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QueryFail – What Literary Agents Say Behind Your Back

A couple of days ago there was a bit of a hoo hah in the book world, as literary agents Lauren E. MacLeod and Colleen Lindsay decided to twitter about some of the worst query letters they’d received. It divided people into those who thought it gave a valuable insight in how to pitch, and those who felt wounded that agents might talk about their clients with a measure of exasperation.

I’ve taken the liberty of slightly reworking some of them for TV:

  • I know you don’t commission reality shows, but I hope you’ll make an exception in my case.
  • I don’t think you’re the right channel for me, but could you pass my query along to some of your colleagues?
  • Dear Commissioner, here are 25 ideas I’ve had, do you want any of them?
  • My proposal is a work in progress.
  • I’ve got a great idea for a programme. You write it and we’ll split the profits!
  • I know 10 people who would commission this right now!
  • I showed this to my mum and she agreed it was wonderful.
  • In a nutshell, I have no credentials. Can I be a presenter?
  • My programme is about a friendship based upon mutual vomiting practices in high school
  • Three paragraphs, no plot, no hook, and lots of “look how fresh, edgy, exciting and transformational it is!”
  • If your schedules are that unforgiving, then stop here and pass on something that could be special.
  • I’ve been rejected by three other commissioners who said my work was interesting.
  • I’ve queried more than 50 channels and have gotten nowhere and now I’m pitching to you.

Read the real list here.

Needless to say, I’m keeping a keen eye on Twitter to see what the TV commissioners are saying about us behind our backs…

What do you think? Leave a comment.


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