Dear Ms. Snark,
I work in publishing, in the editorial department of one of the major houses. I realize that most people say this is the worst thing an author can do - spend their day reading other people's (frequently dreadful) work. But I believe I can both write and read for a career (at least until I grow up and decide what I really want to do with my life.)
I've finished my romance novel, and am beginning to send out querys - my question is, do I mention that I work in publishing? Attempt to include a sort of cute and snarky sentence about it? Do I leave it off all together? Does my job present a potential conflict of interest, or is it of help to an agent?
No, it's not a conflict of interest unless you want to acquire the rights to your own book. If you do, call me, I'll buy lunch-easy sale!
You definitely want to mention it. There are lots of editors who write novels: David Ebershoff, Jason Pinter and Starling Lawrence leap to mind. In addition, you'll know how the process works which is a big plus as far as I'm concerned.