I’ve been querying for 3.5 years before I got my literary agent and landed on a book deal (all in 2020). Publishing is often a surprise. For a long time, querying feels like sending letters to the void. Dreams dampen. Hope dies down. But then, when you don’t give up, things start to happen all at once.
Sometimes you grow in the dark. Sometimes, you need to take another road. Sometimes, the right book is just waiting to be written. This journey has always been a long, worthwhile lesson.
Sometime in August 2021, brilliant educator and wordsmith Isa Garcia gave me the privilege to join an intimate writer’s group chat. One of the questions asked was this: What are your frustrations as a writer?
I realized I had many. They were there, deep-seated little ruckuses rumbling inside my chest. When I finally got some words out, I ended up with this: Filipino writers hardly know the opportunities for us outside the country.
K (who was writing a SFF whose premise took my breath away) asked an important question: “How do we let them know? How do we make this knowledge more accessible?”
Many writing events are held for this purpose, but not all writers are in the loop, so they miss out. This has been in my mind for a long time. As one of the perpetual screamers of #FilTheShelves, I’ve been thinking about how we can reach out to the rest of our remarkably talented Pinoy writers so they, too, can showcase their words past the borders.
All I could do is write, and I want to use this space to share my personal experiences regarding querying and publishing. This is not a comprehensive resource for querying, but beginning queriers can pick up bits and pieces as they go on their way.