Get the Clue Stick

I've received several query responses scribbled on my actual query. One was so badly scrawled I couldn't figure out for a while which one rejected me.

Another was a rejection, with a personal comment and an invitation to send other work sometime. A few have been requests for pages, including the note from my eventual agent. And of course, some just "not for us". One was a very snarky rejection, in fact.But the fact they were scribbled on my query didn't bother me.

You couldn't tell who rejected you when it was written on your actual query? The Dear Name didn't give you a clue? Don't tell me, oh do NOT tell me you sent a form letter. No, I refuse to believe anyone who reads this blog would do THAT...no no no.

One of my most delicious pleasures is confounding people who send "Dear Agent" letters.
Particularly if they don't include a header such as "Miss Snark, Snarkolicous Agenting and Tomfoolery, Address, etc".

Those queries DO get a hand written response. Very nice hand writing too. Dear -name-, I'm sorry I have to say no, but this isn't quite right etc.

Then I don't sign my name.
And I don't put my address on the SASE.
Then I wave ClueDust over the envelope and mail it.


harridan said...

My first reaction:

What? You sent out form query letters? Are you NUTS?

Holy shit! That's a new one on me. LOL

kitty said...

Sorry to deviate from the subject, but I thought all you RWA members would be interested in this:

NASCAR novelty: racy racing books
Ladies, start your engines. Harlequin Enterprises is ready to get you all revved up.
The romance novel publisher has hooked up with NASCAR to put out a line of truly racy romances.

Anonymous said...

Augh! No, sorry, I wasn't clear. The scribble didn't appear to match the agent's name to which the letter was addressed, so I was baffled.

I finally figured out it was signed with initials and a scribble vaguely reminiscent of the large agency's name.

Please put away the clue stick! I have never, ever, ever sent a form letter to "Dear Agent."

Well, OK, a couple whacks with the clue stick for my post not making sense. (ouch! ouch!)

Mark said...

excellent response, Oh Snarking One

A. C. Crispin said...

Greetings, O Lady of Snark:

(bumps head on floor three times respectfully)

Just wanted to say how much I enjoy your blog, and thanks for the kind mention of Writer Beware's modest efforts to route the scum of the agenting and publishing underworld.

We're not worthy!

Seriously, there's a tremendous amount of worthwhile information contained herein, presented in a lively, amusing fashion. I send writers here all the time, touting your praises.

Those who haven't checked Writer Beware's blog recently might want to, because this week we learned that infamous scammer Martha Ivery has pleaded guilty to all 15 counts in her indictment and is pretty certain to face significant jail time.

Now if Robert Fletcher and Cynthia Sterling would just get the message...

(Waves to all the Snarklings...) Happy holidays to all!

-Ann C. Crispin
("Ann" of "Ann and Victoria")

Harry Connolly said...

I have received rejections that were illegibly signed, but obviously not from the person I sent it to. The signature would have at least twice as many cramped loops as the query addressee's name has letters.

It makes it tough because, if I want to query someone else in the same agency, I can't tell if the rejection came from the agent's assistant or if the query was passed around the office and turned down by the person most likely to accept it.

Sometimes, I swear the signature is deliberately cryptic. Considering the abusive responses agents sometimes get, I'm not surprised.

Caryn said...

Hilarious! Bet they have no idea what they did wrong, either.

Harry Connolly said...

Oops, I forgot a question:

What about agencies that ask us to address queries to "Submissions?" Obviously, we should follow their guidelines, but should we target individuals with revised queries if the first answer is a no?

Christine said...

My very favorite rejection letter was my own query with a "NO" scrawled on the top.

It took me a minute to realize that it was a rejection and not the post office sending it back to me.

Sheesh, I felt about this[fingers very close together]big.

Sonarbabe said...

Christine: Ouch! I know agents are over-worked, but man, I think I'd take a form rejection postcard over that.

Lostcheerio said...

Heh. Wouldn't it be funnier to say "God, I love this, please send more immediately. You're going to be a star!" and *then* not sign it and use their generic SASE?


Christine said...

Wow, NASCAR romance, huh? I might have to switch genres, just for this. Hubby's a huge NASCAR fan; I am therefore forced to spend my Sunday afternoons watching cars go in a big circle (or trioval, or whatever). I'm a wealthy of racing knowledge.
Any romance writers wanna team up with me and give it a go, click on through and e-mail me.

I'm totally serious.

Bernita said...

Christine, maybe I'm out of date, out of touch ( and therfore out of luck) but that strikes me as grossly unprofessional of them.
If that attitude persisted in other functions, perhaps the rejection was a blessing in disguise.

Miss Snark said...

Tiny, I hope you write murder mysteries and not parenting books!!! That's a VERY evil idea...I love it. And I'm using it!!!

Koala said...

Amongst other things, I write stories for women's mags. I tend to send them out in batches. I once sent out six at the same time, with identical SASEs. The first envelope that came back was... empty. Helpful, no? I had to wait for the other six stories to bounce back/get published to figure out which mag/story it was.