Miss Snark, amanuensis

Non-responses frost me. I've published a fair number of short stories/poems/articles and nearly 250 of my subs were finally written off as "no response" rejections. Whether submitting by email or including a SASE, I find the practice quite distressing since I'm losing time when the manuscript could be subbed elsewhere.One editor, who has never responded to my subs, put me on her list and sends me updates on her family medical problems. Excuse me?

Please tell me you're kidding.
You're not?
Ok, that's just gross.

I hope you've emailed back with a note along the lines of:

"I think you may have put me on your personal email list in error. I am a writer who queried you in your professional capacity as an editor.

My wife writes for the National Enquirer and shares my computer so I wanted to let you know the personal medical details you revealed in your last email-- your husband's erectile difficulties, your mother's sex change surgery, your own harrowing story of cranial rectal surgery-- have piqued her interest for a story.

I know you don't care for email contact since you didn't return my emails so I've given my wife your home address and private telephone number. Of course, please feel free to write her directly using any of the 65 SASEs I've sent you. Very sincerely yours, "


kathie said...


Katrina Stonoff said...


I love the e-mail

Jillian said...


Thank you, Miss Snark, for a geniune laugh on this miserable-n-drizzly day. You may have the savvy and snarkiness of an agent, but you have the soul of a writer -- a humorist, at that!

Carter said...

Non-responses are one of my biggest peeves. I consider that the height of unprofessional behavior. By advertising that they accept unsolicited submissions, agents and editors are, in fact, soliciting those very submissions. As such, they owe the submitters the very least common courtesy of a reply of some sort.

emeraldcite said...

I hate non-responders as well. I'm a big boy. A quick no via email is always fine. :)Well, maybe a "no thanks."

I think that that editor should give the poor author an automatic in for that gaff.

Ellen said...

People who request the ms. and believe silence suffices as a rejection are insufferably rude, imo. I even had one agent telephone me to request a rewrite, which I accomplished in two weeks by not sleeping and letting the dishes pile up. I packed it up, sent it off and emailed him to say it was coming. He repiled to say he was looking forward to reading it. And then.


Despite evidence that the guy has yet to drop dead, he never got back to me.

Laraqua said...

Ellen, did you write to check if he it didn't get lost in the mail? A second no-response means he, as an agent, is a write-off for good.

Oh, and Miss Snark, that was awesomely funny. Best advice ever.

Sonarbabe said...

I have to totally agree with Ms. S on this one. That goes beyond tacky. "No, I think your work sucks monkey balls, but here's the scanned photo of my gall bladder after I had it removed last week." Bleh!

Ellen said...

Laraqua - Yup, I sent a cordial follow-up email a few months later and he never responded. Incredible, no? And honestly, he seemed so sweet and enthusiastic on the phone. Maybe he just doesn't understand that no response is far worse than a rejection letter.