I’ve had a reply from another literary agent.
This has been the most helpful yet.
Whilst it still isn’t a ‘yes’, it is actually almost bordering on a ‘maybe’.
Thank you for your submissions, which we have read with interest. We liked the idea of a girl finding a dragon in her soup, and your writing style is nice and punchy, but I’m afraid we felt the story needed further development, with a more rounded structure – at the moment the actual story is lacking, and it’s more an introduction to how Sweetpea comes to live with Ginny, rather than being a satisfying story that stands alone (which is essential). With There’s a Dragon at the Seaside, again we felt it needed more story development, with more conflict in the middle section to build to a dramatic climax which solves a central problem.
We hope this feedback is useful. We’d be happy to consider any of your future work.
It is both encouraging and discouraging.
Discouraging, because editing is much harder than writing in the first place, particularly within such a rigid format as 12 x 4 line stanzas. You can’t expand on the idea, you can only change parts. I’m worried that I’ll end up with something forced that loses the original charm. Or that I won’t manage to alter the stories into a ‘publishable’ format at all and my dreams will rapidly fade to nought.
Yet there is hope here. This doesn’t say ‘don’t give up the day job’ by any means.
It says ‘We’d be happy to consider any of your future work.’
That’s a great big ‘WOW!’
Deep breath. Down to work.