Wednesday, September 14, 2011

An Agent Writes In...But Not My Agent

A good-humored agent sent me the following correspondence, which consists of the agent's rejection, followed by a rather snarky response from a rejected writer (not me, friends).  A little advice to you all, keep your snarkiness here at LROD, rather than pointing it out at the agents of the world. It is a teeny-tiny world out there. We should aim to keep a little Just a bit of unsolicited advice.  Here are the samples:
AGENT'S REJECTION: Dear ______: 
Thanks for the query but I'm not the right agent for you.  I found your writing style a little too stiff for me to feel I could find you the right publisher.  But I wish you much luck connecting with someone who doesn't share my reservations. Signed, Secret Agent

REJECTED WRITER'S RESPONSE:Thanks for your considered reply. 
I would have preferred a plain, flat rejection (your first sentence would have been sufficient).  Your added effort to say “ a little too stiff” without any further explanation leaves me with more questions than the answer/s of a simple rejection. 

[BTW, If there are other agents out there who would like to send in similar case studies anonymously demonstrating how not to respond to rejection...or better yet, how to respond to rejection, we welcome you warmly. Keep the examples coming.]


Anonymous said...

rejected writer wonders what's stiff? he should read his little response, I'd hate to work with this guy in an office and have to read his memos.

Boris said...

That reply seems fairly mild. Not exactly polite, but given the emotions involved for writers, totally understandable.

Check out this young writer's reaction to literary rejection:

Anonymous said...

Boris, that guy who wrote back to Nat Sobel's assistant strikes me as entirely too self-absorbed. His whole website just screams PRIMA DONNA!!! I appreciate that he thinks he's the cat's meow, but might this be a case where he's broadcasting to prospective agents that he's likely to be too much of a headache to deal with? Or too pushy?

Any thoughts, LROD?