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Carlene
02-03-2010, 04:20 AM
I'm just wondering what they get out of giving writers nasty replies to queries? I got one today and am still scratching my head. I queried this agent in October 2009 and she asked for the first 50 pages. I got her rejection today where she said, "I am not going to pursue this, however, since I was not enthralled with the writing, Iím sorry to say."

I laughed out loud because....my seventh published novel came out today too.
So, do they feel superior to give a writer a snotty reply? Some people must be very unhappy in their lives and just have to try and make other unhappy too. I've been writing and publishing for a lot of years and think this is only the third reply like this I've gotten.

Interesting.

Carlene

scarletpeaches
02-03-2010, 04:21 AM
You think that's snotty?

Sounds like a form reject to me.

Mr Flibble
02-03-2010, 04:23 AM
How is that nasty?

They didn't say 'OMG you are so rubbish you should stop writing!'

'Please never contact us again because we'll take out a restraining order'

They sent a form reply - 'your writing is not for us' kinda thing. Not nasty, just honest. No biggie.

bclement412
02-03-2010, 04:32 AM
Yeah, that's not insulting at all, it's just a form rejection. Plus writing is very subjective so not everyone is going to be "enthralled" by your voice :Shrug:

Chasing the Horizon
02-03-2010, 04:34 AM
Yeah, I can't see what's snotty about that. Sounds pretty standard to me. *shrug*

childeroland
02-03-2010, 04:49 AM
I got a not-nicely-worded reply from an agent recently who'd requested a partial. But in that reply was some constructive criticism I heeded that led to a full request from another agent who'd previously rejected the same story. *shrug* I wouldn't mind more pointed replies myself.

Unimportant
02-03-2010, 04:49 AM
That's not snotty at all. Quite the reverse: she only said the writing didn't enthrall her, putting the fault on herself rather than the manuscript. I think it's pretty much the perfect form rejection for an agent to use.

Marian Perera
02-03-2010, 04:52 AM
Danielle Steel has, what, fifty published novels?

Her writing doesn't enthrall me.

M.R.J. Le Blanc
02-03-2010, 04:56 AM
I've read far worse. Nasty replies going something like 'you're a terrible writer who won't ever be published'.

Cassiopeia
02-03-2010, 04:56 AM
I'm just wondering what they get out of giving writers nasty replies to queries? I got one today and am still scratching my head. I queried this agent in October 2009 and she asked for the first 50 pages. I got her rejection today where she said, "I am not going to pursue this, however, since I was not enthralled with the writing, I’m sorry to say."

I laughed out loud because....my seventh published novel came out today too.
So, do they feel superior to give a writer a snotty reply? Some people must be very unhappy in their lives and just have to try and make other unhappy too. I've been writing and publishing for a lot of years and think this is only the third reply like this I've gotten.

Interesting.

CarleneI don't know that it's snotty but it is very unprofessionally written. Not helpful in the slightest from a communicative stand point other than to say no.

Toss it off and move on.

AryaT92
02-03-2010, 05:00 AM
I have one that would make your head turn. Her boss asked me for a partial shortly after, didn't bother though. Writers are usually sensitive about their work. I know I am.

Unimportant
02-03-2010, 05:02 AM
I don't know that it's snotty but it is very unprofessionally written. Not helpful in the slightest from a communicative stand point other than to say no.

Toss it off and move on.

?

That's all it's supposed to say: No. Only she's saying it in a nice way. She's giving a reason (writing didn't enthrall her) while making it clear that it's not an indictment of the manuscript's quality, but rather her personal reaction to it. How is that unprofessional?

AryaT92
02-03-2010, 05:07 AM
What you are missing is...

Writing didn't enthrall her.

I was not is not No one will ever be

Not.. Writing wasn't enthralling.

:) Keep your head up.

Stacia Kane
02-03-2010, 05:10 AM
That's not nasty at all. Pretty standard. It's just a rejection, from one individual, and being published has nothing to do with whether or not your writing will enthrall any one individual.

Mr. Anonymous
02-03-2010, 05:11 AM
Maybe not snotty but I can see why the TC might have taken offense. Something about using the word enthrall rubs me the wrong way. Like saying, "I did not absolutely totally fall in love with your writing." Still, I'm sure no offense was meant.

kuwisdelu
02-03-2010, 05:19 AM
Maybe not snotty but I can see why the TC might have taken offense. Something about using the word enthrall rubs me the wrong way. Like saying, "I did not absolutely totally fall in love with your writing." Still, I'm sure no offense was meant.

What's wrong with saying that?

scarletpeaches
02-03-2010, 05:25 AM
Let me get this straight...are we all critting an agent's form rejection letter here?

Cyia
02-03-2010, 05:25 AM
Obviously, you've never seen a nasty response from an agent. This is a form letter from someone who hoped she'd click with your work, but didn't.

Move on.

Parametric
02-03-2010, 05:29 AM
Maybe not snotty but I can see why the TC might have taken offense. Something about using the word enthrall rubs me the wrong way. Like saying, "I did not absolutely totally fall in love with your writing." Still, I'm sure no offense was meant.

I rather like it. It says to me, "I may have liked your writing. Perhaps your writing entertained me. It might even have excited or delighted me. It just didn't quite manage to enthrall me." :)

kuwisdelu
02-03-2010, 05:31 AM
Let me get this straight...are we all critting an agent's form rejection letter here?

Yes.

It might provide Valuable Insight into the Agenty subconscious.

Mr. Anonymous
02-03-2010, 05:36 AM
What's wrong with saying that?

I dunno. I just know that I would never say something like that genuinely. Something about it just feels fake to me. But it might very well just be me. At any rate, its just a form rejection so...

veinglory
02-03-2010, 05:38 AM
If not being enthralled is an insult, consider all of y'all insulted ;)

scarletpeaches
02-03-2010, 06:16 AM
I dunno. I just know that I would never say something like that genuinely. Something about it just feels fake to me. But it might very well just be me. At any rate, its just a form rejection so...Dear Mr Anonymous,

Thank you for your interest in AW. Unfortunately, we were not suitably enthralled by your post to critique it in Share Your Work.

However, this is not a reflection on the quality of your post and we wish you good luck in finding representation on another forum.

Yours sincerely,

S.Peaches.

Jersey Chick
02-03-2010, 06:41 AM
**Snerk**

I don't know I've ever been enthralled, period.

Is that sad? Or wrong?

Anyway, it's not rude - it's no different from the rejections that say "I just don't feel strongly enough about it to offer representation" (of which I've got quite a collection. :) )

aadams73
02-03-2010, 06:46 AM
I dunno. I just know that I would never say something like that genuinely. Something about it just feels fake to me. But it might very well just be me. At any rate, its just a form rejection so...

Yeah, it's a form rejection. And commenting on the writing might prevent some of those inevitable replies such as: "But whhhhhhhhhhhhhhy don't you want to represent my story?"

I still remember Ethan Ellenberg's form rejection, printed on a card: "This is not anything I care to work with at this time."

I raised an eyebrow, laughed, and went on.

Annayna
02-03-2010, 06:46 AM
Dear Mr Anonymous,

Thank you for your interest in AW. Unfortunately, we were not suitably enthralled by your post to critique it in Share Your Work.

However, this is not a reflection on the quality of your post and we wish you good luck in finding representation on another forum.

Yours sincerely,

S.Peaches.


LOL I love it :D

Silver King
02-03-2010, 07:37 AM
I haven't been "enthralled" by anything in over twenty years, possibly longer.

And who the hell uses that term, anyway? I mean, if they like your work, do they gush in their acceptance letter and say, OMG, we are so enthralled by your story that we're thrilled to announce your enthralling work has been deemed acceptable to enthrall our audiences?

Renee Collins
02-03-2010, 08:54 AM
I got a query rejection once that said, "I don't think this would really interest me." It sat wrong with me for some reason. Don't really know why, because it's not a rude response.

And that's the funny thing about it all. I'm sure these agents try to make their form rejections as kind as possible. But you never know when it will rub someone the wrong way regardless.

Cassiopeia
02-03-2010, 09:30 AM
?

That's all it's supposed to say: No. Only she's saying it in a nice way. She's giving a reason (writing didn't enthrall her) while making it clear that it's not an indictment of the manuscript's quality, but rather her personal reaction to it. How is that unprofessional?


I have a certain standard of business acumen that I use when corresponding with people. The person who wrote that didn't even bother to write the rejection out using acceptable business standards.

Need me to spell it out more? If you can't be bothered to be specifically helpful, just say, we are not interested in publishing this, thank you for your submission. And use proper sentence structures for crying out loud.

Bushdoctor
02-03-2010, 09:40 AM
rejections are all part of the game - the worst ones are the ones that go on about the great quality of your work but how the agent still just didnt love enough. It's like so close yet so far!!!

Toothpaste
02-03-2010, 10:03 AM
Poor agents. They actually really do try to create pleasant sounding form rejections, and examine every word to see where offense might be taken (I have seen many an agent discuss this on their blog) so that they can try to avoid it. I bet most agents wish they could just send a form rejection that read "no" and that's it. But that would be considered cold, and so they try to write something that has a bit more feeling to it hoping that for the most part, the rejected author will understand that they mean nothing personal and certainly no offense in their declining to offer representation.

And here we have an entire thread devoted to the choice of the word "enthrall".

I suppose if it makes one feel better to analyse why an agent decided to choose the word enthralled (I actually do use this word in my every day life btw, and surely we could imagine some literary agents who, you know, spend their lives around words, might have such a vocabulary as well), then by all means. But seriously, all this letter is is a professional form rejection meaning "no". It certainly isn't meant to sound all superior. It's certainly not meant to make you analyse it to pieces. It's a no. A polite professional no.

MacAllister
02-03-2010, 10:19 AM
Slushkiller (http://nielsenhayden.com/makinglight/archives/004641.html).

Seriously. If you haven't read it, you really, really need to go and read it right now.

gothicangel
02-03-2010, 01:23 PM
Personally if I received that letter I would have thought 'meh' and filed it away.

I would have been boosted by the fact that she had requested a partial, she had liked the idea. I'm on the right track!

So pick up W&A, pick the next agent and post the next sub!

If you want to see truly rude rejections, check out some of my friend's:

"Learn to fuck, then write a novel."

"Repent your sins" [after mistakenly sending an erotica novel to a US Christian publisher.]

kaitie
02-03-2010, 04:28 PM
I've got to admit..."Repent your sins" cracked me up.

Anyway, this didn't seem rude to me at all. I've gotten a couple of just short, "Not for me," things, but I don't really think they're necessarily unprofessional. What actually bothers me more is seeing something like, "This is a very competitive field so I can only accept works of merit, so I regret to say I can't take this on." That wasn't an exact quote and I can't even tell you who says that, but I've seen something along those lines twice and it always makes me feel a teensy bit smaller because it's like, "Whoa...okay so my work isn't 'of merit'" or 'high quality'" or whatever phrase is being used at the time.

Having said that, I also think the agents in question are just trying to be polite and don't realize how it comes off to us sometimes.

jclarkdawe
02-03-2010, 05:20 PM
No wonder more and more agents are going to the approach of no response means no. You can call them rude, but you can't get insulted by what they say.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

stormie
02-03-2010, 05:27 PM
Heck, years ago I got a rejection through snail mail that had a red rubber-stamped NO on top of my cover letter. I chalked it up to an agent overwhelmed. And they are.

Carlene, as others said, it is a form rejection. I've gotten similar letters/emails.

kellion92
02-03-2010, 05:38 PM
I think the tone of the letter, which may have been meant to be polite or apologetic, comes off as a bit sarcastic. Also, anything that says the problem is the writing cuts close. If someone doesn't like my premise or characters, well, that changes from book to book, but the writing is ME.

stormie
02-03-2010, 05:39 PM
But it is a form letter/email. Over the years, I've seen several with that wording.

Jersey Chick
02-03-2010, 05:58 PM
I received a rejection that was a yellow Post-It (with a coffee ring on it, no less), and a scribbled "NO" in black Sharpie stuck to the top of my query.

I stared at it for a minute and then laughed. It happens.

gothicangel
02-03-2010, 06:00 PM
I think if you're going to get prickly over form rejections, you have to either:

1. Toughen up. It's a competitive industry - and subjective.

2. Or re-think seeing publishing as a career path.

I've had [personalised] rejection letters that HURT. But I'm glad I got them, because I now have a manuscript with a good chance of publication.

Agents have too much of a work load to deal with, without having to worry about sensitive authors.

Elaine Margarett
02-03-2010, 06:22 PM
rejections are all part of the game - the worst ones are the ones that go on about the great quality of your work but how the agent still just didnt love enough. It's like so close yet so far!!!

Those just kill me...
:-(

Jamesaritchie
02-03-2010, 07:11 PM
I'm just wondering what they get out of giving writers nasty replies to queries? I got one today and am still scratching my head. I queried this agent in October 2009 and she asked for the first 50 pages. I got her rejection today where she said, "I am not going to pursue this, however, since I was not enthralled with the writing, Iím sorry to say."

I laughed out loud because....my seventh published novel came out today too.
So, do they feel superior to give a writer a snotty reply? Some people must be very unhappy in their lives and just have to try and make other unhappy too. I've been writing and publishing for a lot of years and think this is only the third reply like this I've gotten.

Interesting.

Carlene



What did you want her to do, lie to you? I'm happy you have seven published novels, but that does not mean everyone is going to like your writing, or even, depending on who published the novels, and the sales record of those novels, that your writing is any good. And even if it is good, not everyone is going to be enthralled with it.

She doesn't like your writing. That's not being snotty, it's being honest. Snotty would have been if she said, "Your writing stinks, and if you have any decency, you'll spare the human race and never write another word."

We all get criticism, and we all complain when agent and editors don't give a reason for saying no. Then we complain when they do give a reason. Sounds like you like your writing a little too much.

Chris P
02-03-2010, 07:20 PM
"I am not going to pursue this, however, since I was not enthralled with the writing, Iím sorry to say."




You want snotty?!? My father was a technical writer for 40 years and decided to try his hand at fiction. Reply from a publisher: "Just because you're a technical writer what the hell makes you think you can write fiction? Why the hell are you wasting my time? Go back to making catalogs."

The book is not best-seller material, but we couldn't figure what was so horrible about it that the editor would would waste even more time with such a personal and negative response?

I now wonder if it was some newby under-editor dazzled with new-found authority and power who thought it was cool to play the crusty old b******d.

Chris P
02-03-2010, 07:22 PM
I received a rejection that was a yellow Post-It (with a coffee ring on it, no less), and a scribbled "NO" in black Sharpie stuck to the top of my query.

Oh, that's funny! In a sad way, of course.

Jersey Chick
02-03-2010, 07:31 PM
At first, I was like, "No. This is NOT how a pro responds."

Then it was funny. I probably still have it in a box somewhere. Of course, I was about 19 when I began subbing and didn't have even half a clue, so the ms probably deserved even less than a coffee-stained Post It. I cringe at the crap I thought was good enough to send out. **shudders**

Mr. Anonymous
02-03-2010, 07:33 PM
Poor agents. They actually really do try to create pleasant sounding form rejections, and examine every word to see where offense might be taken (I have seen many an agent discuss this on their blog) so that they can try to avoid it. I bet most agents wish they could just send a form rejection that read "no" and that's it. But that would be considered cold, and so they try to write something that has a bit more feeling to it hoping that for the most part, the rejected author will understand that they mean nothing personal and certainly no offense in their declining to offer representation.

And here we have an entire thread devoted to the choice of the word "enthrall".

I suppose if it makes one feel better to analyse why an agent decided to choose the word enthralled (I actually do use this word in my every day life btw, and surely we could imagine some literary agents who, you know, spend their lives around words, might have such a vocabulary as well), then by all means. But seriously, all this letter is is a professional form rejection meaning "no". It certainly isn't meant to sound all superior. It's certainly not meant to make you analyse it to pieces. It's a no. A polite professional no.

Eh, if agents can complain about writers and all the crazy queries/manuscripts they get on blogs and whatnot, then I don't see why authors can't complain a bit about agents here. They let off steam, we let off steam. That said, I think everyone here realizes that the vast majority of agents aren't trying to hurt anyone's feelings.

illiterwrite
02-03-2010, 07:42 PM
No wonder more and more agents are going to the approach of no response means no. You can call them rude, but you can't get insulted by what they say.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

Agreed.

scarletpeaches
02-03-2010, 07:44 PM
Eh, if agents can complain about writers and all the crazy queries/manuscripts they get on blogs and whatnot, then I don't see why authors can't complain a bit about agents here.Probably for these two reasons:

a) We need them more than they need us.
b) The agent you complain about could be a member here.

Mr. Anonymous
02-03-2010, 07:59 PM
a) We need them more than they need us.

Debatable, really. Without us, they wouldn't have a job. But I agree that they don't need any one of us in particular.

b) The agent you complain about could be a member here.

Hence why when I complain, I complain with discretion. That and the username, of course. ;)

gothicangel
02-03-2010, 09:59 PM
a) We need them more than they need us.

Debatable, really. Without us, they wouldn't have a job. But I agree that they don't need any one of us in particular.



Well seeing as most publishers now won't read unsolicited MS, we're pretty much f***ed without one.

Ken
02-03-2010, 10:29 PM
... if the complaints are grounded, real, and substantial then writers should express them for the benefit of other writers, here and elsewhere. It does take guts to say something negative about a member of a group who hold your career in their hands, but it's got to be done at times. Otherwise, we'd all be fiddling about in the dark and the Bewares and Background forum here would be worthless: filled with praise and kissings (pardon the expression) up. // As to this particular OP, I think it classifies as one of those mountain out of a mole hill things.

Cassiopeia
02-03-2010, 10:49 PM
I do have a niggling feeling about the writer of the rejection using the word, "enthralled".

The sentence structure as written and use of that word comes across as condescending to the reader.

While it's certainly not the worst or really all that nasty...if I were the receiver of that letter, I'd be seriously reconsidering the choice to submit to them in the first place.

I understand that as writers we can be too precious about our work, however; if one representing a publishing house or an agent representing a firm, it is bad business form to write such a choppy and condescending letter.

And while Toothpaste makes a very good point about the amount of agents out there who indeed, do their best to write an innocuous letter so as not to offend anyone, there are those who don't care about their presentation or business acumen and we are wise to give them a wide circle.

After all, if one can't write a professional rejection letter (when so many can) I would have to question their ability to perform other duties pertaining to their job.

But this is just true to life. We get people who are not as capable of being up to our personal standards of professionalism and often they are in a position to reject us. So, we take it on the chin and move on. It's just that simple.

the addster
02-03-2010, 11:01 PM
Not enthralled sounds like a variation of the old standard, "I'm passionate enough about this project..." thing to me. Almost as if they had consulted a Thesaurus.

I'd just give it a good pfffffffftt!!! and shrug it off.

Phaeal
02-03-2010, 11:08 PM
I still have never gotten a rude rejection, either from agents or editors. Some long and elaborately polite, others curt, a few just right. But never rude.

Maybe I should try harder?

;)

Mr. Anonymous
02-03-2010, 11:37 PM
Well seeing as most publishers now won't read unsolicited MS, we're pretty much f***ed without one.

How about we just call it a symbiotic relationship and leave it at that?

We are the jedi, and they are the microscopic midicholrians running around in our cells. xP

EDIT: I am glad that other people pitched in on the use of enthralled. At least now I know I'm not crazy. That or I have company. Either way I'm glad.

Margarita Skies
02-04-2010, 04:56 AM
Wow, Carlene, you've published seven novels already? Congratulations!! Who did you publish them with, different publishers or the same publisher?

kaitie
02-04-2010, 03:04 PM
I think Ken's right. If there is a legitimate complaint about the way an agent does business (not knowing what they're doing) then that's something that people should know about, but a lot of things like this aren't really worth it. Keep in mind most writers are hyper-sensitive and looking for meaning in everything. For the agent, they're busy as hell, have hundreds of queries to read and not enough hours in the day. I don't blame them for things like impersonal form rejections or quick two-word rejections. I think the thing to keep in mind is they're doing their best to be polite and deal with their own deluge.

As for the editor making the really rude comment...maybe it's just me, but I tend to think who knows what's going on. Maybe that guy had a really awful day and that's how it came out. It may not be professional, and I might decide not to submit to him in the future, but we know nothing about these people--certainly not enough to judge things about them based on a single letter (particularly a form one).

Samantha's_Song
02-04-2010, 06:45 PM
Carlene, although I'm not a professional in the writing field, I'd look at it from this angle. - I used to do loads of beta reading on here and so know how agents etc., must think and feel sometimes. I've read good stories by so-so writers; some of their writing has bore me to tears and I've given up after a chapter or two. I've also read so-so stories by brilliant writers and didn't want to put their MSs down. Agents are like the rest of us, they have personal tastes and opinions, that's all.

gothicangel
02-04-2010, 07:33 PM
Carlene, although I'm not a professional in the writing field, I'd look at it from this angle. - I used to do loads of beta reading on here and so know how agents etc., must think and feel sometimes. I've read good stories by so-so writers; some of their writing has bore me to tears and I've given up after a chapter or two. I've also read so-so stories by brilliant writers and didn't want to put their MSs down. Agents are like the rest of us, they have personal tastes and opinions, that's all.

Oh God yes!

I've been critiquing for three years now and I completely understand it when they say 97% of the slush-pile is unpublishable.

In the next round of subbing I will have a brand new respect for agents!

Toothpaste
02-04-2010, 07:48 PM
Eh, if agents can complain about writers and all the crazy queries/manuscripts they get on blogs and whatnot, then I don't see why authors can't complain a bit about agents here. They let off steam, we let off steam. That said, I think everyone here realizes that the vast majority of agents aren't trying to hurt anyone's feelings.

Perfectly acceptable (so long as it is done with care). But in my mind this form letter is not worth the energy to gripe about. Everyone is pulling it to pieces and not noticing the main thing: The agent took the time to compose a form letter. That alone shows that the agent cares about authors and doesn't want to upset them in her rejection. She could have done the no response thing. She could have done the sticky note of "no". But instead she chose to take the time to write something kind and not remotely demeaning. To me that shows an agent who cares.

To some of you, it shows an arrogant sarcastic person who is all superior to authors.

The idea that using the word "enthralled" makes this agent a bad person, is a false conclusion, and not one worth worrying about. Why waste the energy on that? There are so many things about this industry to vent about, this simply is not one of them. And, I really hate to say it as I don't think the people at AW are like this, and this is merely a perception not necessarily a truth . . . but this overreaction to a nice form rejection could make some people look like they'd be difficult authors to work with who have no concept of what an agent is or goes through in her day to day life.

Silver King
02-05-2010, 04:25 AM
...The idea that using the word "enthralled" makes this agent a bad person, is a false conclusion, and not one worth worrying about...
I don't think anyone here is suggesting the agent is a "bad person." It's just that to some of us, the use of "enthralled" seems a bit over the top. It sounds more like a euphemism than anything else.

You mentioned earlier that you use the word on a daily basis. For those of us who don't, its use in that letter appears somewhat jarring. It does to me, anyway.

Agents would be better served by using old standards such as, "Thank you for your submission, but it doesn't suit our needs."

Short and sweet and not open to interpretation.

Toothpaste
02-05-2010, 05:15 AM
I don't use the word on a daily basis, these days not much enthralls me (aside from LOST and Sawyer's torso of course :) ).

Maybe the term "bad person" isn't quite right. But the idea that that word alone reflects a poor character trait, someone who is being, as you say, euphemistic, or sarcastic, or a myriad of other personality traits, to me is still an over reaction.

In the end it's a matter of perception and taste I suppose. Someone could read your short and sweet rejection as short and dismissive: "What, I send them 50 pages and get one sentence back, how arrogant!" My point is, there is nothing an agent can ever say to please everybody, and I think it would behoove most authors therefore not to overanalyse form rejections. They are crafted carefully to avoid causing offense. Evidently the choice of the word "enthralled" wound up doing just that, but it was hardly on purpose. Should we vilify someone who simply wanted to say no politely?

Again, I guess some people enjoy reading way too much into things. And this really is reading way too much into things, I'm sorry - reading anything into a form rejection that is sent out to many other authors can't be anything but. To take something that is a general letter personally is absurd as the letter was never actually written for you specifically. And I think it's a lot more comforting to realise that this rejection wasn't "nasty" at all. That the agent has no ill will towards the author. Surely that's a preferable thought?

Then again maybe it makes a rejected author feel better: "Oh what a jerk that agent is, she's obviously a snob and can't tell a good read when she sees it."

I just prefer to think positively about people. Assume the best, not the worst.

Silver King
02-05-2010, 05:47 AM
...My point is, there is nothing an agent can ever say to please everybody, and I think it would behoove most authors therefore not to overanalyse form rejections. They are crafted carefully to avoid causing offense. Evidently the choice of the word "enthralled" wound up doing just that, but it was hardly on purpose....
I agree, and that pretty much sums up the crux of this thread.

Our perceptions vary so widely, from reader to reader, when it comes to word usage and their meanings that it's almost impossible not to offend someone along the way. I've done so a number of times when my intentions were the complete opposite. Just yesterday someone called me "snippy" on this site and claimed that my post was a "non-answer" when in fact I was trying to be helpful.

Like they say, there's just no pleasing some people, no matter how hard we try. And you can bet I wasn't enthralled to be labeled a snippy person "who must have gotten up on the wrong side of the bed." ;)

Wayne K
02-05-2010, 05:55 AM
I see an R and I move on. Nasty or not, an R is an R. Be done with it

gothicangel
02-05-2010, 10:16 AM
You mentioned earlier that you use the word on a daily basis. For those of us who don't, its use in that letter appears somewhat jarring. It does to me, anyway.


Sweet Jesus! Are we now critiquing an agent's ability to construct a good rejection letter?

Wayne K
02-05-2010, 10:32 AM
That's a great idea.

WildScribe
02-05-2010, 10:41 AM
Heck, years ago I got a rejection through snail mail that had a red rubber-stamped NO on top of my cover letter. I chalked it up to an agent overwhelmed. And they are.

Carlene, as others said, it is a form rejection. I've gotten similar letters/emails.

I've gotten one of those on a magazine query. I was chuckling about it on and off for the rest of the day. No need to take it personal, they're just reeeeeally busy.

scarletpeaches
02-05-2010, 06:36 PM
You mentioned earlier that you use the word on a daily basis. For those of us who don't, its use in that letter appears somewhat jarring...Agents would be better served by using old standards such as, "Thank you for your submission, but it doesn't suit our needs."Writers should never dumb down their work just in case someone doesn't 'get' their vocabulary and that would include agents.

This one uses the word 'enthralled'. Plenty other people do, too. I'm one of them. The letter served its purpose and quite frankly if anyone thinks the example given in the OP was snotty or rude, they need to toughen up. This industry's full of ways to be rejected and this example is way, way down the line when it comes to packing a fistful of ouch.

Stacia Kane
02-06-2010, 05:05 AM
Chalk me up as another person who uses the word "enthralled" fairly regularly. I like it. I like lots of words. :)

Silver King
02-06-2010, 07:22 AM
Sweet Jesus! Are we now critiquing an agent's ability to construct a good rejection letter?
I'm not critiquing the "construct" but merely averse to the word choice of "enthralled" in this particular instance.

Nobody says that, nobody, except this particular agent. Show me one other example of an agent using that term in a rejection letter and I'll eat my boots, and yours, too.

gothicangel
02-06-2010, 10:05 AM
Be warned I wear size eigth Dr. Martin's!

Samantha's_Song
02-06-2010, 01:26 PM
Size eight? :eek: I wanted a pair of Docs out of a catalogue, because they were silver. They were in the children's section, but thankfully I only take a size 3 to 4, depending on the style. So I got my silver Docs! :D

Be warned I wear size eigth Dr. Martin's!

Old Hack
02-06-2010, 02:04 PM
I have to say that I didn't see anything wrong with the wording of the rejection. Agents have such little time to process submissions and rejections: they are bound to want to spend most of this time reading those submissions, not working on fabulous rejection letters. It's not surprising that so many writers feel let down by the rejections they receive--combined with the fact of the rejection, a brief note like that is a double disappointment (we all hope for comments, after all, and few of us get them).

More and more agents and editors are now moving to the "no response" model, and it's a shame. It doesn't surprise me: (http://howpublishingreallyworks.blogspot.com/2009/03/writers-should-know-better.html) but it means that we, as writers, are losing a useful form of feedback. Which I think is a shame.

kaitie
02-06-2010, 02:28 PM
I also think there's the "no matter what they do they won't win" factor. If an agent sends a form rejection, some people think it's impersonal, but some people take more offense at a personalized letter that states negatives. I just read something on querytracker where someone had complained in comments about receiving a hand-written rejection because it was unprofessional. All I could think is, "Wow, they took the time to write a rejection by hand and actually looked at your project!" There's no way to please everyone.

Izz
02-06-2010, 02:30 PM
I'm not critiquing the "construct" but merely averse to the word choice of "enthralled" in this particular instance.

Nobody says that, nobody, except this particular agent. Show me one other example of an agent using that term in a rejection letter and I'll eat my boots, and yours, too.This almost qualifies as an official rejection letter: http://misssnark.blogspot.com/2005/12/58-crapometer.html

p.s my boots are size 11 and covered in mud :D

padnar
02-06-2010, 04:43 PM
Sorry why agents , some people who reviews give such nasty comments that it makes me cringe .
padma

Silver King
02-07-2010, 04:43 AM
Be warned I wear size eight Dr. Martin's!


This almost qualifies as an official rejection letter: http://misssnark.blogspot.com/2005/12/58-crapometer.html

p.s my boots are size 11 and covered in mud :D
Good thing gothicangel has dibs on whose boots I have to consume!

Not sure if it's obvious by now, but I really, really dislike the word "enthralled," which has colored my perception of that rejection letter from the beginning. Some seemingly innocuous words or phrases have a negative impact upon readers, and that just happens to be one that I loathe. Can hardly stand typing it out even, and I hate the way it sounds.

If you think that's strange, you should've seen the discussion we had once about the word "moist." Seems like that one truly rubs some people the wrong way, which I found very surprising at the time.

Jersey Chick
02-07-2010, 05:17 AM
Moist is an ooky word. Everyone knows that. :D

Silver King
02-07-2010, 05:37 AM
Moist is an ooky word. Everyone knows that. :D
I've struck that one from my vocabulary and now use the ever dependable "wet" in its place. ;)

Jersey Chick
02-07-2010, 06:36 AM
Smart man. :D

DWSTXS
02-07-2010, 06:45 AM
I actually 'enthralled' a young lady the other day. . .and we almost got caught.

brainstorm77
02-08-2010, 01:09 AM
I'm just wondering what they get out of giving writers nasty replies to queries? I got one today and am still scratching my head. I queried this agent in October 2009 and she asked for the first 50 pages. I got her rejection today where she said, "I am not going to pursue this, however, since I was not enthralled with the writing, I’m sorry to say."

I laughed out loud because....my seventh published novel came out today too.
So, do they feel superior to give a writer a snotty reply? Some people must be very unhappy in their lives and just have to try and make other unhappy too. I've been writing and publishing for a lot of years and think this is only the third reply like this I've gotten.

Interesting.

Carlene

That was a snotty reply? Even if this was a form rejection, she was honest. It was her opinion and opinions may vary from agent to agent. I in no way, see this as a nasty reply.