How not to query a literary agent

Slushpile Hell is a very cool new blog which has just been brought to my attention (thanks, Foz!). Written by a “grumpy literary agent” it offers up some hilarious excepts from actual query letters along with the agent’s not-so-tongue-in-cheek response, as well humourous pieces of publishing advice. If you’re an aspiring writer seeking an agent, here is a concise object lesson in what not to do.  If you’re aspiring agent, it will probably make you think twice about your career choice. Even if you fall into neither camp, it’s still bloody funny.

Here are a few of my favourites to whet your appetite:

Thanks for reading my query. Tell me what cha think I’m not going to go back and read it so everything you read was just typed with out double checking.

This is my life as a literary agent, folks. Jealous?

Today is your opportunity to get in on the ground floor of a promising young author’s career. Today is your chance to be the one who lights the wick on the bottle rocket that will carry my name into the upper echelon and today is your chance to grab a ticket on that ride.

No, after reading this, I think that today is the day to take my drinking to a whole new level.

Till the moment your eyes run across this letter, you and I are nothing but “Strangers” to each other. I hope to remove the unsightly strangeness that stands between us so that we might get to know one another better.

Me: creeped out.

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.

I have yet to be published, but that is only because I have yet to try.

And I have yet to win the Tour de France, Nobel Peace Prize, or the Quail Hollow Hog-Calling Contest, but that’s only because…well, you know.

stress reduction kit

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