wAug 20, 2007

What not to do

I was excessively lonely tonight. It sucked. I called Antoine at Creighton's, and he later told me I sounded like a puppy someone left in the rain. Buuuut, by using my phone and chatting online, I pulled through. Yay for technology, I guess. Also, my room got cleaner! It was a win.

Apparently, today was Sexist Day, and nobody told me. I got to open all the mail today at Bleak House (the book publishing company at which I intern), and several of our letters were addressed, "Dear Sir," or "Dear Sirs." When we reply to people's query letters, we always write right on top of the query letter. So, I took the opportunity to circle "Sir," and write, That's a little presumptuous, isn't it?

The real kicker was one person who submitted a story in which the protagonist was related to sports. The query letter said, and I shit you not, If there is a man on your staff he should read it first. There is a lot of swearing in it and this is the way coaches and players talk. Hey, buddy? It's the way I fucking talk. I couldn't believe the audacity of that person. Who does that?! Way to make a first impression. Ass.

So, here's my first tip on trying to get your stuff published:
Don't be sexist.

I guess I could go ahead and post the rest of my advice, after a summer of interning there:

  • Follow directions. We ask for everyone to submit a 1-page query letter and a self-addressed stamped envelope. If you don't include the envelope, we won't reply, unless your submission is dripping with gold. Also, sending chapters/entire manuscripts we didn't ask for is usually a waste of time. Especially if you sign your submission as Satan (yes, that happened).
  • Know who you're submitting to. If the publishing house specializes in mysteries and crime fiction, don't send your multi-volume epic on the life of a pirate, your religious propaganda on Susie Housewife, or your revision of the story of Beowulf. It's a waste of time for the publisher, and it's a waste of money for you in terms of postage, printing, and envelopes.
  • Nobody cares what your major is or where you went to college. Personally, I don't care if your profession is relevant to the plot of your book, either. All we care about is how good your writing is. Trying to jack-up your query letter (which is supposed to be about your story) just makes you sound pompous.
  • If there's going to be sex in your story, fine. Just make sure there's a point.
That's it, really. The rest is up to you. Avoid cliches, because they are teh lame.

Current Music: Elevator Music - Beck

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scribbled mystickeeper at 11:32 PM

Dear Sir:

i go to uwmadison and i major in computer science and math. That means that if you have any womin on your blog staf, they probably wont "understand"this. So please have a man read this. Also there might be a lot of swearing because swearing is manly. and sex. Sex is awesome especaily random sex. with swearing. here goes.


Once upon a time,

There was this fuckin guy. Shit fuck cock fuck duck suck fuck fuck. Shit that rymes bitch. Lol ducks.

And then this guy banged like 2 chicks cuz he had like a million dollars. And he was like "shit!!!" And I was all like "no way butts!" And moms was like "you gosh darn cunts."

And then I woke up suddenly, as it was all a dream. And they lived happily ever after.

Or did they???!!! Sequel... PROFIT!1


I didn't include an envelope because all you riting people have tons of those, right? ;)



P.S. Please forward my story to your existential philosophy and/or mystery departments.

By Blogger soapergem, at 12:22 AM, August 21, 2007  

Are you trying to make me feel guilty for keeping your 'Toine away?

Your story reminds me of a running joke between me & Carolyn. We've seen a number of movies or tv shows where lady characters are incompetent for no apparent reason other the fact that they're female. Our general way of pointing it out when it happens is to yell "I LAUGH AT YOUR LACK OF A PENIS".

By Blogger Creighton Hogg, at 5:05 PM, August 21, 2007  

Gordons: Yeah, actually the guy did warn us that sex was in his story, too. 'CAUSE, YOU KNOW, ONLY MEN HAVE SEX. Seriously, wtf.

Creighton: Yes, guilt was my total goal! Actually, in general, I approve of Antoine hanging out with people who are not me. But sometimes, I just get all...OMG, I WANT TO LOOK AT HOW CUTE HE IS! and am that indignant that he is not ready to appear at the drop of a hat. So annoying.

Yeah. Sexism in media, and society in general, is pretty rampant. Also, disgusting.

By Blogger Jackie, at 10:40 PM, August 21, 2007  


By Blogger Steph, at 12:02 AM, August 22, 2007  

I read this post aloud to my roommates and we all quite enjoyed it.

Want to come visit sometime? I miss you.

By Blogger Jenny, at 5:21 PM, August 23, 2007  

Gordon: I met you like once but...WHOA DUDE! lol
Jackie: Best post ever!
JENNY: I totally got lost in Milwaukee last weekend. I was really close to calling you!


By Blogger OgRe, at 7:34 AM, August 24, 2007  

Thanks, Ryan! lol.

Jennifer: Yes, what the hell, it's been too long since we've seen one another. Or anyone, for that matter! We should arrange a massive GB reunion and make Ryan, Dave, and Kristy come, too. It would pwn!

By Blogger Jackie, at 1:55 PM, August 30, 2007  

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