Thursday, March 5, 2009


Twitter will be the death of me. It's already killed any productivity I had planned for today, thanks to an informative and highly entertaining session of #queryfail posts. How it works: agents and editors spend the day sharing examples of what makes a bad manuscript submission. To be certain, I added a few gems myself, taken from what I've experienced with my house. I should note, though, what I have shared is not done to ridicule. I'm an author, too, and I've perpetrated quite a bit of #queryfail in my youth. If anything, readers should take what they read from their Twitter feeds with a light spirit, and understand that there is learning to be done here. I've learned much today.

That said, here are a few eye-rollers. I'm glad I don't recognize anything I've queried.

@DanielLiterary: I'M TYPING MY QUERY IN ALL CAPS SO YOU WILL BE SURE TO NOTICE IT. Okay, now that my pupils have stopped burning... #queryfail

@_Starry: "This is a very exciting narrative which relates how I was attacked by a whore house" Exciting in what sense? #queryfail

@angelajames: fantasy romance query about a nun?...#queryfail

@ReneeAtShens: "P.S. I collect stamps. Should you have any stamp...that is destined for the trash can, [please] stuff them in the enclosed SASE" #queryfail

@thegreatmissjj :"I am writing as Gawain Nostradame for reasons that will soon be clear..." Yes and your name is? #queryfail

@Colleen_Lindsay: "Promotional opportunities include Oprah, of course." #queryfail

1 comment:

Scott said...

Those are pretty funny. My only good story regarding queries is when I wrote a letter to a certain big name agent in New York, and used the word "emigrate" in discussing my plotline. I used the word correctly, and even double-checked myself several times to ensure appropriate grammatical usage of the emigrate/immigrate thing.

This big name agent sent my query back with a handwritten note on the query that said "No thanks," or something of that nature, and she had also crossed out "emigrate" in the body of my letter and written in "immigrate" - as though she were grading my grammar.

Not only was it extremely pompous to do such a thing (treating me like a hopeless and wayward student), but she was also, of course, wrong in her effort to edit me.

I was so angry about it I very nearly wrote her back.