Melissa Edwards


Literary Agent at @stonesongNYC . Lawyer. Contract Consultant. Most of my tweets are about TV, movies, podcasts, and books. Let Bartlet be Bartlet.

New York, NY


Melissa Edwards @MelissaLaurenE · 14 Jul 2019

I've been hired to review a lot of agency agreements lately, which I (with all bias included) think is a very good call. This is a business contract and it shouldn't be signed lightly. #querytip

Melissa Edwards @MelissaLaurenE · 10 Jun 2019

Query pet peeve: when someone I don't know asks for advice or suggestions or an opinion, like this isn't a job that I get paid for. Which is not to say I don't provide critique or advice unprompted, but the expectation that I should give it away to anyone who asks? No. #querytip

Melissa Edwards @MelissaLaurenE · 8 Jan 2019

Please, please do us a favor and put the manuscript name in the document title. I beg of you. #querytip

Melissa Edwards @MelissaLaurenE · 6 Dec 2018

Melissa Edwards @MelissaLaurenE

Business stuff from Twitter and interviews-- especially #MSWL-- should of course be included. But a reference to an outfit we posted about? Or a cake we baked? It doesn't improve your query. And that's the ultimate goal, right? To make the best possible and most gripping query.

I would never pass on a query because it included a reference to something I said, but that's a moment that could be about your book or about your comps or experience. It's a moment that can be about you-- not me! Because I want to hear about your work. #querytip

Melissa Edwards @MelissaLaurenE · 6 Dec 2018

Melissa Edwards @MelissaLaurenE

I have another #querytip that's a bit of an odd one. I know there's a lot about agents online. We willingly give you so much about our personal lives on this very site! (I know I talk about my eating habits and neighborhood and family, etc.)

That said, most of the time, this information doesn't need to (and arguably shouldn't be) referenced in a query. Especially when it's a bit of a deep dive. I appreciate that you want to connect in a personal way and we're giving you the ammunition to do so. #querytip

Melissa Edwards @MelissaLaurenE · 6 Dec 2018

There's a query habit that I don't quite understand: listing the well-known people who said they'd accept a review copy if the book is ever published. This outcome is so far from the query that it's not really useful. I just care about the story at this point. #querytip

Melissa Edwards @MelissaLaurenE · 26 Nov 2018

This holiday season, I’d like to say thank you to the queriers. Every time I get a query, it’s a reminder that you’re willing to entrust me with developing and guiding your careers. Thank you for the trust, writers. I don’t take the responsibility lightly. #querytip

Melissa Edwards @MelissaLaurenE · 25 Sep 2018

A lot of first chapters begin with an explanation of how the character got to where they are. (Even if it's not in a "freeze frame!" obvious kind of way.) Cut the boring stuff. Let them be in the moment and the reader will catch up. #querytip

Melissa Edwards @MelissaLaurenE · 14 Sep 2018

Evergreen #querytip: if you’re horribly rude or inappropriate to one of us, many of us will find out. Thankfully, the majority of queriers are professional and courteous, and we appreciate it immensely.

Melissa Edwards @MelissaLaurenE · 21 Mar 2018

If you don't mention genre or age group in your query (maybe because you're not sure?), it's obvious. Better to be decisive than to hope agents just won't notice. #querytip

Melissa Edwards @MelissaLaurenE · 8 Aug 2017

Throwing it out in the ether once again: don't query fiction you haven't written yet. #querytip

Melissa Edwards @MelissaLaurenE · 31 Jul 2017

Been seeing summary-heavy queries recently. Pitch, don't summarize. There are resources out there to help with the difference. #querytip

Melissa Edwards @MelissaLaurenE · 26 Jun 2017

If you want to follow up on a query (after an appropriate amount of time), please thread your emails if possible. #querytip

Melissa Edwards @MelissaLaurenE · 31 May 2017

The query isn't the right place to be self-deprecating. #querytip

Melissa Edwards @MelissaLaurenE · 26 May 2017

I'm seeing a lot of expository info drops in first pages in my queries today. Let us work for some of it. #querytip #writetip

Melissa Edwards @MelissaLaurenE · 22 May 2017

FYI: I am never going to be right for your WWII/ Holocaust historical fiction. All ages. Not for me. #querytip