Requested Material

Dear Miss Snark,

I just attended the Backspace agents' conference in NYC. Five agents asked me to send them a query or sample pages. Do I look like a fool if I write "Requested Material" on the outside of the envelope? Does this get me placed ahead of the other unsolicited queries coming in? Of course I will note in the cover letter how pleasant it was to meet them at the conference, make a reference to what we spoke about and tell them here is the material they requested.

You'd be shocked, shocked I say, at the number of people who write "requested material" on an envelope when it isn't. I was laughing about this with my fellow patients at the Lock Down Padded Room Bar and Grill just this weekend.

When I tackle the slush pile, the envelopes are face down so I can slice them open with my monogrammed switchblade.

You'd be better off to write "Backspace Conference" on the envelope if you're desparate to write anything. Really all you need is to mention you met the agent at the specified conference in the first paragraph of the cover letter. Most of us do not devour the text on the outside of envelopes; most of us don't read it at all.


bunnygirl said...

When I send requested material, I write "Requested Material" on envelope and then add the name of the piece and the "requested on" date.

Probably lame and nitwit-like, but I figure this at least proves I'm not trying to pull something over on whoever is opening the mail.

M. G. Tarquini said...

I just write George Clooney's phone number across the enclosed twenty dollar bill.

Is that not a good idea?

SherryD said...

"When I tackle the slush pile, the envelopes are face down so I can slice them open with my monogrammed switchblade."

Ah ha! Now I know to write the clever, catchy, personal note on the BACK of the envelope.


Miss Snark said...

Oddly enough Miss Tarquini, when I dialed 812 473 7729 I did not reach Mr. Clooney.

I'm keeping the twenty though.

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Holy hell. This is what I get for trying to read and listen to a six-year-old. I could have sworn you said, "we agents don't read." Totally missed that envelope part.

Kim Stagliano said...

Oh thank DOG! I had briefly considered writing "I am the writer who offered to blow you in the coat room" on the outside of the envelope (catalog size, thank you very much) but simply wrote "Partial requested, Backspace conference."


Anonymous said...

Dear Miss Snark:

Have dialed 812 473 7729.

Mary on my Windowsill wants to talk to you.

-- A Friend

Eric Shawn, liteary agent said...

How can I get invited to the next conference you're attending Kim?