A visit to Slushpile Hell

As all aspiring writers know, rejection letters are the often generic, sometimes personal, and occasionally cruel, letters and emails sent  by an agent to let you know that your manuscript didn’t meet the mark. I’ve posted elsewhere, in Dealing with Rejection, a link where writers share the worst of those letdowns with some very funny examples of how they were rejected.

Now to the other side of the desk. The slushpile, as you all, I’m sure, know, is that gigantic pile of unsolicited queries and manuscripts that deluge a literary agent daily.  Eventually, the agent has to wade through that pile looking for nuggets and clearing out the junk. Or hire a summer intern to do so :-). For some reason, this always makes me think of the Monty Python scene, “Throw out your dead.”

I found this blog yesterday and cracked up. It’s a compilation of really terrible (and some not so bad) queries received by an agent together with his comments as to what he thought about them. Some are obviously candidates for the bin; some are terribly funny, and some may have you reformatting your query letter a little uneasily after you finish reading them.

Here, then, from one agent’s perspective, are examples of slushpile queries from hell. Enjoy!


This entry was posted in Other blogs to keep an eye on, Querying, Slushpiles and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to A visit to Slushpile Hell

  1. Brian says:

    I suspect we all have our own slushpiles – passages, pages, chapters, sections and even MSs that we look and say, I can’t believe I wrote that crap, and toss it.


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