So I was on Twitter yesterday when I saw this from Agent Janet Reid: click here.
Whoever did this I'd like them to contact me. Seriously, we need to talk lol
But, on a more solemn note, I really think us aspiring writers should avoid this kind of behaviour. Aren't you worried of becoming the butt of agents' jokes? We may not know who you are, but Janet does, as do a lot of her agent colleagues, I'm sure.
It reminds me of that time when agents did #queryfail in an honest attempt to aid aspiring writers and some aspiring writers turned it into a declaration of war. In fact, I wrote a short story about it back then (base on some of the nasty things these writers said). Here it is. If you're an agent and wouldn't like to be reminded of that horrific time you might want to leave this blog now. If you're one of those aspiring writers who took up arms against agents and are ashamed and would not like to be reminded of ... well, your rash, unconsidered reaction, you should leave as well.
Award winning short story:
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, there existed a planet called Earth. A planet teeming with resources and life. The most abundant life was human life. Humans strived for greatness in whatever they did, and for many years they grew in great numbers and strength, determined to one day conquer the universe.
Amongst these humans were those who studied the art of writing, and those who honed their eyes, tongues, and nose to better see, taste and smell good writing. They were respectively dubbed Writers and Agents.
Agents have since stood as gatekeepers of the paths which Writers must take to confront the publishing gods.
Because Agents must carefully choose which Writers to let through, many Writers have grown embittered in silence, their anger bristling in the shadows, swelling and clenching their hearts until all kindness and happiness have long been purged, lost forever.
On a day that seemed as ordinary as any other day, a gatekeeper by the name Jessica Faust determined that it would be a clever scheme to utilise one of Earth's newest and most unimpressive (me didn't like Twitter then) awesome technologies – Twitter – in teaching Writers what not to do when requesting access (by means of querying) to the publishing gods.
Unfortunately for Jessica and her cohorts of Agents and Editors (high priests of the publishing gods), her scheme backfired, and Writers were handed a perfect opportunity to engage in a war they had desperately sought after for years:
::This is the part that gets really ugly::
'Take yourselves off the pedestals you stand on and stop acting like we should feel privileged that you allow us to bow and scrape to gain your attention. Without us, you would have no product to sell, therefore no income. To say it very plainly, without us you are nothing.'
Translation: without us, working at McDonalds wouldn't even come close to your greatest achievement. (But I work at Best Buy).
'Reply with more than one freaking line via email that says something like, "I didn't really care for the male characters". I mean, a rejection is OK, but, after all that time (and $$$ in postage for 300 plus pages!!!), I thought I deserved a bit more. I won't be querying her again.'
Translation: I spent my time, effort, and hard-earned cash getting my manuscript to you. I literally lowered myself to your standards, and this is the best rejection you can come up with – 'I didn't really care for the male characters'? Go to hell. (But I will query you again when I calm down).
'Creating art requires the ability to expose the self and plumb the depths of human pain. Please stop telling me not to take it personally. Sending you my manuscript is more personal than a visit to my ob/gyn. If you refuse to acknowledge the intimate dynamic of this transaction, stick to repping diet books or go into accounting,'
Translation: sending my manuscript to you is like letting you sleep with my husband and not slitting your throat. It's more than personal. So when you refuse to recognise the gravity of things, you hurt my feelings. Trust me, honey, that's the last thing you want to do. My advice: leave this industry. Now. (But I would totally do anything to get you to represent me ... AFTER I calm down).
'Many of those querying you are smarter than you are, prettier than you are, and meaner than you are. We have long memories and we share agent stories just as you share "bad writer" stories.'
Translation: You're dumb, you're ugly, and the best way – no, the only way you can hurt me is by sending stupid, lame rejections to my mailbox. If I had to send my rejection to you, it'd be in the form of my foot, so when you opened the letter or email it'd pop out and shove itself so far up your fat arse that "sitting" would become something of an enigma for you. Yeah, I'm THAT mean. And don't forget, we know who you are, and when we become bestsellers and gain access to millions of $$$/£££, we're surely going to destroy you. Literally. (But ... but ... I love you still)
'I'm so tired of smug, wannabe hipsters being the gatekeepers of taste.'
Translation: I'm seriously considering assassinating you. (By sending Starbucks coffee cups with flour in them, or mugs with 'you're the best agent ever' printed on them. Oh, did you get that already? Good. We're even now).
(Note: these are very real statements made by writers. You can find more here).
Jessica Faust, undeterred by the raging battle, has sworn to resurrect her scheme on April 17. She strongly feels she's doing the right thing. However, the APO (Agents Protection Organisation) has dispatched government operatives to protect Jessica and other #agentfail participating Agents/Editors 24-7, just in case things get out of hand.
:: Note here ::
Jessica doesn't have magic powers. She can't talk to ponies either. No, other agents can't too. Actually, agents are just like all of us, with hopes and dreams and jobs, and they don't make a billion dollars an hour and take pleasure in rejecting queries like they're covert masochists.
'Jessica is important to us. She is the last living Agent with magic powers and the ability to talk to ponies, and we intend on making sure she remains earth-bound,' says Jimmy Jim Jims, Director of APO.
On the other side of the pond, rebel leader of AWAW (Aspiring Writers At War), Anon1, had this to say about Agents: 'The sooner they – agents, editors, the publishing gods – disappear, the better for us writers. Publishing-on-demand for the world!'
Publishing on demand or self publishing or whatever it's called is not really the answer to your problems. If you're getting rejected by every single agent it means you're doing something wrong. Honest. It means you should go back to the drawing board and fix your manuscript.
End of Award winning short story.
So, you guys, let's stop this, ok?