"Help a Sister Get Published!!!"

That was the subject line for the following email from a total stranger:


I’m trying to find an agent for my memoir, //Title Deleted to Protect the Stupid and Rude//. Below are the particulars. I would appreciate any and all leads. Thanks!

~//Name Deleted//

And she follows this with a six-paragraph description of said memoir, and an alleged publishing credit.

Dear Stupid and Rude Author:

Here is how “a sister” gets published. She learns to write. And once she’s learned how to write, she learns how to write a decent fucking query letter to agents and publishers, one that grabs them enough to want to read said memoir. This is HARD, I know. Tough shit. You’ll probably also have to write a gripping summary. This, too, is HARD. Tough shit. She then takes the time to research who is looking for what and then only contacts those who seem like a good market for her work. “A sister” does not spam, hound or otherwise inappropriately contact strangers via email who have better things to do than pimp her lame ass when they should be doing their own writing. I hope you realize, “sister,” that my respect for you is now somewhere fifty leagues deep in the annals of the Los Angeles sewer for this kind of contact. Even if I thought your email was clever and worthy — which it isn’t — I’d delete your ass or, better yet, put it in the spam folder.

Now, “sister,” get lost and go learn how to behave appropriately in the writing market. Have the decency and discipline to develop contacts who might actually pass on your work.


Maria “Name’s Not ‘Hey’ and I’m Not Your Sister” Alexander

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