Hello Miss Snark,
So many people have helped me do research for my novel that it would be evil of me not to thank them. At what point would I add an acknowledgments section to my ms? I get the feeling that an agent requesting a full wouldn't really care that Aunt Milly let me use her library card or that Grandpa Joe was an invaluable resource on the minutiae of dairy farming.
You add the acknowledgements page when the novel has been bought by a publisher. Do NOT send acknowledgement pages, dedication pages, thank you pages or anything BUT your writing in a query letter or manuscript.
It's the sign of a rank amateur. It's ok to BE an amateur as long as you avoid the worst of the mistakes:
1. putting (c)1996 on the manuscript
2. putting your name, address, phone number, email, alternate email, title on the upper left hand corner (see below)
3. asking for pages back if you get a rejection letter but didn't send sufficient postage with the query
4. Telling me how much you want to be a published writer in the cover letter
5. Telling me you've just finished the novel
6. Telling me your spouse is your toughest critic and even s/he loved it
7. Printing in large, extremely black font
8. Printing in small, italic font
9. Saying you know this probably isn't very good but will I please look at it and answer the following questions
10. Including a 10 point questionnaire for me to fill out so you can decide if I'm worthy of having you as a client (let's all just agree now I'm not).
A couple of comments popped up that said "what?? no name in the upper left?"
The mistake of the rank amateur is to put that AND MORE in the upper left.
I get mss that say "Miss Snark/Miss Snark's Guide to Etiquette/1745 Broadway, New York NY 10023/212 782 9000, email@example.com until 2/1/06 then firstname.lastname@example.org"
on EVERY page.
Correct format: Snark/Snarks Guide to Etiquette upper left. Page numbers lower right. That's it. All other info on cover page. Got it?