Friday Fun: Writer seeks Agent

Wouldn’t it be fun if instead of writing queries, finding a literary agent was accomplished by a personal ad?

Here is what I came up with:

Aspiring writer, with no delusions of grandeur or streaks of crazy, seeks accomplished agent for a debut literary novel. Must love first person point of view, present tense, and prologues. Prefer AAR members, but will consider others with solid sales records.

Okay, so mine sucks. I better stick with query letters after all. Here is a collection of the 10 most bizarre and real personal ads for some laugh out loud fun.

Now, a top ten list.

You know you are a writer trying to land an agent when:

1. You read a new book and wonder: How much was the advance? Did the book sell at auction, pre-empt? Did the author hire a publicist? You scan the acknowledgments for the literary agent’s name. You add this person to your list of victims (potential agents).

2. SASEs in your mailbox fill you with dread. Then you start to think – maybe for once something good will come in one of these. The answer is no.

3. You have dreams about sending queries.

4. Any phone call from a 212 area code sends you into a panic.

5. Your family and friends start to wish you’d taken up quilting or rock climbing, or something that did not involve endless speculation about what the words, “isn’t right for my list” means or if a full manuscript out for 5 weeks is a good or bad sign.

6. Rejections begin to just roll off you, the collection of which grows and spreads like weeds in the summer garden. You become proud and wear these like a badge of honor. “Oh yeah? Well once I got an eject in eight minutes….”

7. The only people that understand what the hell you are talking about are writer people. Revenge query, pre-revenge query, form R, a stash of rejection chocolate….

8. You obsessively check email, multiple times per day; hitting the refresh button so often that you have injured yourself and now are wearing a hand splint. When you see the new message icon your heart starts racing with hope.

9. You’ve lost count of how many times you’ve rewritten and tweaked your first chapter, query letter, synopsis. You could probably recite said items from memory now.

10. You begin to live in the publishing bubble: you subscribe to Publisher’s Lunch, hang out in the Absolute Write Forums, make multiple visits a day to Agent Query and Predators & Editors, and follow all agent and writing related blogs, twitters and interviews.

5 thoughts on “Friday Fun: Writer seeks Agent

  1. Here’s a new query letter: “I present for your appraisal a novel that does not meet your current needs. I wish you the best of luck in wishing me the best of luck in finding a suitable venue, and thank you for submitting for my consideration your rejection of my life’s work. Go to hell. Unless you’re interested.”Hang in there. Good work takes its time making its way into the world; metaphorically speaking, your novel is fully formed but still content to stay inside and kick a while longer. Baby T could tell you all about it, but he’s probably napping.


  2. I have dreams about getting offered representation by one of my top-tier agents. Then I wake up, of course :-/To curb the email-checking urge I installed a widget that chimes whenever I get an email, even when I’m not logged on. It helps!


  3. Just remember J-Dawg… having an agent at a Hollywood Big4 isn’t all its cracked up to be… In fact, it often sends log lines and treatments into the hands of staff writers and their ghosts who take your brilliant two-liner and make it their own.OK, so I may just be a jaded NYker whose been hosed by it all enough that you may be better off to ignore this post… or maybe you should print the first post on the thread and use it like some 12 step program… cause if you want to win, you have to play.Last thing… I’m a 212 and a 310, don’t get too excited if I call… you can let it run to VM.Cheers!


  4. Love your alternative query Nikki. If we are equating this process to gestation, my novel must be an elephant.Lynn – yes those dreams are the best 🙂 I like the idea of the chiming email widget. I’m trying to discipline myself to check only at certain times during the day. It rarely works.Anon- your comments make me glad I don’t write screenplays. That is a whole different world. Yikes.


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