the glamorous struggles of an aspiring author...

Friday, March 20, 2009

What Every Agent Wants: The Perfect Rejection Form Letter

Yeah, I read the agent blogs. The way some people I know tune into American Idol, I tune into Query Shark, Nathan Bransford, and The Rejecter. And they all want one thing. For all of us aspiring writers to go away. I sympathize. I really do. But there is no need to be nasty about it. Repeat some clich├ęs about honey and lemons and oh, there are so many, take your pick.

The truth is, you have to find a way to reject something you don't want, and never want to see in your inbox again. If you are too rude, writers e-bomb, yeah, that's unpleasant. If you are too nice, they send you the whole manuscript with the first line changed and ask how you liked the re-write.

Where then is The Perfect Rejection Form Letter? Right here:

Dear [insert writer's name for that personal touch],

We at [insert your agency name here] read your submission with the utmost interest. Thank you for sending it to us. It has transformed our lives.

Clearly, your keen insight and original word choices distinguish you as a writer with great talent. It is with paramount regret that we feel unworthy to represent such a seminal work.

Indeed, it was only the thought of my poor ailing mother, who would be destitute without my support, that I did not immediately commit seppuku after reading your submission and realizing I would never be worthy to represent work of this calibre.

Yours in awe,


[insert your name here]

3 comments:

Ms Kitty said...

Oooo, you have a very sharp sense of humor! I like that!

Joanna said...

I like your sense of humor too, but I have to clarify something!! NO AGENT EVER WANTS ASPIRING WRITERS TO GO AWAY. EVER.

Where would we be without you guys? All of my clients were once "aspiring writers" and I would never have found most of them without going through my slush.

Dear Aspiring Writers,

Please don't go away! But do please understand that it is difficult to reject anyone gently that has obviously put a lot of heart and thought into something, especially when we don't have time to send personalized rejections. I'm sorry, but we love you!

Best,

Time-crunched Literary Agent

Taire said...

Akk! I'm sorry Joanna! All in fun...