New Form Rejection slips

We're redecorating here at Snark Central and we need a new form rejection letter.

Here's what we've got so far:

1. Hey Sport, I had a ball reading your query. I'm sorry it's more suitable to the offensive line than the library. Other agents, other opinions, Go Homeys!

2. Dear Writer, and I use the term loosely, Command of the English language is one of the first requirements of novel writing. Or "righting" as you so deftly phrase it. Right on, just not to me.

3. Dear Prisoner X, Yes I do agree there is a conspiracy to keep your story from being told. Did you know I'm one of the conspirators? I've destroyed your query letter and told everyone I know you are a loon. It's all part of my cabal's secret plan to dominate the ... but you already know that don't you.

4. Dear Queerier, Yes I think it's a sad comment on American literature today that more attention isn't paid to the letter Q. Your novel Q is for Queen is sure to rectify that. I have no qualms however in passing on your query because I mind both my P's and my Q's.

5. Dear Writer, Thanks for your query. We have to turn down a lot of good work. Thankfully that wasn't the case here.

6. Dear Writer, There was a crisp twenty dollar bill waiting for you here as our daily winner! Sadly, no SASE, and no contact info other than an email and phone number. Sorry!

7. Dear Mr. Snake, Your memoir makes it sound like you alone invented pain and suffering and forced the downfall of mankind. We don't handle melodrama or hyperbole. Better luck elsewhere.

8. Dear Mr Reacher, Being nominated for the Million Writers Award meant you sent your name and story in. You've also been nominated for my rejection list. Congratulations. This time you WIN.

9. Dear Writer, Yes, I agree there is a lot of crap being published these days. I'm sorry yours won't be any of it.

and...your chance to be immortalized!

Number 10

Post your contribution for consideration for the new form rejection letter by ...oh hell, any time. I just throw the queries away after I steam off the stamps.


Steve Axelrod said...

Your new form letters remind me of the best two word put-down ever, courtesy of Oscar Wilde. Some friend was complaining that no one would publish his books or his poems or his stories. He couldn't even get a letter to the editor published in the newspaper. "There's a conspiracy of silence against my work! What should I do?"
Wilde's reply: "Join it."

Elektra said...

Dear Ms. Bauer,

While I appreciate the offer, I'm afraid I won't be able to "subcontract the work but let [you] have all the credit".

Yours in multiples,
The Snark Dragoon

Heidi the Hick said...

#6 is my favourite.

Dave said...

ooooh, a chance to be mean, nasty and vulgar. I never release this side of me on real people. If I may begin:

1) Dear Writer, your writing reminds me of the last time I took a bottle citrate of magnesia. Sorry.

11) DW: I never laughed so hard in my life. Are you sure this is serious drama? I'm not. Go away.

iii) DW: I've read three chapters and finally discovered the plot. That's too bad, it should have stayed hidden.

iv) DW: This is the first 15 page query letter that I've ever seen. My doctor says if I reed it, I'll go blind. Too bad for you.

v) DW: I'm sorry but we can't publish anything but the Queens Slang.

vi) DW: You know, there is good writing and there is bad writing. This is a great example of the latter.

vii) DW: We are sorry but a group of women have already written a novel about disccovering their vagina. We find your male perspective to be strained and artificial.

vii) DW: Things are tough,
Times are hard,
Take your book,
and bury it in the backyard!

viii) DW: When the moon is in the seventh house and Jupiter aligns with Mars, Peace might rule the planets but your novel will still be garbage.

ix) Dear ASSpiring Writer: The horrors of male menopause do not a novel make.

x) DW: I'm sorry, yesterday, I just optioned 15 chimpanzees to write ten novels with the same plot as your novel. PS, they write better

j h woodyatt said...

Dear Writer,

Your work is offensive to civilized sensibilities. Please be sure to slit your neck, not your wrists, and have the decency to do it in a room with a tile floor and a drain in the middle. Thank you.

Lexie Ward said...

Here's one for Number 10

Dear Writer,
Sorry. We're just not that into you. Good luck finding someone else who is.

Nick said...

Dear Writer,

I have to admit, your work definitely isn't half bad.

It's all bad.


Laney said...

Dear Writer; Unfortunately we're not buying any more Sherrilyn Kenyons today. We already have one of those, but I'm sure she'll be delighted that you read her books so carefully.

All legal caveats hereby invoked! (Just in case).

Dave said...

Not that you asked for any, but here are two more:
To borrow lines from the great Peter Schickele (doing PDQ Bach) ...
Dear Writer: Your writing made my eyes tear, "like Nuns they cross themselves each" chapter.
Dear Writer: Your writing is like "downwind of a steaming compost pile."

Robin said...


Though I willingly admit that #5 made me laugh out loud.

Shouga Tea said...

Dear Writer,
there are a plenty of other places accepting people like you.
Unfortunately, in ignorance, I cannot recommend any, but I'd be happy to return this ms if you need to expedite the process.

Miss "Not a Shrink" S@rk

G said...

Dear Writer:

My mother taught me that if I didn't have anything nice to say, I shouldn't. But her writing sucked almost as bad as yours, and even she knew to enclose an SASE when she wanted a reply from me.


Anonymous said...

Dear Person,

Vocations are for people with a calling. Avocations are for people with an interest. I seek writers, people with talent.
But I do appreciate your including a SASE. Good show!

--Mrs. Rockwell

Simon Haynes said...

11) Congratulations, you just executed the English language. Fortunately, the original remains alive and well.

Dave Kuzminski said...

Dear Writer,

Momentarily, I considered forwarding your letter to Mrs. Bauer, but I discovered even I'm not that cruel should she on the off chance actually read past your name and address.

The Unpretentious Writer said...

Dear Writer,

Don't buy that house in New England just yet.

Daphne Major said...

Dear Writer,

I've read your manuscript. Rarely does my heart leap at a writer's efficient use of language, searing insight into global truths and visionary committment to storytelling. But I became an agent hoping to make just such a discovery.

Perhap it will happen tomorrow.


Anonymous said...

Dear Author:

Thanks so much for letting us take a look at your drivel, and please forgive us for responding with a form letter. The volume of submissions we receive, however, makes it impossible to correspond with every talentless hack.

Unfortunately, the piece of crap you describe does not suit our list at this time. We wish you the best of luck in finding an agent and publisher (or perhaps an incinerator) for your work, and we thank you, once again, for wasting our fucking time.

The Agency

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, I can't. Don't hate me.

Bonnie Calhoun said...

LOL...sorry I don't have one to add, but I loved #5!

Anonymous said...

Dear X,

You may be a wonderful person, but you're a horrible writer.

randomsome1 said...

Dear author: I'm sure your plot is one of staggering genius. Too bad it looks like you left it out of this book.

Dear author: Sting operations are best executed on scam publishers such as Publish America. While your attempt at making a name for yourself as the next Travis Tea is a valiant one, I'm sorry to say that you're firing at the wrong target. Oh, wait, that wasn't what you were going for? Damn.

carlynarr said...

Dear Author,

Please excuse the letterhead. We enthusiastically request for you to send ten FULL copies of your manuscript to us at your earliest convenience.


Marquis de Sade Institute for Literary Studies

Dan Lewis said...

Dear Writer:
I couldn't quite put my finger on the problems with your sample. They were spread over too much of the page.

Paprika said...

Dear Writer,

We thank you for sending your query,
but it seems perhaps that you didn't see
that on our website
we DID clearly write
that we simply don't take poetry...

katiesandwich said...

I'm not clever enough to come up with anything good. I just discovered today that I'm not even clever enough to revise my own chapter 3! Grr! If I sent my ms out right now, I'd be getting rejection #5.

# 2 was my fav, BTW.

Will said...

Dear Writer,
I'm afraid our agency only publishes fiction in the first degree. The fiction novel you propose is, unfortunately, too fictituous an endeavor for us, as it is both fictitious and a novel. You may wish to try The Redundant Agents Agency Inc. Agency of NY, New York, NY.

susanna in alabama said...

10a. Dear Writer: You misunderstood my instructions. I said sweep me off my feet if you were Clooney, not looney.

10b. Dear Writer: Pro- Per punc: tuation is impor,tant Please; consul. T an edito'r Before! Submitting! Again!

10c. Dear Writer: Roses are red, Clooney is WHOA!, I don't represent poetry, so this is a NO!

Brady Westwater said...

Dear Sir:

I regret to inform you someone hacked your e-mail account and is defaming you with libelous attacks on the English language.

To protect you, I sent the e-mail to your server, and they agreed to instantly disconnect your account. And no thanks are necessary. It was the least I could do.

Anonymous said...

Dear U, I 2 luv that u can type like this online... Itz gr8... but, let me clue u in on the dl: u can't type like this 4 a manuscript. L8r.

Sam said...

Dear author,
I regret to inform you that your query did not make it. Although I gave it my kindest attention, it never came to life for me. I'm therefor returning your SASE with this sad note.
Agent X

scribbit said...

Oh I'm weeping for them. But their pain is my chuckle. Oh and by the way I have this manuscript I'd like you to take a look at . . .

gm said...

1) Dear Writer,

Yours is just the kind of novel I was looking for…to recommend to my nemesis Evil Agent.

Snark Central

2) Dear Writer,

Thank you for your unsolicited manuscript - I was in search of a good footstool for some time, your MS has now filled this void in my life.

SamB said...

Your mother was wrong. You cannot write. You should not write. If you know what's good for you, you will not write. Especially to me.

forget my address

Anonymous said...

This was so funny. Those writers are going to appreciate your 'personal' responses with such rejection letters. I especially liked number 5. Too bad I'm not near as good as you in writing them.

shelby said...

Dear Writer: There's a popular saying: "Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach." I strongly recommend you look into a teaching career.

Dear Writer: There's a common perception among writers that if they share their ideas, someone will steal them. Unfortunately, in your case, this is true, and they did it better than you.

Dear Writer: Congratulations on your recognition in Who's Who in America. I've got great news for you--you're now eligible for Who's Who in Unpublished Literature.

Sten Düring said...

I have read your manuscript. Have you?

Kafaleni said...

Dear Writer,

Thank you for your submission to Snark Central.
Unfortunately, we don't have a place for your submission at this time for the following reasons.
(Please tick appropriate box)
Section A: Non-script-related reasons
[ ]No SASE. If you can't follow the rules, you don't play in my sandbox.
[ ]You referred to me as something other than Miss Snark.
[ ]There are CATS on your stationery letterhead.
[ ]It's Monday afternoon and I've already run through this week's gin supply.
[ ]George Clooney just turned up on my doorstep, offering KY & myself a lifetime of joy and wild, uninhibited sex, so the business and the blog are out the window.

Section B: Script-related reasons
[ ]The lac of spiel-czeching was bee yond the pail (sic).(note for the future.. there's a difference between prostrate and prostate.)
[ ]Your query letter tells me nothing about your book except that your mother thinks it's the best thing you've ever written.
[ ]There's no discernible plot or hook.
[ ]I'm up to page #7 of the 15 I asked you for and you're still describing the scenery.
[ ]You seem to have no passion for your subject matter

[ ]Other _____________________________________

Thank you for wasting both of our times.
Please send more gin,

Miss Snark

heidi not the hick said...

Dear Writer,


Please do us all a favor and improve in your writing skills before inflicting your work on another agent.


Miss Snark

wordver: onionsty, angst with the same amount of tears as an onion produces?

Anonymous said...

A lecturer at my alma mater is reputed to have returned an essay with the scribbled comment 'There are seven-year-old French children with a stronger command of the English language than you'.

(However, I think Miss Snark's #5 is unbeatable.)

Anonymous said...

I vote for 5.

Sandra (UK)

Ray Goldensundrop said...

Dear Writer,

Sorry about the form letter and hope you don't take offense. It's just that we get so many queries, maybe because you've read about us. That could be it.

No, and don't ask why. It's just the way things are going in publishing these days. We have no idea what we want, but we'll know it when we see it. Remember that impossible boss? We're like that, except you don't get paid a salary and you don't have to submit to survive, do you?

Somebody else might like your work, who knows? We sure don't. I mean just look at what gets published. What were we thinking? Then once in a while something takes off and makes us millions. Hey, if we could call that ahead of time . . . well, nevermind.

Understand that your writing might not suck. We really don't know, you know? After all, many crappy writers make the best-seller lists. What the hell is that? Or maybe it's good writing with a stupid story. Sometimes it's bad writing with a terrible story that somehow sells. Dog it all, what do those readers want anyway?

We don't know, and you don't know what we want. Please keep on writing and submit widely,

The Agency

rkcooke said...

Ms. Snark,

If number 8's first name is Jack you would be well advised to offer him representation immediately.

I hear he can be rather stern when annoyed.

Bonnie Shimko said...

I'm not good at this, so I won't even try. But the photo of the baby llama is just the sweetest thing. He looks so proud -- like yup, I'm here and I'm cute. And his little tucked-in front legs are adorable.

kitty said...

I get it: There's no delicate way to send a rejection -- or to receive one.

NitWitness said...

Dear Writer,

I realize it's been a long anxious wait, watching for a reply to your query from your dream agent. I also surmise it has most likely placed an immense strain on your heart as you sit by the mailbox day after day. So, here is your answer:

I am pleased to announce we are accepting your work!

Just Kidding! We can't use it.

Ha Ha! Seriously, we want to see more of the MS! Send more!

Okay, I'm sorry....no, we don't.

Okay, all fun aside......

It's Accepted.
It's Rejected.
It's Accepted.
It's Rejected.
It's Accepted.
It's Rejected.
It's Accepted.
It's Rejected.

Are you close enough to a phone to dial 911 for an amubulance?

Terry said...

This one's for real--and has been in use for several years. First-hand experience, unfortunatley.

"We did review your proposal, and for some reason we don't feel we can represent it. Some of them come close, and yours may well be one of those, but we do have our reasons for declining."

Kim Stagliano said...

A query came in from Nantucket
Oh dear Dog how the writing did suck it.
I Sent a "NO" to Sir Frantic
Across the Atlantic
Which he opened and muttered

I'm sorry. Really.

Version B? "Dear Writer, please go find your copy of War and Peace. Begin tearing out pages. Page 1, she'll rep me. Page 2, she won't. Proceed until the end of the book. Let me know where you end up."

Miss Snark.

Anonymous said...

Dear Authur:

Altho you don't suck all that much, the fact that you are holding this rejection letter is proof you shouldn't quit your day job just yet.

Lest you find a scrap of hope in this letter, I want to make it clear that you are dead to me forever.

Of course another agent might feel differently, so keep on writing.

Love and Kisses,

Your Dream Agent

UrsulaV said...

Dear Author,

We regret to inform you that your query was pronounced dead at our office today at 12:45 pm. The entire staff did their best, but alas, its flaws were too extensive, and when it finally went into plot failure, we could not revive it.

We are returning your SASE to you for proper burial. Our condolences go out to you in this time of rejection.


Agents & Undertakers R Us

~Nancy said...

I loved them all but this was my fave:

5. Dear Writer, Thanks for your query. We have to turn down a lot of good work. Thankfully that wasn't the case here.

Short, cynical, and to the point.


~Nancy said...

viii) DW: When the moon is in the seventh house and Jupiter aligns with Mars, Peace might rule the planets but your novel will still be garbage.

Dave, lol! Brilliant. :-)


Anonymous said...

Your kidding me right? I actually received #9..hmmm. Thanks alot Miss Snark! :P

Anonymous said...

Dear writer:

First, you have to learn the alphabet.

Kristi said...

Dear "Writer,"

Oh no you di-int think I would rep this piece of s***! Girrrrlll, you must be crazy.

You'd be better off as a ho.

Just keepin' it real,


Anonymous said...

Just say, no.

I suggest big, pink plaid letters, or flowery, if you prefer. And a smiling face (you don't want to hurt anyone's feelings) in the middle of the 'o'.

MaryAnnTheRest said...

These are Scott Adams's words, not mine. I have this Dilbert tacked to my bulletin board:

[from Dogbert the publisher] Your book does not meet our current publishing needs. Your plot was lame and I hated your characters. And by association, I have come to hate you too. For safety reasons, I hired an illiterate person to rip up your manuscript. I would use the return envelope provided but I'm afraid you might have licked the stamps.

(Word verification: lqkit... forget it, it's too easy)

Rei said...

I posted a number of these on an earlier thread. Lets see if I can dig them up . . . Here we go.

"Dear Author,

I'm sending this note to you instead of your manuscript because your manuscript currently lines the bottom of my birdcage.

Miss Snark"
"Dear Author,

You and I have something in common. We're both prone to mistakes. I read your query by mistake, and you attempted to write a novel by mistake.

Miss Snark"
"Dear Author,

I am returning this otherwise good typing paper to you because someone has printed gibberish all over it and put your name at the top.

Miss Snark"
"Dear Author,

I appreciate the fact that this draft was done in haste, but some of the
sentences that you are sending out in the world to do your work for you are
loitering in taverns or asleep beside the highway.

Miss Snark"
"Dear Author,

Not only is this incomprehensible, but the ink is ugly and the paper
is from the wrong kind of tree.

Miss Insulted, Literary Agent"
"Dear Author,

I'm looking forward to rejecting this exact same query again next month.

Miss Snark"
"Dear Author,

You should, without hesitation, pound your typewriter into a plowshare,
your paper into fertilizer, and enter agriculture.

Miss Snark"
"Dear Author,

Plaese porff raed.

Miss Snark"

JDuncan said...

A lot of great ideas here for all of us thick-skinned writers.

1. Dear Writer, No.
2. Dear Writer, Jesus F'ing Christ! Your query sucked.
3. Dear Writer, Given KY's decision to use your query letter in a most unfortunate manner, I must assume your writing read is as bad as it smelled.
4. Dear Writer, Spelling my name correctly doesn't make this query any better than the last time.
5. Dear Writer, Oh my God, your query made the best paper airplane!
6. Dear Writer, my clue gun appears to have punched so many holes in your query letter that I can no longer read it. Could you please rewrite it and send it again.

Anonymous said...

Dear Author;

I regret I must return your manuscript to you, as our legal department informs me that it violates a number of patents currently held by the Hoover Vacuum Cleaner company.


Xopher said...

Dear Writer,

I attempted to read your sample pages, but they were so stuck together with what I believe may once have been Alfredo sauce that they were not merely illegible, but actually unsanitary. They're currently on their way to Fresh Kills, which seemed like the most appropriately-named place for them.

Miss Snark

Desperate Writer said...

So, I'm guessing that the form rejection letters I get, I should consider myself lucky and not pine for a different kind. :)

I hope I wasn't misunderstood last week when I was wondering how to earn a better rejection letter. Truly, I want my work to earn one, not to soothe ruffled feathers.

I'm not a nitwit. Just frustrated and needy. :)

The Rentable Writer said...



God no.



Ryan Field said...

You suck.

Kim said...

"Jesus f'ing Christ! Your query sucked."

That one almost knocked me out of my chair with laughter and then I almost died from the coughing fit!

so not nice to do to a sick person...

That one is my absolute favorite - it almost makes me wish I could send it out :)

word ver- kvesrfnm - the sounds i'm making as i struggle to breathe...

Trace said...

Dear Writer,
Thank you immensly for your wel-speled mannoskript. It wuz qite timly. I em traning mi dog 2 uze papur insted of da flor. I wil retern it win we r finished.
Thenk u,

Anonymous said...

Snarkles, what happened to you along the way?

I'd like to take you out for gin and confessions.

Thank God that I'm a literary writer and have no profitability margin whatsoever. We shall have to learn to love each other through our sobbing, drunken confessions; perhaps, there, we might find a common ground. Unless there is only despair, unless there is only waste ...

Snarkles, my botanic lovely, remember this.

magz said...

There's some fun laughs in these, and truely some great advice! I give the gold star for absolute clarity and brevity to Sten who said "we've read your manuscript. Have you?" PERFECT!!

Marcom said...

Re: "Dear U, I 2 luv that u can type like this online... Itz gr8... but, let me clue u in on the dl: u can't type like this 4 a manuscript. L8r."

This one made me laugh the hardest of all... JPD, out!

Startha Mewart said...

What about the ridiculous critiques of writing you get from rejection letters?

Dear Writer:
Thank you for your submission, but we are currently not accepting manuscripts whose page numbers are centered. Resubmitting with right- or left-justified numbering will not fool us, either.


Hel said...

Dear Writer,

Seven donkeys and a concubine cannot compare with the tarnished sheen left in your path of combustion.


Courtesy of the Surrealist Compliment Generator

Julia said...

It's not you; it's me.