Thanks to the 100 people who contributed poems in Friday’s contest! They were all very entertaining and it was difficult to narrow it down. First, let’s start with some honorable mentions. In no particular order…
Best Concise Overview of Publishing:
No thank you,
thank you no,
We enjoyed the giggle,
Now off you go.
Best Brief Rejection Letter:
The plot is pointless.
And the writing is banal.
Wish you success though!
Best Overview of Last Week’s Blog Posts:
Difficult Conversation Number Five
Your prose shows loads of promise, but it needs an overhaul.
Checking out your website, I suspect the text’s too small.
Your characters impress me, but the structure’s off the mark.
I’m not exactly sold, although I see a teeny spark.
Your writing is exciting, but by “salable,” I meant
You’ll need to redo only the last 85 percent.
Get a better head shot and a hotshot stylist, too.
Your tweets are too offbeat. (This hurts me more than it does you.)
Oh! I know an image pro who’ll coach you on your look.
(Listen, kid; it’s true: a dated ‘do won’t move that book.)
Get more friends on Facebook, make them “like” your page and then
Grow your lowly platform by a factor of, say, ten.
I hate to hurt your feelings, but I need to do so, Chelse.
I tell you, I can sell you if you’ll just be someone else.
Best Response to A Rejection Letter:
To an Editor, Upon Rejection of My Novel
O lady, thou’rt a hussy fair and cruel
In thy high tower dispensing smiles and pain
In letter form to literary fools
Like me, who flinch, yet must submit again.
You say my plot turns on coincidence,
My characters lack marketing appeal,
And further, drama loses consequence
When folks are made not fantasy but real.
Reluctantly I to the keyboard go
To cut and slash–revise–eviscerate–
And reconstruct it so the seams won’t show
And none would recognize its former state.
Then, when a rival house says “yes” to me
I’ll send a copy–autographed–to thee.
Best Snapshot of the Writing Life:
The small envelope
Arrives in the daily post
Still not good enough.
Poem that Most Made Me Crave Pie:
Samantha H. Weiner
Dear Samantha, we
regret to inform you that
we cannot use this
at this time because
one of our agents took a
bite out of your work
work was about pie making,
and he ate the words
off the page. They were
quite tasty, especially
the As and the Us.
Feel free to send us
more of your work, but please do
not send anything
that can be eaten.
We are sorry. Sincerely,
John M. Publisher.
Best Reminder of Middle School Math:
By an agent
Is a relatively simple
Derived by the ratio
Of the number
Of queries sent
To the number
The result of
The process of
As it approaches
The limit of
Best Cynical Look at Rejection Letters:
Thank you for your query submission.
We appreciate your ambition.
We’re just not interested in your composition.
Please forgive this impersonal note,
We’re just not interested in what you wrote.
We’re handing you your hat and coat.
This is the one millionth rejection we’ve sent this year.
Go ahead and shed a tear.
Best of luck in your writing career.
Most Truthful in the Fewest Words:
my list is full,
with people more lucky than you
There is one more I really like but it’s so long, I chose not to reprint it here. You’ve got to click here to read the funny poem by Rachel Searles.
And the winner is…
My ex calls in tears
Her novel has been rejected
Is tempered by schadenfreude
And by the knowledge that my own novel
Unwritten but for broken drafts
Is now more successful than hers
For it has not been rejected
My ex calls in tears
Her novel has been reviewed
Under soothing words I quietly exult
That no one will call my novel
Pretentious, sophomoric or artless
In the Sunday Times
For it has not been reviewed
My ex calls in tears
Her novel is not a bestseller
Amazon rank 36,570
My novel acquires a new character:
The failed and chastened novelist
Who returns to her ex-boyfriend
For he will one day write a bestseller
→ Thanks to everyone who participated! Patrick, email me to choose your prize. Congratulations on all the fun poems!
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