Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

Watch Writers Get Rejected In Real Time

Watching Jennifer Udden, a literary agent at Donald Maass, live-tweet her slush pile reading today may upset and offend some people. But it's fascinating AND educational! No seriously, take some notes.

15 Comments / Post A Comment

callavere (#241,065)

These exercises are not as helpful as literary agents believe they are. They have backfired in the past (there was an epic "queryfail" incident on Twitter in 2009 involving a dozen agents rejecting queries in real time). I'm a literary agent myself and I wince whenever I see another agent doing something like this on Twitter.

jaimealyse (#647)

@callavere Even if it's not instructive – though I think it can be – it's comforting, at least. And that's worthwhile. To know that your submission is like a thousand others, getting read and considered on all the same criteria, rejected or not. Submitting work feels lonely and mysterious. Pulling back the curtain – without mockery of the writers, of course – is a generous act.

callavere (#241,065)

@jaimealyse True. But it's hard for some writers not to see mockery in quick dismissal online.

KenWheaton (#401)

Perhaps the folks who reject literary agents' online dating requests would also provide some educational tweeting at some point.

laurel (#4,035)

Don't Ask a Current Professional Literary Agent

hershmire (#233,671)

Her criticisms are vague and completely unhelpful. "Not engaging." "Started strong" "Sounds promising." These are fairly empty words.

riotnrrd (#840)

@hershmire With 140 characters (125 after the hastag) you expect nuance?

@hershmire Seriously. Twitter is not the place to look for detailed insight.

hershmire (#233,671)

@Ella Jane Goeppinger@twitter @riotnrrd My point is, this is voyeurism, not "educational."

P.J. Morse (#232,627)

@hershmire Yup. Totally voyeurism. (Or masochism if your pitch gets rejected.) It actually makes me sympathetic thinking about how much slush agents have to go through. If you want helpful criticism, perhaps forming a writing group is the way to go.

callavere (#241,065)

@P.J. Morse I get 20 to 30 emailed queries per day. And yes, it's voyeurism. It's not actually something to help writers be better at writing, or better at the business of writing.

Sorry, guys – @suddenlyjen has hit her daily tweet limit. No more #millionqueries for at least two hours!

saythatscool (#101)

11th #millionqueries: local bitch pretends she is still some sort of cultural gatekeeper despite the fact that technology made her obsolete 5 years ago, pass

KenWheaton (#401)

Actually, these tweets are more specific than the form rejection letters sent by agencies … you know, because they don't have time to comment on every query. Oh, and don't simultaneously submit. Because that's rude.

SkinnyNerd (#224,784)

Reality twittervision. Does the world end now?

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