Cortney Radocaj πŸ³οΈβ€πŸŒˆπŸ’–πŸ’œπŸ’™

Literary Agent

Belcastro Agency

literary agent @belcastr β€’ she/they β€’ queer β€’ neurodivergent β€’ CLOSED TO QUERIES

Cortney Radocaj πŸ³οΈβ€πŸŒˆπŸ’–πŸ’œπŸ’™
@CortneyRadocaj
Literary Agent
literary agent @belcastr β€’ she/they β€’ queer β€’ neurodivergent β€’ CLOSED TO QUERIES
111 MSWL
43 AskAgent
74 Tips

#querytip reminder when choosing your genre in the query manager drop-down:

if your book has magic, or paranormal creatures, or is dystopian...

it's not contemporary.

it can be in a contemp setting!! but it isn't *genre* contemporary. make sure to choose the correct genre!

Cortney Radocaj πŸ³οΈβ€πŸŒˆπŸ’–πŸ’œπŸ’™
@CortneyRadocaj
Literary Agent
literary agent @belcastr β€’ she/they β€’ queer β€’ neurodivergent β€’ CLOSED TO QUERIES
111 MSWL
43 AskAgent
74 Tips

quick #querytip: you don't need to withdraw you query for typos

if you're revising your query or pages? sure!

but i pinky promise, a typo or two, or misspelling my name, even addressing to the wrong agent, is NOT going to make me reject your query. deep breaths! ❀️

Cortney Radocaj πŸ³οΈβ€πŸŒˆπŸ’–πŸ’œπŸ’™
@CortneyRadocaj
Literary Agent
literary agent @belcastr β€’ she/they β€’ queer β€’ neurodivergent β€’ CLOSED TO QUERIES
111 MSWL
43 AskAgent
74 Tips

#querytip reminder that when you get an offer, giving other agents ample time to read is good etiquette & also can work in your favor!

i've had four (!!!) offer notifications in the last week, and i'm able to get to them all bc i'm being given 2-3 weeks. i so appreciate that!!❀️

Cortney Radocaj πŸ³οΈβ€πŸŒˆπŸ’–πŸ’œπŸ’™
@CortneyRadocaj
Literary Agent
literary agent @belcastr β€’ she/they β€’ queer β€’ neurodivergent β€’ CLOSED TO QUERIES
111 MSWL
43 AskAgent
74 Tips

#querytip I'm not quite back on the vampire train yet, so if you have a vampire novel, I'm probably not the right fit right now!

That being said, if you have a new twist on them (and they aren't called vampires), I'm open to that! Think malchai from THIS SAVAGE SONG 😊

Cortney Radocaj πŸ³οΈβ€πŸŒˆπŸ’–πŸ’œπŸ’™
@CortneyRadocaj
Literary Agent
literary agent @belcastr β€’ she/they β€’ queer β€’ neurodivergent β€’ CLOSED TO QUERIES
111 MSWL
43 AskAgent
74 Tips

#querytip reminder that if you're uncertain if an agent will like your book... JUST SEND IT TO THEM

i've been taken pleasantly by surprise so many times. signed a client off of something i never would have thought i wanted. and was just reminded of that during this conference.

Cortney Radocaj πŸ³οΈβ€πŸŒˆπŸ’–πŸ’œπŸ’™
@CortneyRadocaj
Literary Agent
literary agent @belcastr β€’ she/they β€’ queer β€’ neurodivergent β€’ CLOSED TO QUERIES
111 MSWL
43 AskAgent
74 Tips

#querytip reminder that the following are NOT good fits for me in contemporary/thriller/suspense:

-crime fiction
-detective/police procedural
-spies/espionage
-diplomat/politics
-military fiction

Cortney Radocaj πŸ³οΈβ€πŸŒˆπŸ’–πŸ’œπŸ’™
@CortneyRadocaj
Literary Agent
literary agent @belcastr β€’ she/they β€’ queer β€’ neurodivergent β€’ CLOSED TO QUERIES
111 MSWL
43 AskAgent
74 Tips

As you’re querying, keep in mind I am NOT the right agent for:

-marriage plots
-pregnancies
-Chosen One plots
-MC Discovering Unknown World/Powers plots
-magic schools/academies
-graphic sexual assault

#querytip #antiMSWL #amquerying #amwriting #writingcommunity #writers

Cortney Radocaj πŸ³οΈβ€πŸŒˆπŸ’–πŸ’œπŸ’™
@CortneyRadocaj
Literary Agent
literary agent @belcastr β€’ she/they β€’ queer β€’ neurodivergent β€’ CLOSED TO QUERIES
111 MSWL
43 AskAgent
74 Tips

Gentle reminder:

Please don't DM/email agents after a rejection trying to get more info on why we passed.

I understand the urge, but we only have so much time for each query, and this pushes a boundary that's necessary for us to keep in place.

#querytip

Cortney Radocaj πŸ³οΈβ€πŸŒˆπŸ’–πŸ’œπŸ’™
@CortneyRadocaj
Literary Agent
literary agent @belcastr β€’ she/they β€’ queer β€’ neurodivergent β€’ CLOSED TO QUERIES
111 MSWL
43 AskAgent
74 Tips

REMINDER:

Your query should NOT give away everything; it should hook and entice and want to make you read more.

Your synopsis SHOULD give away everything; it’s meant to present the beats of your story and ensure your plot is solid.

The two are NOT interchangeable!!

#querytip

Cortney Radocaj πŸ³οΈβ€πŸŒˆπŸ’–πŸ’œπŸ’™
@CortneyRadocaj
Literary Agent
literary agent @belcastr β€’ she/they β€’ queer β€’ neurodivergent β€’ CLOSED TO QUERIES
111 MSWL
43 AskAgent
74 Tips

#querytip Quick reminder to only query COMPLETE, POLISHED manuscripts!

Don’t send agents drafts that are half finished and tell them it’ll be finished soon. Wait until it’s complete and edited!

(Also this is for FICTION manuscripts)

Cortney Radocaj πŸ³οΈβ€πŸŒˆπŸ’–πŸ’œπŸ’™
@CortneyRadocaj
Literary Agent
literary agent @belcastr β€’ she/they β€’ queer β€’ neurodivergent β€’ CLOSED TO QUERIES
111 MSWL
43 AskAgent
74 Tips

#querytip Reminder that I DO NOT represent any kind of nonfiction!

For QM, if an agent doesn’t have your genre/age category as an option... probably a good hint they don’t rep that (i.e. nonfic and MG aren’t options on my sub page I PROMISE IM NOT HIDING THEM I DONT REP THESE)

Cortney Radocaj πŸ³οΈβ€πŸŒˆπŸ’–πŸ’œπŸ’™
@CortneyRadocaj
Literary Agent
literary agent @belcastr β€’ she/they β€’ queer β€’ neurodivergent β€’ CLOSED TO QUERIES
111 MSWL
43 AskAgent
74 Tips

#querytip quick (and v subjective, personal) reminderβ€”opening with an intense, graphic sex scene is going to immediately turn me off of a manuscript.

Sex in an MS is fine in general for me, but DEAR GOD please let me get immersed in the world and characters first.

Cortney Radocaj πŸ³οΈβ€πŸŒˆπŸ’–πŸ’œπŸ’™
@CortneyRadocaj
Literary Agent
literary agent @belcastr β€’ she/they β€’ queer β€’ neurodivergent β€’ CLOSED TO QUERIES
111 MSWL
43 AskAgent
74 Tips

TL;DR word count, esp as a debut author, is ridiculously important KNOW THE ACCEPTABLE RANGE FOR YOUR GENRE

Cortney Radocaj πŸ³οΈβ€πŸŒˆπŸ’–πŸ’œπŸ’™
@CortneyRadocaj
Literary Agent
literary agent @belcastr β€’ she/they β€’ queer β€’ neurodivergent β€’ CLOSED TO QUERIES
111 MSWL
43 AskAgent
74 Tips

Just rememberβ€”word count matters for a reason. Agents and editors harp on it because we WANT you to succeed. And it kills us to see so many shooting themselves in the foot right out the gate.

So do your research. Take a hard look at your word count.

Cortney Radocaj πŸ³οΈβ€πŸŒˆπŸ’–πŸ’œπŸ’™
@CortneyRadocaj
Literary Agent
literary agent @belcastr β€’ she/they β€’ queer β€’ neurodivergent β€’ CLOSED TO QUERIES
111 MSWL
43 AskAgent
74 Tips

Too high:

What do I have in excess? Do I need to cut down on world building to keep everything streamlined? Do I have too many sub plots? Are there any scenes that aren’t doing work? Am I spending time in an area that the book could do without?

Cortney Radocaj πŸ³οΈβ€πŸŒˆπŸ’–πŸ’œπŸ’™
@CortneyRadocaj
Literary Agent
literary agent @belcastr β€’ she/they β€’ queer β€’ neurodivergent β€’ CLOSED TO QUERIES
111 MSWL
43 AskAgent
74 Tips

Too low:

What pieces am I missing? Is my book made up of layers? Are my characters and their relationships complex and compelling? Do I have any subplots? Is my world building fleshed our enough? Is it too easy for my MC to achieve their goals?

Cortney Radocaj πŸ³οΈβ€πŸŒˆπŸ’–πŸ’œπŸ’™
@CortneyRadocaj
Literary Agent
literary agent @belcastr β€’ she/they β€’ queer β€’ neurodivergent β€’ CLOSED TO QUERIES
111 MSWL
43 AskAgent
74 Tips

If you find yourself outside of those ranges, don’t panic! I promise it’s workable.

It might be an easy fix, or it might take a lot of maneuvering and reworking, but it IS doable to both add and reduce word count.

So here are some questions to ask yourself:

Cortney Radocaj πŸ³οΈβ€πŸŒˆπŸ’–πŸ’œπŸ’™
@CortneyRadocaj
Literary Agent
literary agent @belcastr β€’ she/they β€’ queer β€’ neurodivergent β€’ CLOSED TO QUERIES
111 MSWL
43 AskAgent
74 Tips
Cortney Radocaj πŸ³οΈβ€πŸŒˆπŸ’–πŸ’œπŸ’™
@CortneyRadocaj
Literary Agent
literary agent @belcastr β€’ she/they β€’ queer β€’ neurodivergent β€’ CLOSED TO QUERIES
111 MSWL
43 AskAgent
74 Tips

And on the craft levelβ€”low word counts make agents wonder what’s left out, what isn’t there to make your story well-rounded and complex.

High word counts, what excess is there, what’s been added in or extrapolated too far.

Cortney Radocaj πŸ³οΈβ€πŸŒˆπŸ’–πŸ’œπŸ’™
@CortneyRadocaj
Literary Agent
literary agent @belcastr β€’ she/they β€’ queer β€’ neurodivergent β€’ CLOSED TO QUERIES
111 MSWL
43 AskAgent
74 Tips

But please rememberβ€”you might think 20-30k outside the range isn’t THAT bad, but it’s a LOT of words to have to figure out. Especially for an agent that just signed you, doesn’t know how well you can edit, and doesn’t know 100% how well you’ll receive critiques