Patricia Nelson


Literary Agent at Marsal Lyon Literary Agency, representing YA & middle grade fiction (all genres), women's fiction & romance. I'm looking for a mind at work.

San Diego, CA

Marsal Lyon Literary Agency

Patricia Nelson @patricianels · Feb 11

Kate McKean @kate_mckean

What does it mean when an editor or agent says ~I just didn't fall in love with it~~ in a rejection?…

#amwriting #amquerying #literaryagent #WritingCommunity

Writers, this is a really great explanation of the "I just didn't fall in love" pass on submissions. A "no" doesn't mean you did something wrong or your book is bad... it just means it wasn't exactly right for that particular agent or editor. #querytip

Patricia Nelson @patricianels · 14 Feb 2019

PSA for querying writers: please make sure you don't have your anti-spam settings up so high it's impossible to get to you! If my query reply gets rejected bc I'm not on an "approved contacts" list or similar, you just won't hear from me. 😟 #querytip

Patricia Nelson @patricianels · 25 May 2018

I'm continually surprised at the frequency with which I get queries starting with an overly familiar address. "Hey Pat!" "Hi Patty!" I... don't go by those names. Remember: treat it like a business letter. The classic "Dear Patricia" is just fine. #querytip

Patricia Nelson @patricianels · 16 Mar 2018

#querytip If you're setting your YA/MG in the recent past, you need to have a really good plot reason & compelling worldbuilding. Kids/teens don't have any inherent nostalgia for the 1950s or even the 1990s -- they weren't even alive in the twentieth century (!).

Patricia Nelson @patricianels · 22 Feb 2018

I've said it before & I'll say it again: there is NO REASON spend time trashing other books in your query. "My book is good unlike those frivolous pieces of crap The Hunger Games & 50 Shades so obvi you should rep it" is... not an enticing pitch. #querytip

Patricia Nelson @patricianels · 4 Aug 2017

Still noticing the query trend of VERY long MG novels: 70K, 80K, 90K (!!) Cut these down, folks. This is too long for an MG debut. #querytip

Patricia Nelson @patricianels · 19 Jul 2017

Gentle reminder to queriers that a query is a business letter. Aim for professional (not informal) & confident (but not arrogant). #querytip

Patricia Nelson @patricianels · 31 Mar 2017

#querytip When sending req'd materials, name the file "Your Name - Book Title" Many of us read mss on a Kindle &that way we know what it is!

Patricia Nelson @patricianels · 17 Mar 2017

Getting a lot of queries lately for 80K+ (!) middle grade novels. Lovely queriers, that is almost always TOO LONG for MG. #querytip

Patricia Nelson @patricianels · 26 Sep 2016

Periodic PSA that I do NOT rep adult sci-fi/fantasy--for SFF, I'm YA/MG only. Anything online that says otherwise is lying to you! #querytip

Patricia Nelson @patricianels · 1 Jul 2016

#querytip Don't comp to classics (unless it's as "a modern retelling of...") or books YOU read as a kid. Show you know the current market.

Patricia Nelson @patricianels · 16 Jun 2016

Have seen multiple queries this week w/ a typo in the book's title. Oof. I'm forgiving of the occasional mistake, but...proofread! #querytip

Patricia Nelson @patricianels · 19 May 2016

#querytip: no need to tell me in your query that other agents have req'd fulls. I req based on my own taste, not others' interest. Really!

Patricia Nelson @patricianels · 28 Apr 2016

Today's oddest query touts the novel's "brand integration" potential for Chili's Restaurants. This... does not inspire confidence. #querytip