Written by Wendy Keller
We’ve seen a lot of weird stuff at our agency, and most of them are queryletters. We’ve shared some of the most oddball responses we’ve gotten, but we’ve had such a great response from our first batch that we couldn’t resist posting our favorite–and queerest–queries of all time.
Miss out on the first batch? You can read the first batch of absurd submissions here.
- “As a writer of grand thoughts bordering on pure genius, I find it most disconcerting that my precious time must be wasted on the trivial pursuit of locating a less-than-usually-feeble-minded literary agent…”
- “YES ear Wendy YES iam instanced in you being my agent BUT ia m not realy finish with my noble and it is of course not finised.”
- “My book is about misogyny, something I know a lot about, believe in and practice. Women deserve the treatment they get, and worse…”
- One writer spent three pages glorifying my successes, promising he had not only researched me on the Internet and been to my websites, but that he had “faithfully perused” every directory of agents in existence and I was the pinnacle of his ambitions, the perfect match for his literary genius. After all this glorious, fawning behavior, he somehow still managed to pitch me fiction!
- “As you know, I don’t have a typewriter at present. I did have a 12 year marriage, ending in a Mexican divorce. Would you say that Katherine Hepburn married Spencer Tracy? Must I be married in order to get my book published, if necessary that can be arranged, even with an ad or I could buy a wife from Russia or someplace. Please give me a responsible reply, because I am trying to get some money here. Send me some when you write back so I know you read this letter. I will in turn allow you a percentage – how about 5% – of all the money we make on my books once the check has cleared.”
- “I have never been a good writer, nor have I ever been descriptive. I always wanted to be, but I never was. I enjoy reading good books, but so far I know I can’t write. In fact, I could write until one day I put my hand in some spaghetti. That did it for me. Enclosed is my book….”
- “In 1994, I had an intense religious experience in which a beaming white mountain goat struck a pose which matched the Great Northern Railway Plate I had just bought from a magazine ad. I sensed the presence of Jesus the rest of the day and have now been led to write a bestiary 13th century book.”
- “Dear <fill in your own name here> [Editor’s note: she had kindly provided instructions and a blank line.] I am a young French mutant female of 34. I am completely unique in the world in my body. In France they don’t care and treat me like an orphan and all the rare diseases. Say I am only person born be like that. I will not tell you how I am a unique, body is made now, I am searching for an agent waiting for my book for writing of my book which will be my own and which will talk about the problem of equal rights for mutants because there are many like me who are not me. I am single and have no children and will not so if you want my book you must write.” [The irony is, it is not her translation to English that causes the problem. As a French speaker/reader myself, her translation to English doesn’t even reflect the French word order to be considered normal. We did not respond.]
- [The first email I received from this would-be author scolded me for not responding to his (nonexistent) query. This is the response to my pointing out that we had never received a query from her] YES I REALIZED FOR WENDY AND I’M SO CONFUSED IF SHE HATE ME FOR A BADLY END INSIDE MY STORIES BUT ASK HER WHAT MANUSCRIPT TO ME SHE HAVE READ ?
COULD YOU OFFER ME AN OFFICIAL REPRESENTATION WITH THIS MATERIAL ? IM SO TIRED TO RUN AGENTS LITERARY AND WILL LIKE FEW COMPENSATIONS NOW.
SO, IF WENDY KELLER CAN TO HELP MY MANUSCRIPT TO PUSH THEIR AUDIENCES WILL BE RECOGNIZING.
- And finally, my favorite query letter of all time. I read it at every conference possible, because it is so charming: “Dear Madam/Sir, My book will show, through symbols, that I am Indiana Jones, not the one of movies or television, but the real one. I am Indiana Jones. I would like a quick recognition of my work and would expect to replace Harrison Ford in the next movie. Time is of the essence, because I have no idea what will happen to me regarding that aspect. I must obtain prompt publication of my work because I am an insecure person.”
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