Pub Rants

Words of Wisdom From Julie The Intern (Part II)

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STATUS: I’m off to New York next week so it’s been a little hectic getting prepared for all my meetings.

What’s playing on the iPod right now? TALKING ‘BOUT A REVOLUTION by Tracy Chapman

On Tuesday, Julie handled all of our unsolicited mail. Quite an experience and it inspired her to write this blog entry.

At the Nelson Literary Agency we only accept email. That doesn’t mean you can use email if you feel like it or if you would prefer, it means we only accept email. If you send snail mail you will receive a response, a standard response telling you try again via email.

When snail mail is sent to the Nelson Agency, Kristin will never see it. Only Julie the Intern will before it meets its fate in the recycling bin. I might read some of the letters if I feel so inclined, or if something catches my eye, but don’t bet on it. It wastes paper and does not get you one step closer to reaching your literary dreams. All it does is give me paper cuts. At least I can say I am thoroughly entertained by some of the things we find in the burgeoning stack of mail.

I’m not entirely sure what the checks are for seeing as we do not charge anything to see queries. What happens to these checks? If the sender has also included a self-addressed envelope it gets sent back. Otherwise, it gets to enjoy the comfort of the paper shredder.

Full manuscripts
I can’t even conceive why people send full manuscripts to us. For one, we don’t accept snail mail, as I have hopefully gotten across. Secondly, query letters, sample pages, or something are customary to send to an agent before you throw a full manuscript on their desk.

Popcorn, DVDs, self-published books, etc.
I’m not sure what the popcorn was for. Of course, I don’t know why we get any of this. If you’re lucky, we might ask for postage money to send books back.

Queries for other agents
We received a letter addressed to Ethan Ellenberg. As far as I know, Ethan Ellenberg isn’t hiding under one of our desk chairs. Make sure to get the address correct for the agent you want to send to.

Handwritten queries
Handwritten queries are unprofessional, enough said.

9 Responses

  1. Ben said:

    > As far as I know, Ethan Ellenberg isn’t hiding under one of our desk chairs.

    Did you check under the coffee table?

  2. Gate Keeper said:

    Aw, the good ol’ days of interning. Though I have to say, no one’s sent us checks or popcorn! I’m a little jealous there. 😉

    Oh, the books. Those at least are somewhat entertaining during lunch hour. One hopes that such things are because of truly atrocious advice on the internet somewhere. Because if so many people got such a completely wrong idea, the best we can hope is they weren’t idiots independently, merely collectively misled.

    Handwritten queries are unprofessional. More so when they confidentially address the male agent about the vast feminist conspiracy against the author, not realizing that at least one woman would read it before the agent even knew of its existence.

    Congrats, Julie the Intern, on getting your in depth look at just how crazy people can be. ^_^

  3. Anonymous said:




  4. Carrie said:

    This cracks me up. I’m sitting in study hall (high school teacher here again) and I can see one of my students (from English class) writing this. I’m not ready to query the new mystery yet, but I’ll make darn sure I don’t send a “Dear Mr. Ellenberg” snail mail letter, complete with popcorn and a full manuscript, to Nelson Literary. Thanks for the morning giggle. It sounds like Julie is doing a great job.

  5. AC said:

    Lol. What’s so hard about reading directions? You’d think if someone had spent months or years of her life writing a book that she’d do everything in her power to make sure it was presented to an agent correctly. It’s a total mystery.

    Love your posts, Julie 🙂

  6. Kasie West said:

    Julie, you’re funny. I like you. By the way, I didn’t send the popcorn, but the half eaten box of Junior Mints was mine, did you get them okay or were they all melted and stuck to the sides? I hate it when they do that. If you’re not going to eat them … uh … will you send them back?