary fiction work: give it a hook around which to build a plot (a chase, a hunt, a mystery), and ensure that said hook plays into the themes you want to explore. #amquerying #querytip

Genevieve Gagne-Hawes @genevievejude · Jan 12

Novellas are hard. Often when I'm reading queries, I latch onto an idea ("I love this!") -- then see a length of 35K words or less and falter. If you've got a great concept, it's always worth exploring whether or not there's a full novel there. #amquerying #querytip

Genevieve Gagne-Hawes @genevievejude · Jan 8

It's been said before, but bears repeating: starting your query letter by bashing other writers (even, nay, ESPECIALLY unpublished ones who are also querying) just doesn't work. #amquerying #querytip