This might come as a surprise to people who know me, but I don’t particularly enjoy rejecting authors who query me. I mean, sure, I love a healthy dose of schadenfreude as much as the next gal, but I don’t derive any particular pleasure out of telling someone that the project they’ve labored over, in many cases for years, is just not right for me. Plain and simple, that’s not what it’s about.
Don’t get me wrong: I have a deep appreciation for the people who do query me. It takes a certain kind of bravery that I admire, and frankly, am not sure I personally possess. Writing is one of those special gifts that requires an unmatched level of drive and dedication, and I recognize the vulnerability inherent in the query process.
But I must make the distinction: every so often, queries will pop up in my inbox that can only be described as head-scratchers; queries that are not cut from the same cloth as the 99.9% of you who reach out with the best of intentions. So considering how much I don’t like turning people down, I can honestly say that it’s a relief knowing that sometimes, I don’t have to feel guilty sending that rejection. Which is why I wanted to share this blog, SlushPile Hell, with you today. I felt a sense of comfort, knowing I wasn’t alone. Each entry highlights snippets of query letters received by one agent, along with humorous retorts. Just take a look and you’ll see what I mean. Alas, there is such a thing as a bad query.