Makes Sense to Me!


I just got a rejection letter for Trevor’s Song that makes me wonder if this agent needs one of Miss Snark’s Clue Guns.

I kid you not, but this was hand-written on the bottom of my query page:

“Thanks, but I represent commercial, category fiction.”

Now, if you follow this link, you’ll see only part of the query letter. What you’re not seeing is the part where I go on to give the word count and clearly state that this will be my fiction debut. It mentions my degrees in creative writing. Nowhere does it infer that this is anything BUT a work of fiction.

And for crying out loud, the book is about a man named Trevor. If there’s any doubt if this is non-fiction, that should be cleared up by noticing the fact — that she must have, as she personalized this note — that I am a woman named Susan.

I suppose I ought to be grateful that she thought this fictional world I’ve created is real. I suppose that ought to reinforce my belief that I’ve done good work and it’s only a matter of finding the right person — who she, clearly, is not.

But I can’t help but wonder if instead of spilling coffee on the envelope, she would have been better off if she’d consumed that coffee, instead.



  1. lswriter

    November 13, 2006 2:26 pm

    Well, my mouth is hanging open in shock. I sympathise with you. Be glad it was a rejection! She sounds like a moron!

  2. karen!

    November 13, 2006 4:28 pm

    hmmmm…BR/sorry to hear about the rejection.

  3. Susan Helene Gottfried

    November 13, 2006 4:46 pm

    Yeah, well, better to find out now that this wouldn’t be a good partnership than to get my hopes up that she could sell my book. BR/BR/I AM toying with the idea of contacting Preditors and Editors and Writer Beware to see if this is a habitual thing, or a one-time-only deal.

  4. Candy

    November 13, 2006 5:27 pm

    *laugh*BR/BR/Oh, I know I shouldn’t laugh, but it makes you wonder if they even bother to LOOK at it, ya know? Ugh…

  5. Susan Helene Gottfried

    November 13, 2006 7:00 pm

    I hear ya, babe. I’m torn between howling with laughter and being outraged. BR/BR/I think it’d be better if laughter won, actually. BR/BR/But I’m still considering reporting her to the watchdogs. Maybe she’s 100 years old and past her prime, ya know?

  6. Dana

    November 13, 2006 7:27 pm

    Sorry about the rejection but maybe not in this case. That one clearly did not even bother to read a single sentence

  7. Susan Helene Gottfried

    November 13, 2006 9:02 pm

    I’m printing out the next query as I type…BR/BR/It only takes one, and I have over 500 names still to research and possibly query. I’m not giving up YET (although that siren sound that’s self-publishing did get a bit louder today).

  8. musie

    November 13, 2006 9:33 pm

    ok, first she handwrites on the letter how not professional and to top it off she’s spilled coffee on the envelope and doesn’t even have the nerve to change and envelope. BR/BR/I think it’s better you got the rejection from this so called agent. BR/BR/I would ask if it was habitual too so it would save other talented writers that agony of having to deal with someone who can’t be bothered to truly respond or read an inquiry.

  9. Susan Helene Gottfried

    November 13, 2006 9:35 pm

    Mmm. Welcome to publishing, where the rules are different. Hand writing on a query beats the old stamp that says “NO THANKS.” And the form letter; at least you know someone took the time to write the message, rather than threw a form letter on top, stuffed it into the envelope, and sent it on its with with nary a glance. BR/BR/Although in this case, a glance would have been a good thing. BR/BR/As for the envelope, nope, they’re not going to exchange it. After all, the one I send them has return postage on it!

  10. Sheila

    November 14, 2006 3:17 am

    Sorry to hear this Susan. You would think if they took the time to handwrite something out. They would take the time to watch what they were doing when sending it back. That’s just professionalism. Which it sounds like they are not.BR/Oh well there is someone out there that Trevor’s Song is meant to be with.BR/BR/I can’t believe that companies will publish some things that aren’t even worth the paper. But won’t publish something that is good writing.BR/BR/Hang in there.

  11. Susan Helene Gottfried

    November 14, 2006 8:45 am

    Thanks, babe! I agree about the professionalism — would you want someone THIS inattentive to represent YOU????BR/BR/Better to find out now and laugh about it than get burned…

  12. kathie

    November 14, 2006 9:48 am

    Hey Susan, I’m a fellow sib–soon to post on Working Stiffs. But I read your post there. Really encapsulated a lot of what I go through often. Love that you combine music and writing. My books are laced with music as well, but I doubt as in depth as yours are. I listen to music when I write and see everything set to music. Must be the MTV in me.

  13. Anonymous

    November 14, 2006 11:02 am

    Sorry Susan! I don’t understand why she even bothered sending you a rejection. She sure didn’t bother reading your query letter. *sigh*

  14. Susan Helene Gottfried

    November 14, 2006 12:16 pm

    Well, I’d still rather hear something boneheaded (it’s good for a laugh, right?) than nothing at all. I think I’m jumping more firmly into Miss Snark’s camp where the e-queries are concerned. Two of the three I’ve submitted in this round have said, “If you don’t hear back from us, assume we’re not interested.”BR/BR/ASSUME?? Didn’t they learn that lesson in school — ass + u + me???BR/BR/(sadly, one didn’t say that until AFTER I’d submitted, or I’d have used the mail)BR/BR/Kathie! Welcome to the sibs and all that. Yes, we NEED to talk!!! 😀

  15. Lauren

    November 14, 2006 10:57 pm

    Be happy that they rejected you, since they themselves are rejects.

  16. Susan Helene Gottfried

    November 14, 2006 11:37 pm

    That’s one way of putting it, yeah… Good one!

  17. Andrew

    November 16, 2006 10:43 pm

    Oi, well, if that’s how the agent is, then working with her would probably have been a bigger nuisanse than the actual rejection.

  18. Susan Helene Gottfried

    November 16, 2006 10:52 pm

    Yup. And now that it’s been most of the week, I can laugh and shake my head. We hear so much talk of writers shooting themselves in the foot … here’s an agent who did!BR/BR/When you’re ready to submit, let me know and I’ll tell you who to avoid!

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