8.31.2006

Crapometer FAQ-updated 12x (and 1 typo)

RED is the latest update


How do I send crapometer entries?
Email your entry in the body of the email, no attachments, to Miss Snark at her gmail address.


When do I send my entry?

Starting Friday, September 1 at 1pm Eastern time up until 1am Saturday morning. It is a 12 hour window.

I'm going on vacation/busy/dead. Can I send it just a little early?
No

I'm just back from vacation/I can't tell time/my dog ate the clock. Can I be a little late?
No.

Whose clock are you reading anyway?
Mine.

How accurate is it?
Look, if you can't get an email to me in the middle of a 12 hour window, you have more problems than anything the crapometer can solve.


How do I know Miss Snark got my stuff?
you'll get an email back within 24 hours.


How do I know if Miss Snark will be posting my stuff?
You'll get an email saying so.

How are you picking which ones to post?
It seemed clear that we needed a random selection to best emulate the slush pile. A devoted Snarkling who (and why this is I do not know) can generate random numbers is sending me 105 random numbers based on the total number of entries. The plus five is to cover DQ's, and any other problemos.


Can I send something and have you critique it but not post it?
No

What do I send?
A query letter and a first page.

I write for tweens, middle grades, and other kinds of loinfruit. Can I send that?
yes, but you have to use the word "whatever" at least once.

I write romance. Can I send that?
Sure

I write SFF. Can I send that?
Sure

I write about gay cowboys from outerspace who are secretly plotting to take over the White House in the 2008 elections by converting everyone in Ohio to Scientology. Can I send that?
sure.

Can I send poems?
only if they involve Nantucket.

I write nonfiction, can I send that?
sure, but non fiction depends on much more than a query and the writing. The crapometer may not help you as much this time around. But, you're welcome to jump in the pool.

I write non-fiction fantasy, can I send that?
No. I will send you a cluegun instead.


Can I send a synopsis?
You can send whatever you want but you run the risk of being Snarked.

May I submit from a manuscript which is not finished?
sure


Can I send more than one query?
No.


How many words maximum?
750

Mine is 751.
Ok

Mine is 893
Not ok

How many words minimum?
14: Dear Miss Snark, Here's my work, it's called 4:33, Love ya, let's do lunch


Is the 750 word limit inclusive of the query letter?
Yes. 750 total for query and first page/you can divide it as you see fit.



Who decides if over/under the limit is too much/too little?
Miss Snark's decision. Absolutely at her whim. If you complain, you're out.

I use italics, bold, underscores, foreign words and phrases, and the odd umlaut or ten. Is that ok?
Your word processinig program will send symbols instead of formatting. Try to strip out as much formatting as possible or your work will look dorky. You need to learn to do this anyway if you're emailing your queries.

Should I doublespace it like I do my snail mail queries?
No.

I'm ok with being snarked but are you going to leave my name on it?
No. If you send it with your name, or actual title, those are redacted for the sake of world peace.



What can I expect to get from the Crapometer?
Miss Snark will read the entries like she reads her slush pile. You'll see how your query letter and first page stand up to her avaricious and cold, cruel claws were you to send it to her.

What can I win?
Nothing. There is no offer of representation attached to this. Not even prizes. Just the chance to be read and eviscerated by Miss Snark AND the bonus of column tail eviscerations.

Do I at least get a crapometer score; like This Query is 100% Craptacular?
No. Just comments. Despite all appearances to the contrary, this is supposed to be ..um...what's that word???...oh right: helpful.

Does this cost any money?
no

Is Miss Snark her own nitwit?
yes


Is Killer Yapp reading any of the entries?
no. Killer Yapp has more sense than that.


Is Grandmother Snark reading any of the entries?
no. Grandmother Snark is busy modeling at the Dada show at MoMA through early September.

Are we having fun yet?
you betcha.

58 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm new to this site. Is non-fiction allowed?

Feisty said...

That bold type just scared the hell out of me. I may not send that email after all.

Miss Snark said...

My pink italic flowery font is broken. I threw it against a brick wall in a fit of rage at people who can't seem to follow, read or even find directions without the aid of a damn guide dog.

swampytad said...

an agent once went to nantucket,
slogging her gin in her bucket.
when readers wouldn't read,
nor directions would they heed,
she was moved to just say, "oh f*ck it."

Maya said...

Dear Dog! I needed that this afternoon.

I've spent the whole day fending questions myself. But it doesn't take much to see that the problems of a dozen little people don't amount to a hill of beans in the crazy world in which Miss Snark operates.

Thanks for the laugh. Better stock up on the Haldol. I have a feeling you're going to need it.

S. said...

Nice Cage reference. You're an agent's agent, kind of like a poet's poet.

uh, A. Nony? said...

who's/whose?

Gah, I'm dead now, right?

Nobody said...

I write about gay cowboys from outerspace who are secretly plotting to take over the White House in the 2008 elections by converting everyone in Ohio to Scientology. Can I send that?

Has Miss Snark considered the very high risk of aliens arriving in chapter 14 of such a work?

Miss Snark said...

There was was a nitwit named Snark
whose punctuation fell short of the mark
Her apostrophe placement
caused such amazement
her comment tail started to bark

Feisty said...

I think the guide dog is on vacation. He was last seen heading north with a trail of nitwits behind him.

Sherry Decker said...

I wonder . . would being gay-outerspace-cowboy-Scientologists make them all kinder and gentler? Or will they just jump up and down on leather sofas and become rude and opinionated? Might be a good story :)

WitLiz Today said...

There was once a crapometer FAQ
That made perfect cents,
Until it came up for review,
And people went dents,

So out came another, (anauther)
OH why did I bother,
When I read yet again,
And went straight for my gin.

In a fit of rage,
I threw out the page
And left a map
Fark this crap!

Anonymous said...

Did you come to agenting after a career in stand-up (on stillettos, or course) comedy? The Crapometer FAQ-updated 2x (and 1 typo) is hysterical! You go girl!

Virginia Miss said...

swampytad and Miss Snark,
love those limericks! Thanks for the laughs.

delilah said...

Is it true that Tom Cruise is going to star in the gay-cowboy-scientology movie?

He'd be great!

HawkOwl said...

Question: does the crapometer actually produce a quantitative crap level reading (e.g. "this query is in the 98% percentile of craptacularness"), or just qualitative comments?

Anonymous said...

Love the blog. Looking forward to the Crap-o-meter.

Just Me said...

So, um, what are the rules?

Bawaaahahahaha!

Anonymous said...

750 includes the query? Seems like a tough call on how to divide ..if the query stinks, the work doesn't get read, but if the work isn't good (because it's too brief, whatever) does it matter how good the query is?

Frainstorm said...

I was actually surprised. I thought the first question would be "I write non-fiction fantasy. Can I send that?"

Michele said...

I thought Miss Snark was going to consider the winner's manuscript. Was that a dream I had?

verification: hgurdc

Hugged your duck today?

kis said...

Actually, nonfiction fantasy is what I write. It involves coming home from a fulfilling day at work to find happy kids, a husband who's actually wearing pants, and a clean bathroom--a technically plausible premise, but with extreme fantastical elements.

And is it craptacularness, or crapulence? I always get those two mixed up.

Anonymous said...

I'd go with craptacular. It's just a great word.

Anonymous said...

Miss Snark, will children's lit be considered? Or just adult only? By children's I mean middle-grade.

Just Me said...

Just wanted to point out that the Just Me posting earlier on this comment tail isn't me.

I've posted a bunch of times on this blog, always under this name, but I'm sort of bothered by the idea of there being two of me out there - too much potential for confusion - so from now on I'll be anonymous.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for adding my question to the FAQ (regarding non-fiction). I look forward to reading the entries.

Kate Pearce said...

darn it-I'll be at my sister's wedding in England-is that a good enough excuse? I don't think I can get out of that without severe familial repercussions

M. G. Tarquini said...

I tried sending my query and a copy of my social security card to uranitwit@wtf.sol and it bounced back to me.

If you're email still isn't working, will you take that into account after the crapometer is over?

P.S. I write Elder Porn. Please don't tell my mother.

Bay said...

This post should have come with a splurt alert!!! ROFL! Oh, Miss Snark -- you're too kind, really, you are.

Anonymous said...

So, I get the rules. But they're really just a *guideline*, right? I mean, you don't want us to, like, stick rigidly to them or anything?

Hey, leave some of that gin for me!

Nobody said...

I tried submitting my fictional novel for you to publish, but my scented unicorn stationery wouldn't fit in that little slot on the side of my computer. Can I have an extension on the deadline while I get my computer fixed?

Anonymous said...

This might have been answered elsewhere, and if so, I apologize - should we send our query letter as-is, and assume that Miss Snark will change the identifying personal info as needed? Or should we change it ourselves before sending? Thanks!

Anonymous said...

If we're not submitting anything ourselves, is it still OK to pile on making fun of everybody else's - like we usually do?

Please?

Anonymous said...

Miss Snark said...
There was was a nitwit named Snark
whose punctuation fell short of the mark
Her apostrophe placement
caused such amazement
her comment tail started to bark


Bravo! Bravo! Encore!

Anonymous said...

I spot with my little eye two people who can't bother to read...
Hmm... if they can't read how do they write? *hides*

a writing professional said...

I don't understand this jittery attitude y'all have toward these suggested rules. For heaven's sake submit early--today, preferably--it shows respect for one's own work. I mean wouldn't you show up early for an important job interview, people? Early and well dressed and completely ready, so when your potential boss walks out to Reception to meet you, he doesn't catch you in the act of leaving the ladies' room still drying your hands on a paper towel. You did wash your hands, didn't you? You might also submit the entire fictional novel to the C--pmeter as an attachment. That way if Miss Snark gets hooked by the first page, it's all right there. She can hardly offer to represent you if she can't read your work, people. No one loves attachments, but that's what virus scanners are for--and it's particularly important if your first page is an epigraph, which will hardly give her the flavor of your real, professional writing.

kis said...

m.g,

Elder porn?

Now I have to go scrub myself with some lye and a wire brush.

Anonymous said...

My novel is all written in Gaelic. You don't mind, do you?

Daisy said...

There once were some snarklings who fussed
About rules that were clearly discussed.
They wanted to know
If they'd win any dough.
"WTF!" the crapometer cussed.

Shadow said...

Daisy: That's the best limerick yet!

Manic Mom said...

If you get a good Crap-O-Meter rating, can this be used in future query letters, such as, "Miss Snark says I don't suck, so wanna be my agent?"

Daisy said...

Thanks, Shadow!

jude calvert-toulmin said...

In response to "a writing professional":

Oooooh goody, a jaunt sous le pont neuf!

> I don't understand this jittery attitude y'all have toward these suggested rules. For heaven's sake submit early - today, preferably - it shows respect for one's own work.

No it doesn't, it suggests disrespect for what has been requested.


> I mean wouldn't you show up early for an important job interview, people?

10 minutes max. Anything else not only looks, but actually is, desperate and skanky.


> Early and well dressed and completely ready, so when your potential boss walks out to Reception to meet you, he doesn't catch you in the act of leaving the ladies' room still drying your hands on a paper towel.

Well hopefully you co-ordinate your body's fluid recycling prior to the interview. Usually this ability is attained around the age of five.


> You might also submit the entire fictional novel to the C--pmeter as an attachment.

Yes indeed you may. If you want to look like a complete wanker.


> That way if Miss Snark gets hooked by the first page, it's all right there.

Indeed it is. And what is the agent going to be thinking then. "Great first page, but I'd rather work with Sharry Lewis's Lamb Chop on acid."

> She can hardly offer to represent you if she can't read your work, people.

OK a serious answer. Assuming you can write, not just adaquately, but brilliantly, that you enjoy working mental hours on your writing career, that you enjoy researching how the
industry works and that considering others' needs before your own comes naturally to you, you're in with a chance of success, I would think. In short, Margot Fonteyn once said "Take your work seriously, but never yourself."

Exactamundo.

> No one loves attachments,

Au contraire. If I know where the attachment is coming from and that it likely contains something that will make me see the world in a different, more positive or entertaining light, then bring it on.

> it's particularly important if your first page is an epigraph, which will hardly give her the flavor of your real, professional writing.

That first glance across a crowded room often says it all...


Great post, anonymous.

You might think about setting up your own blog, ark ark ;)

jude calvert-toulmin said...

> Are we having fun yet?
> you betcha.

Quite. The point is, life isn't a dress rehearsal blah blah blah and in a hundred years, (almost) everyone you see, everywhere, will be dead. So make the most of it.

Even though I know that Eastern Time is 4 hours behind GMT, I've found this great world clock for windows that you can download from a reputable location for free. It's customisable too, so now no one has any excuses for mucking up the time zone thang. Ha ha! What a larf :) I've just set mine for London time, L.A, New York and Sydney :)

http://kybtec.de/wbx01/ssh01/Home/HomeX01.aspx?adv=gog01&advs=tst07&way=adv&diff=c_gb_01_ag04&kw=world_time_zone_clock&gclid=CKjsn4vthocCFRAdMAodBTRJZg

heidi said...

Hey Jude,

Thankyouthankyouthankyouthankyouthankyou!

I'm in Australia, and was having trouble figuring out when exactly the window was in local time. For the most part, the window is during my night, so I've gotta figure out when I'll be awake, and when that awake time is.

Since last time I missed the window by a measly few minutes (dratted Daylight Savings Time!) I want to be good and sure to know when it's Submission Time.


WordVerf: cutie you, Vi.

Anonymous said...

Oh dear, dear Jude... I think "A Writing Professional" professional was being ironic in his comment. A sense of humor, if you like.

Your rebuttal, though unnecessary, was quite... revealing.


Word Ver: fckuzj

Quite.

Heather said...

A crapometer question that I hope isn't nitwitty... is Miss Snark critting the FIRST submissions that arrive, or is she choosing from the masses to have a wide variety of genres and styles of letter and so on?

Heather said...

I caused an update to the FAQ, I think. I am strangely proud of myself. :)

December Quinn said...

Jude, Eastern Time is 5 hours behind GMT. :-)

Jude said...

Random number generators are widely available on the Web. I used this one to pick entries for book giveaways. You set the range of numbers, and how many random selections from that range you want, and Bob's your uncle.

random.org

jude calvert-toulmin said...

> Hey Jude,

>Thankyouthankyouthankyouthankyouthankyou!

No probs Heidi :) The clock's a bit of a laugh actually, it's kept me entertained all day :)

jude calvert-toulmin said...

> I think "A Writing Professional" professional was being ironic in his comment.

...or her comment ;P

>...sous le pont

Under the bridge.

Where trolls live :)

> Your rebuttal, though unnecessary, was quite... revealing.

It wouldn't be for me to say whether others' postings on here are necessary or not, but as for revealing. Anyone who clicks on my name will be lead to my blog, where just about everything about me is revealed; my photography, mosaic work, pics of my family, pics of me as a granny, pics of me starkers (the latter two not simultaneously, natch), links to my published magazine articles, and updates on the progess of my book.

> Jude, Eastern Time is 5 hours behind GMT. :-

Hi December. Well, that's what I thought too! But I thought the USA was on Daylight Saving. You're right though, New York is indeed 5 hours behind GMT. THANK YOU for correcting me, although as Miss Snark has said, if you can't send an email within a 12 hour time frame then...LOL!

Anyway, now I'm having a look at Daylight Saving discrepancies because it's fascinating.

I've also found a "World Time Zone Mug For Business Travellers and World Tourists" which, since I rarely leave the corner of my kitchen in Sheffield, has got my name written all over it and I just have to have one, ark ark! :)

http://www.worldtimezone.com/email-mug.html

ps It's gilt rimmed, too. Classy :)

Cynthia Bronco said...

"What can I win?
Nothing. There is no offer of representation attached to this. Not even prizes. Just the chance to be read and eviscerated by Miss Snark AND the bonus of column tail eviscerations."

Evisceration... yay!!! Pick me! Pick me!

December Quinn said...

Hi December. Well, that's what I thought too! But I thought the USA was on Daylight Saving. You're right though, New York is indeed 5 hours behind GMT. THANK YOU for correcting me, although as Miss Snark has said, if you can't send an email within a 12 hour time frame then...LOL!


Yeah, but it would suck to send it an hour early because of that Daylight Savings Time thing--England puts the clocks forward a week before the US in the spring (so there's a 6 hour difference) and I believe puts them back a week earlier in the fall, too (I'll find out for sure soon, I guess!), thereby giving you your 4 hour difference, so if you fixed it in your mind that week you'd be off.

Yet another reason why everyone should go on the End Daylight Savings Time website and sign the petition to have the stupid time changes abolished.

Chumplet said...

Do the math and aim for the middle. Fortunately I'm in the same time zone and I figure the safest time is 7pm, when I get home from work.

Oh, yeah, and the US of A (and Canada) have several time zones.

And she's picking the entries at random, not the first 100, although I hope she's not exhausted by 4pm and totally gives up by the time she gets to mine.

And don't worry about the switch to Daylight Savings, it happens in October, right? Besides, that's only an hour's difference, so why not aim for the midsection?

Some email programs can send an email at a set time automatically for those who are asleep in the middle of the night. But I'd be too nervous to try it for the first time.

-sry said...

I'm having nearly as much fun reading these comments as I did the FAQ.

The link to the FAQ has been broken for the last day or so (btw) but I see the "9x" has now changed to "12x" so maybe that was it.

Thanks for entertaining us on this holiday weekend, Miss Snark and all you Snarklings!

-sry

-sry said...

M.G. Tarquini wrote:
I tried sending my query and a copy of my social security card to uranitwit@wtf.sol and it bounced back to me.
Did you remember to attach a copy of your Soul Certificate? If not, the fine folks at WeWantYourSoul.com can reissue you one and they'll even log it with the Do Not Call registry for a small but reasonable fee.

And why would we tell your mom you write Elder Porn? She doesn't read, does she? Or do you do those picture books, too? :)

I like your sense of humor!

-sry

Keesa said...

Aim for the middle! Aim for the middle!

That's what I'm doing. Hopefully my math isn't too far off, and I won't get labeled a nitwit.