Slushpile Hell: One grumpy literary agent, a sea of query fails, and other publishing nonsense

I don’t know how literary agents do it.  But imagine their workload.  Let’s say they get 50 queries a day.  Those fifty, of course, are separate from the Thank you emails, the follow-up emails, the emails to the conferences they’ll be attending, the rewrites, the referrals, and their own solicitations when they find someone in a magazine they’d like to represent.  All this and we still haven’t gotten to reading the queries and the requested manuscripts and selling to editors and working with promotion and–  You get the picture.  So when you or I send the agent our “baby,” it shows up as a blip on the agent’s massive radar screen, and she can only hope to reject it within 60 seconds and move on.

Thus, Slushpile Hell, a blog of real query snippets and agent retorts (what the agent would like to say to the writer but doesn’t).  Here’s an example:

Jul 19 2010

With foggy dreams about the graceful future and with beautiful butterflies tangling within my tummy, I write this query email.

Sorry, I just threw up a little bit in my mouth.


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