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I can’t help but feel this is nothing more than a tick boxing exercise. I have queried over a dozen of the agents listed, stated that I am querying under the open call, and have not even had a standard rejection in response.
It is easy to feel frustrated when you don’t receive a response to your queries. Open call or not, it is a common experience for many writers. I imagine there are times when agents fall behind or need more time to make a final decision. Many agencies, however, do not send rejection letters. From Stonesong (listed above), for example:
Our system is set up so that every email query receives an automatic reply confirming receipt. After that, we will be in touch only in the event we would like to request more material. This is because we receive such a volume of submissions that it is impossible for us to respond individually to every query. If you have not received a request from us within 12 weeks, consider that we have passed. If we request additional material, we will of course respond with a specific reply.
What to expect after your initial query: We generally evaluate all queries within 2-3 weeks and will respond by email IF INTERESTED.
From The Strothman Agency:
All emails received will be immediately acknowledged with an auto-reply. Due to the volume of submissions we receive, please allow four to six weeks for a response. If we have not replied to your query within eight weeks, we do not feel that it is right for us.
I think this is just the way things are nowadays. It is not personal, so the best thing is to spend some time tweaking your query materials and then sending them out to another batch of agents. Yes, you may not hear anything back, but remember that you are not alone. It is not uncommon for writers to query 100+ agents in their quest for publication.
What type of book have you written?
I hope you will write back and let us know of your progress.