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Another fun round of things that make us laugh in the office.

After querying Kim and getting a message (I suspect) that she’s not accepting queries, the author simply forwarded the entire email to me, “Dear Ms. Lionetti” and all.

As per our guidelines we don’t accept unrequested attachments. In other words, we prefer the query to be in the body of the email, and if we request the material we’ll ask for it to be attached. Of course there are times when authors miss this, so I will reply with an email explaining the procedure and reminding authors that most agents don’t accept attachments and that reviewing guidelines before submitting is helpful. In response to one of these emails I received this, and trust me, with an email like this there is nothing you can do but laugh. Oh, and by the way, the expletives were modified by me, not by the author.

I suggest you open the attachments that are sent to you. Then you won’t miss great material from great authors!!!

This message means (F**k You!) Maybe you can read that since it’s some of my best writing! (emphasis added!)

Well it’s not in the attachment… You did not ask for this either!!! It makes me feel better to express my thoughts and use some Freedom of Speech!

I’m sure many writer’s want to say it! While you’re at it kiss my a** also!!! Take as long as you need to for that!!!

I take the road that is less traveled by!!!!

I suppose I should be flattered by this response to a rejection:

I’m not too surprised at your lack of interest in my manuscript. I believe you to be “much too young” to grasp the full meaning, let alone the appreciation of the time and the setting for which this story took place in

This one should really be a ROFL. It’s a follow-up to a query:



Category: Blog


  1. Dear Mrs. Jessica Lionetti, I queried you with my attached five-volume horror-fantasy short story anthology five minutes ago. Where's my contract?

  2. Oh…to live in the wonderful world of agents… birds singing, old men whistling Disney tunes, with bunnies hopping around the meadow.
    Want my job?
    I had a customer throw kitchen utencils at me and another told me to shove my colander up my funnel. And that was on a day I was being my usual nice-self.
    At least I don't have lay asphalt in the blazing sun.
    I like what I do I think you do too.

  3. There's SO much on the blogosphere from the perspective of writers interacting with agents. Now, finally, something with the inverted perspective. Nice post – both entertaining AND instructive.

  4. Just the use of exclamation points in that email would turn me off to looking at anything they wrote.

    That anonymous comment says it all…I sent it five minutes ago, why haven't you answered? Lol.

  5. Wow, just wow. The egotism, the profanity, the bad grammar, what is not to love? I can't believe you didn't fall on your knees and praise the "great writer" while fanning him/her with many pages of a multi-book contract!

    Just think of what you are missing!

    Thank you for a great laugh this morning.

  6. Disturbing. How is it that society is turning into this? I mean, I know I'm from the south, but what has happened to conscientiousness, respect, integrity? Are we, as I fear, turning into this egotistical, self-serving organism with no regard for others? Is that where we are going? If so, I think I want off this train I think.

  7. I'm glad that you have your sense of humor still intact. In your position you can't afford to give it any time off.

    *shakes head* Sorry, I'm still laughing about it.

  8. You know, if you're going to burn bridges, you'd think you'd take the opportunity to go out with a nuclear blast.

    There's an opportunity there for the writer to use every available tool of the craft to compose something of epic wit and sarcasm, something really biting and droll, thereby perhaps proving that they are, in fact, a "great author".

    I'm not impressed. If they can't even compose a suitably scathing reply, how can they write a good novel? "F**k You!" probably is an example of some of their best writing.

    One of our submitters once suggested I go "feck myself" when I replied that we were closed to submissions and suggested they resubmit when we were open. Brief and to the point – it was a haiku submission, after all.

    What's with the "much too young" in quotes?

  9. I'm laughing but also wondering WHO WOULD DO THAT?
    Isn't it like burning bridges? I mean even if they do go on and actually find another agent..what if they don't like them and decide you'd be a better fit? Who knows what the road ahead will bring us. It would be best to keep our options open!

  10. These are hilarious – hard to believe some people could be so ignorant.

    I'm adoring the spelling and grammatical errors too – fancy trying to publish a book you haven't even written when you can't spell.

  11. jjdebenedictis:

    if you look under must-read posts we have posted examples of queries from our clients that have worked for us. we'll try to dig some more up. unfortunately, snippets are hard because what really works is the blurb and without getting permission I'm afraid I don't feel comfortable posting someone else's blurb or idea.

    even in these lol cases I post only part of the email or response.


  12. These are some of the best I've seen. Thanks for sharing. Absolutely love the grammar in those last ones. Reminds me of my teaching-English-as-a-second-language days. *sigh*


  13. It's always nice when the queries self-select, I suppose.

    Nice to hear that you've reached a place where you can laugh at them, too. Here's hoping it didn't take too long to acquire that skill.

    I'm always telling clients that
    a little professionalism goes a very long way. Unfortunately, so does a little expletive…

  14. Wow, natural selection in action. I admire the hardiness of your constitution. If I were in your place, I think I'd have to poke my eyes out with a chopstick.

  15. The ol' "kiss my a**" technique didn't work?
    The hell you say!I'd better go re-write my queries.

    You catch more flies with irrational hatred, you know.

  16. I am in mind of the song: Who let the dogs out…who…who…who…who.

    That first guy sounds like Mel Gibson on a good day.

  17. Awwww, but I totally want to read the first one with its abundance of exclamation marks and and confusion between plural -s and possessive -'s! I also want to know about this less-traveled road. It's a surprising plot twist, or perhaps just a red herring?

    Also, "'much too young'"? You're not old by any means, but I'd think you were old and mature enough to grasp the significance of whatever deep and profound thing is in this story. I also love the multiple prepositions which prevent the last sentence from being grammatically correct.

    My goodness, I'm feeling snarky today, because I restrained myself in this comment. The last one I'll throw a little bone; someone probably thought they were doing a good thing by following up, although much too soon and, for some reason, all in caps.

  18. I feel so bad for you agents. Putting up with people like that can’t be fun. I shudder to think how this guy gets through a normal day with a hair-trigger temper like that.

    At Colin:
    “You catch more flies with irrational hatred, you know.”

    This needs to be on a poster. Hilarious.

    I love these posts. I find it helpful to know that I am not competing with every single person who summits a query, just the other sane people who have mastered basic English. The jerks weed themselves out nicely.

  19. Don't ya just love the internet? Kooks, krazies and krakpots galore.

    Wish I knew that road less traveled by . . .

  20. You have to wonder if these people really do want to be published. Do you? Really?

    *rolls eyes*

    It's not that hard to read some simple instructions!

    Furthermore, you shouldn't bite the hand that feeds you!

    Or in this case, bite the hand that writes the contracts!

  21. LOL-Well, whenever I get sad again about a rejection, LOL-I'll just think back to this post. Wow! Those are some pretty TICKED off people. Can we say 'career suicide'? LOL…Way Funny!

  22. Ooooh, so many buttons pushed, so little time, but I nearly go through the roof when someone, usually an over-privileged kid, claims to be exercising their freedom of speech. (I especially love it when they spell it, "freedom of speach.") 'Nuff said.

  23. *Insert cringing here.*

    I'm an aspiring author and I promise I will never do this. I will be professional and respectful.

    My advice: If you gotta let off steam get a punching bag. Or take up Tae Kwon Do or something.

    Don't burn your agent/publisher/professional bridges!

  24. Oh heavens. I can't believe the audacity of (would be authors)- clearly not authors.
    Perfect example of AMATEUR, someone who did not study their craft and simply living in a non-existing world of being a writer.
    Good Grief I am still sitting here with my mouth open.

  25. You mean you're not second-guessing your policy on attachments now? Just look at what you've passed on as evidenced by the clean, stellar writing in that email reply.

  26. If "This message means (F**k You!) Maybe you can read that since it's some of my best writing!" is some of their best writing, then I'd be scared to see what their manuscript is like.

    Gotta love it when people abuse exclamation points…

  27. OMG! Let me be the one to say it… as an Author, humility and being just a tad bit humble goes a long way…In no way do these responses reflect all us aspiring writers…

  28. I guess my one question would be: Do these authors ever have the gall to query you again with the same/different project? I'd hazard to guess the answer is yes.

    I like BE Sanderson's comment "the road less traveled" as in to quicksand or a mine field? Had to laugh at that one.

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