Literary Liaisons

A blog about writing and all things story…

Open Letter of Apology to Literary Agents

Saturday, while packing my attic (we’re selling our house & moving) I found a box chock-full of rejection lettersrejections –-about 200.

As I glanced through them, many from as far back as 2002, I cringed, squinted my eyes closed like I was watching a horror movie, and though I’ve been published several times since then, grew deeply embarrassed.
Twelve years ago I thought, “Hey! I’ve written a book, aren’t I brilliant, who wouldn’t want to read this.”
I have since learned how brilliant I wasn’t, and burned that manuscript that nobody in their right mind would want to read, on a bonfire of other inane manuscripts.
So embarrassed.
So, Dear Literary Agent(s),
If you received any query letters from me, please forgive. Please scorch my name from your brain and the offending letter from your eyes. I know some bells can’t be un-rung, but please un-ring this one.
The least of my offenses were that I wrote hideous amateurish query letters for stories that may or may not have made any sense. I was confused about seemingly trivial things like plot –jumbled plot seemed to be my modus operandi –scenes that had nothing to do with moving the story forward, and I was very confused about what constitutes action, and equal to that confusion was my skill at writing stiff unrealistic dialogue, and so many other crimes and misdemeanors it would take all day to list them. But as I said, I am moving and have to pack, so thankfully there’s no time to make that l-o-n-g humiliating list of wrongdoings.
So for now, please forgive me my offenses against the literati. Please do not banish me forever. I am getting better. I vow to never, ever again send a poorly written query letter about a story I don’t fully comprehend myself. I will work to understand the story, write it to the best of my ability, and not until then will I send that poorly written query letter. I promise.
Thank you in advance for your forgiveness. M
(Just ‘M’. . . I didn’t sign my name here because I already asked you to burn it from your memory, so to remind would be unwise, don’t you think?)

A google+ comment from 

Faulkner once said that a writer who can’t paper his bathroom with rejjies ain’t worth his salt.
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7 comments on “Open Letter of Apology to Literary Agents

  1. Mary Rowen
    July 7, 2014

    Mindy, I have several LARGE envelopes of these things as well. Your post made me smile. Yup. I think it’s about time I get rid of those too–although they are certainly very humbling.

    • Mindy
      July 7, 2014

      Humbling and depressing, but then you realize “Wow! Look how far I’ve come” and can smile. Then burn the evidence. :)

  2. Behind the Story
    July 1, 2014

    So what did you do with the box full of query letters? People talk about paper their walls with query letters. It’s probably better to just burn them.

    • Mindy
      July 2, 2014

      Ha! Who would want rejection on their walls! They’re shredded.

  3. judithworks
    June 26, 2014

    Oh the joys of being a writer!!!

  4. Mindy
    June 24, 2014

    nom de plume. . .tempting. Would sure save some embarrassment. Oh well, I’ll put my big gurl panties on and be okay. Thanks for reading. Mindy

  5. pamelahobartcarter
    June 24, 2014

    Too familiar! Yikes! When do we choose a nom de plume?

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This entry was posted on June 23, 2014 by in Uncategorized.
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