I recently entered a writing contest (a well-known one) and didn't make the short-list. No biggie, I learned a lot and made some good progress with my writing. Then I got a very encouraging letter from one of the contest judges (the chair), letting me know that I'd made the informal "long-list" of the top 20 entries and giving me some feedback on my submission. She didn't have to do this (the contest stated that feedback would only be given to short-listed folks), and made it clear she did it on her own behalf. This was very cool and much appreciated. My question is this...would it be okay to send her a short thank-you note care of her publisher? Just a "thanks for taking the time to do this, much appreciated" kinda deal? I'm not looking to come off as some psycho-stalker chick, so should I be grateful in silence, or is a brief note okay?
A short thank you note via the publisher is always in order.
You'd do better to email her from her website; publishers are notoriously slow about forwarding author mail.
You only come off as psycho-stalker chick if you send gifts, or more than one note.
Never send any object to an agent or an editor until you've signed a deal with them. Given the lunacy of this day and age, gifts from strangers mostly get thrown away still wrapped and unused.