When agents ask a writer to submit some of their manuscript in the query process, should the prologue be included with your submission?
Absolutely include it. The prologue is the beginning of your story. It’s the first thing your readers will set eyes on when they open the book, so it should be the first thing your agent sets eyes on when s/he opens the manuscript. You decided to launch the story with a prologue for a reason–it sets up a mood, maybe, or provides a vital plot tease before readers plunge into the main story. If you can omit it easily, I question its use in your manuscript at all. A prologue is your introductory handshake with your readers; extend that same hand to your potential agent.
*Readers, this is a Flashback post, originally posted in 2010. I’ve been getting this question a lot lately, so I’m “flashing” it to you today.
The Editor, Deborah Halverson, has been editing books for over 25 years and specializes in Middle Grade/Young Adult fiction and nonfiction, New Adult fiction, and picture books. For her editorial guidance in making your manuscript ready for submission to agents and publishers or for self-publishing, click Editorial services. Learn more in her books: Writing Young Adult Fiction for Dummies and Writing New Adult Fiction.