Saturday, September 20, 2008

Agents take notice

Is that a command or a statement?

Matt-

Just thought you might like to know that I received this out of the blue today from a very reputable agency, thanks to TJ. Thanks again for keeping it available. Hope all is well with you.
* * * * *

Mr. B_____:

Hello. My name is ------------- and I work for a literary agency in New York. We're expanding our agency and client list, looking for innovative literary fiction and creative non-fiction writers.

One of our agents here enjoyed your fiction for Thieves Jargon. We were wondering if you had any full-length work completed or in the process of being completed.

If you are already ably represented, forgive us and all the best with your writing career.

If not, we invite you to send a query to -------------------, ATTN: CLAIRE. (THIEVES JARGON WRITER).

Thanks.

We look forward to hearing from you.


Of course, when I queried the writer to find out who this agent or agency was so I could get in touch and point them toward a few specific hi-end writers who I know do have full-length work completed or near-completed, the guy never got back to me. So maybe he's all bullshit. Maybe he doesn't want anybody else joining the club. Could be it's the competition he fears.

One of those writers I have in mind is the author of Friday's story Fly Fishing and Shit Like That, Joel Van Noord, who is a likely victim of the limitations of internet. I thought his run as a Thieves Jargon weekly writer was criminally under-appreciated. Why was this? Probably because his stories were inter-related, and never the under-1000-word vareity enjoyed most by your average internet-reading knucklehead. But few people I've published write characters as complex and real, and his writing is a step above most, both technically and stylistically. If an agent couldn't push a collection of his stories to publishers, playing up the Southern California, extreme sports, sex-drenched, confused young adult, and travel adventure angles, well, I'm sure there's no shortage of Dan Brown knock-offs out there.

1 comment:

Jac said...

I received one of these letters, too, for a story I had up on Opium. I'm a little suspicious of the agency - seems like they are getting around querying the online magazine writers. I've heard of another person receiving a letter. If you want to try them go right ahead: it's Irene Goodman. I'm not afraid of the competition.