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QueryFail/AgentFail/etc?

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Phoenix Fury

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That's why it's best to KNOW how to write a good query--you have to be able to create interest in your work and then let the work speak for itself. A query is a writer's audition. Why blow it and then wonder why you're not called back to read for a major role?

Thank God I learned not to compare myself to Lady Godiva in my query letters, then. Thank heavens for #Queryfail University!

:Shrug:
 

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Another fine mockage of writers

By a writer. Who by all appearances isn't agented herself. Look I get people were offended, I get that others were not. But I also get that people have blown both of these things way out of proportion, forgotten that the participants are human beings, fallible, and that the majority of people involved HAVE been rational about it. To me it's the people who WEREN'T involved, who never even read queryfail, or agentfail, who are the biggest problem.
 

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Another fine mockage of writers ;) From being on this site alone, all I see are serious writers. How would you like it, as an actor, if someone posted your audition reel -with your face blanked out- as a way of telling people not to act like you? Unless permission is given to use a query letter to 'teach' others, then please don't do it. I swear it's frowned upon to post up rejection letters and mock those? Querying is hard enough without fearing you're going to get mocked in front of hundreds. Nameless or not, someone else mentioned someone was identified from posting their query for help here. And agenting is hard enough without getting aggressive responses from writers you tell no. I think some lessons in manners need to be dished out to a few individuals.

You don't think that happens in acting classes all the time?

And obviously, you've never been to a cattle call audition. Time is an issue, and if they don't like your audition they really do yell, "Thank you!" cutting you off in mid-word and sending you on your way.
 

Phoenix Fury

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Who has the time and mental energy for all these X-Fails?!

Queryfail was a bad idea. Then, the agents who realized how bad their idea was realized it at one point, stopped, and apologized. They're intentions were good. They're basically nice people with good intentions who made a mistake. Then, they apologized. That's not a knock against their professionalism, or even - really - their judgment, because everyone in the world makes mistakes and it's how one handles them once discovered that matters, and all of the agents I'd seen were genuinely apologetic.

Is that why many of the same ones are "gleefully" preparing for Queryfail II? And making up sequel names?
 

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If you think this is mocking of agents, pick either me or Adrienne and go see if you can find some of our less-than-stellar reviews.

I particularly recommend the Austin book club's complete and utter hatred of my book.

Every artist risks mockery at every level of the process.

Chanelley: The notion that queryign is hard puzzles me. Querying is fundamentally very easy. All you have to do is write a good book to attach to the query, and make sure there's no grammar or usage errors. Cover letters are more about proving you aren't crazy than they are about selling yourself.

The book: that's the hard part.
 

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You don't think that happens in acting classes all the time?

And obviously, you've never been to a cattle call audition. Time is an issue, and if they don't like your audition they really do yell, "Thank you!" cutting you off in mid-word and sending you on your way.

Exactly!
 

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If you think this is mocking of agents, pick either me or Adrienne and go see if you can find some of our less-than-stellar reviews.

I particularly recommend the Austin book club's complete and utter hatred of my book.

Every artist risks mockery at every level of the process.

Ooh, there's the one where my book is called, "One of the worst books ever written"! Or the person who wants to hit me over the head with a flower pot. Not sure why a flower pot in particular . . .
 

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Is that why many of the same ones are "gleefully" preparing for Queryfail II? And making up sequel names?

Like I said, who has time for all of this nonsense over next-to-nothing. At least two apologized, if I remember. Maybe my facts are messed up? I'm not sifting through all this nonsense for every single line of the x-Fail.

And, again, let me re-iterate this: these are basically nice people who are trying to help aspiring writers. If you don't like their method, don't query them.

Venting into the internet is not nearly as cruel as taking them off your list.
 

Phoenix Fury

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If you think this is mocking of agents, pick either me or Adrienne and go see if you can find some of our less-than-stellar reviews.

I particularly recommend the Austin book club's complete and utter hatred of my book.

Every artist risks mockery at every level of the process.

Including those cases where they didn't put something public out to be mocked in the first place--like, say, a query letter to an individual agent?

I'm honestly mystified that so many authors have no problem being treated like this. Amazing.
 

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Including those cases where they didn't put something public out to be mocked in the first place--like, say, a query letter to an individual agent?

I'm honestly mystified that so many authors have no problem being treated like this. Amazing.

It's not that I don't have a problem with it. I did find some of the posts a bit unprofessional. However, that doesn't mean I'm going to waste energy gnashing my teeth over it. It's really not that big of a deal.
 

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You're right, I'm not an actor. But this is about writing, not acting, and I wouldn't appreciate my audition reel being posted online for hundreds to see either. And not everyone finds querying as easy as writing a letter, correcting grammar and sending - as you can see from the SYW board. To some, sending a query is the most nerve wracking thing out there. It all comes down to individual differences. Even agents admit that some writers, who write amazing books, can't write a query to save their lives. Look it up.
I think that trying to teach writers is a good thing, it really is, but when mocking is involved, it crosses a line. On both sides. I definitely don't agree that mocking agents is acceptable. Or being aggressive, rude, or disrespectful to them for saying no.
I'm just in the middle hoping people will be more respectful to each other.
 
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Phoenix Fury

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Like I said, who has time for all of this nonsense over next-to-nothing. At least two apologized, if I remember. Maybe my facts are messed up? I'm not sifting through all this nonsense for every single line of the x-Fail.

Nonsense is right.

And, again, let me re-iterate this: these are basically nice people who are trying to help aspiring writers. If you don't like their method, don't query them.

Venting into the internet is not nearly as cruel as taking them off your list.

And let me reiterate: Mockery is not help. And queryfail was the definition of mocking (and venting, actually). I didn't participate in either queryfail or agentfail, but I read through both, and there is an incredible double standard being applied here.

Anyway, I've got some revisions to get done, so enough for now!
 

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You're right, I'm not an actor. But this is about writing, not acting, and I wouldn't appreciate my audition reel being posted online for hundreds to see either.

Just from the other side of the desk on this one. When actor's send reels, writer's submit packets, animators send samples of their work to you in hardcopy form, it can be used in any way that does not directly result in a profit for the production company. I.E., you might find one of the jokes you wrote in your packet used by a celebrity in their Tonight Show appearance, or on YouTube as what NOT to send with your headshot and resume. Happens a lot. Just saying.
 

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Phoenix, I think it comes from two totally different outlooks. Some see it as mockery, others as information. Each side is trying to convince the other of their position, but that's pretty much impossible.

That's the crux, and that's why the debate will never go away.

ETA: I don't see a double standard at all. Many people felt that there were agents who were out of line in queryfail, and many felt there were writers out of line in agentfail. Some writers loved queryfail, some agents appreciated agentfail. Again to me this is an issue of people picking and choosing whatever posts suit their arguments.
 
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Chanelley

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Just from the other side of the desk on this one. When actor's send reels, writer's submit packets, animators send samples of their work to you in hardcopy form, it can be used in any way that does not directly result in a profit for the production company. I.E., you might find one of the jokes you wrote in your packet used by a celebrity in their Tonight Show appearance, or on YouTube as what NOT to send with your headshot and resume. Happens a lot. Just saying.
Ouch - thats harsh. There really are some cruel people in this world. Doesn't make it right, though. If that happened to me, or I saw something like that, I have the full right to complain about it.
 

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Oh, writers have been venting about--and posting copies of, presumably without anyone's permission--their correspondences with agents and editors for years, online.

I present for your edification: RejectionCollection.com
 

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I don't think there's any question that the excerpts used fall under Fair Use, especially as those excerpts were used for educational purposes.
 

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I don't think there's any question that the excerpts used fall under Fair Use, especially as those excerpts were used for educational purposes.

I agree. It's hard to contend with the purpose of queryfail, which really was to help writers learn what NOT to do with their queries from the people who judge those queries. The acting anaology is apt, however, just like a huried show for artists is apt or a demo tapes for musicians or whatever. The fact of the matter is that in the arts all judgments are subjective. Every artist learns something new as they progress in their careers. It's just the way the creative world works. To accuse the agents of doing nothing but mocking the writers' queries is disingenuous at best.

When I first started in summer stock as a wee-ling of fifteen, our instructor in the interns' program went through everyone's head shots and resumes to specifically point out what was wrong with all of them. I sat there in class and heard him call my headshot a 'floating head' because I was wearing a black shirt against a black background. *shrug* I learned from that. I've been in auditions where the casting director looked at me as soon as I walked in the room and said "No way. Her chin's too long" or "Oh, you don't fit the guidelines for this role at all." Throughout my career, I only ever was able to change a director's mind twice after my audition.

Twice. In fifteen years. You want to learn about how to accept rejection? Go to New York and audition for roles there. *wince* Ouch.
 

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That's why I'm not an actor. I couldn't deal with that. I'm a writer and this is about writing. People are different, we take things differently. Everyone has the right to complain. I just don't agree with the mocking. And you're right, Mscelina, not all agents mock. But a few do and if you noticied, agentfail was mainly about them. Not all writers mock either, but a few do. Demanding that agents be named and shame was so over the line I don't even know where to start. No one is completely right here, no one is completely wrong. I'm not pro agentfail, I'm not pro queryfail. Again, I say, let's have a querypass and agentpass please.
 

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Please explain how.
ETA: Actually don't. This topic is one of those where it's going to go around in a circle unresolved because people all have different opinions about the way people should be treated. I think the treatment of both writers and agents should be looked into. And I'm not going to backtrack on that.
 
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Phoenix Fury

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I agree. It's hard to contend with the purpose of queryfail, which really was to help writers learn what NOT to do with their queries from the people who judge those queries.

Actually it's easy to contend with it, especially when that wasn't the purpose. Again, look at "rubs hands gleefully" and tell me (be honest) whether you really think this exercise was about education. And even if it was about education--which it wasn't--showing ridiculous examples like "I have a divine mandate from God to write this book" accomplishes zero in the way of teaching, unless you think the writers reading #queryfail were really intending to send something like that to an agent. If you assess it honestly, and aren't just trying to win an argument, I think you'll see how silly an exercise this was. And I'm sorry, Adrienne, but I don't agree that this was a case of "everyone misbehaved a little bit." Queryfail came first, it ridiculed and mocked authors for the purpose of letting a couple of frustrated agents let off steam, and when agentfail was started in response (by an agent, incidentally), many of the same "gleeful" people started singing Apocalypse Now.

The answer to all of this is professionalism on both sides. Authors should follow guidelines for submission, and shouldn't expect instantaneous responses. Agents shouldn't treat potential clients as an irritation and annoyance, and should treat them with the same respect they would want to be treated. And most importantly, everyone should get the hell off of Twitter. ;)
 

HapiSofi

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And let me reiterate: Mockery is not help. And queryfail was the definition of mocking (and venting, actually). I didn't participate in either queryfail or agentfail, but I read through both, and there is an incredible double standard being applied here.
Oh, frickin' get over it. Mockery can be helpful. There's a subsection on it in the writer's tool manual. Also, your use of "incredible" is sloppy.
Actually it's easy to contend with it, especially when that wasn't the purpose. Again, look at "rubs hands gleefully" and tell me (be honest) whether you really think this exercise was about education.
It was about education. It was a generous and helpful act.
...showing ridiculous examples like "I have a divine mandate from God to write this book" accomplishes zero in the way of teaching, unless you think the writers reading #queryfail were really intending to send something like that to an agent.
I see you've never read slush.
Queryfail came first, it ridiculed and mocked authors for the purpose of letting a couple of frustrated agents let off steam,
And that you have no ear.
Oh, writers have been venting about--and posting copies of, presumably without anyone's permission--their correspondences with agents and editors for years, online.

I present for your edification: RejectionCollection.com
Those guys are still in business? I suppose it's a good thing. It certainly makes it easier to discuss rejection letters.
 
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