A few writer friends and I were having coffee the other day and, as we often do, started complaining about submissions. Specifically, the fact that whether you submit to an agent or an editor, the odds of getting a response, even a generic one, seems less than .000001 percent anymore.
Most agencies don’t even try to hide the fact that they won’t respond: “If you don’t hear back from us in three months, we’re not interested.”
- Don’t send a self-addressed, stamped envelope.
- Don’t expect a quick “No Thanks” via email.
- No sticky notes.
- Nothing! (Not even everything. . .should they happen to be interested.)
But this post isn’t about the sad state of submitting. It’s about fantasies. Your fantasy. (Your G-rated fantasy—please!)
For as we sat there bemoaning the fact that we should have studied accounting or nursing in college, it occurred to us that, wouldn’t it be great if there was a special ink we could use to print our manuscripts that would magically charm editors and agents into responding. We weren’t even dreaming of a good response. Any response would be magic. Even a negative one. . .
Dear. . . Submitter,
Since I was the person unfortunate enough to review your attempt at putting multiple words together in a cohesive fashion, I find myself in the equally unfortunate position of having to send you a reply. While reading your submission, I was reminded of the famous story involving composer Max Reger. He did not often receive favorable reviews of his work. After getting one he particularly disliked, he wrote the following: “I am sitting in the smallest room of my house. Your review is in front of me. Soon, it will be behind me.”
Like Max Reger, I read your submission while I was in the smallest room of my house. It was in front of me and it was so bad that I felt it would have been an insult to my rectum to put it behind me. Please, next time you feel so inclined to send my office anything, send sandpaper, I know I’ll have a better experience with that in the bathroom.
*Mr. Please Delete My Contact Information Immediately.
Sigh. . .
BUT it got me thinking. . . about other fantasies? (G-rated fantasies–shame on you!) Like the one someone (Not me, of course) had about superpowers. You know, if you could have any superpower, what would it be? Because this someone (Not me…) thinks it would be awesome to be Super Cleaning Lady! That’s right.
Wouldn’t that be great? You would never have to clean. You could go around the world snapping your fingers and fixing everyone’s messy lives.
So, now that I’ve told you my—I mean, someone’s G-rated fantasy–why don’t you tell me yours!
*Rejection letter curtsey of Shawn Wickersheim, author of The Penitent Assassin. While Shawn never received such a rejection letter, it felt very good to write one.