Stupid Stuff Writers Do to Literary Agents
Last updated 10/21/20
Because I keep finding more and more of these on Twitter, I am curating a list of “Stupid Stuff Writers Do to Literary Agents” directly from the keyboards of the agents themselves. This will be an ongoing addendum to my article on “Abuse and Stalking of Literary Agents.”
For advice on how to properly and professionally query and a list of agencies to query, check out the Writer’s Market series of reference books.
Misspelling the agent’s name:
Before you send that query, take a second to check that you spelled the agent’s/editor’s name right.— Alyssa Roat – Dear Hero Is Now Available! (@alyssawrote) October 7, 2020
It doesn’t give the impression a writer really cares much about being represented/published by us if they didn’t even take the time to spell our names correctly.#querytips
Querying your novel is not a dating service:
Can’t believe it needs to be said AGAIN, don’t respond to agent passes by commenting on their romantic life/interests. Even if it is “you’re so nice! You must have a ton of bfs” or “men must be lining up for you”.— Kaitlyn Johnson – closed to Queries (@RedPenKaitlyn) October 19, 2020
It’s not cute. It’s disturbing #querytip #amquerying
Why every agent needs to own a firearm:
Nothing like starting out the week with an email from an author whose query you rejected saying he’s happy to come to my house in Birmingham to explain to me why I really do need to sign him.— Erin Clyburn (@erin_clyburn) October 12, 2020
This is a new one:
Submitting rough drafts of your NaNoWriMo manuscript in early December. Probably not a good idea at all to mention if your manuscript was written during NaNoWriMo, ESPECIALLY if it’s a few months after:
I know agents say this EVERY YEAR but perhaps I can be the first in 2020 to please ask:— Anne Tibbets (@AnneTibbets) October 19, 2020
Dear #NaNoWriMo participants,
Do NOT query agents w/ your first draft on December 1st, or ever.
2nd, 3rd, and 4th etc drafts only.
And good luck with your word counts!