Seems that this is what they want:
Does this mean that writers who are really desperate to be published had better be more like circus shows? A "sure thing" Barnum & Bailey act that will draw in the spectators in droves? (sigh) Sure seems like it. I'm submitting a YA manuscript to agents this month, and it seems that I'm getting the message: talented writing, but not "big enough," not a "sure thing" for this "tough marketplace."
Maybe I should put a circus scene in the novel. Hmm. Nope. I can't do it.
I just finished reading Lamb, by Bonnie Nadzam, today. It jolted me awake and made me go "gah!" for a good hour afterwards. Same with C.W. Smith's new novel, Steplings. Both are examples of great literature that make you feel more human in some way.
I hope the publishing industry catches up with the rapidly changing demands in the market. Many authors are still believers in the sound and valuable judgment of the traditional gatekeepers. Don't let us down.