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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

'Writer # 63'
On the 22nd of March, 237 aspiring writers and I received a form rejection email from an astoundingly inept intern at Writers House Literary Agency. The standardized reply began with “Dear 1 of 238 Authors I have to mail a standard reply to,” and got progressively worse. However, the ‘palm-to-face’ moment was when we all realized that we had all been copied the message along with each other’s addresses. This motley, yet serendipitous occurrence unleashed an unprecedented wave of camaraderie among the mass-insulted and out of the brief chaos The 238 Club was born. The few. The proud. The 238.

Rejection in itself is nothing new to artists. Impressions and opinions are very subjective and agents are entitled to cherry-pick whom to represent. Likewise, I have nothing against form letters – what difference does the 'colour' or ‘flavour’ of the word ‘NO.’ make anyways? That’s fine – their loss, we move on, as far as most of us are concerned. However, the agency’s reputation and pedigree become quickly tarnished when they let simple-minded hirelings cause a scandal through distilled incompetence and then fail to make things right by issuing a public apology. This sheer laxness in managing image damage control after a public muck up, casts a long shadow over all their sugar-coated promises of good service. Something to keep in mind when we break through, the tables turn and it is they who come to pitch to us. See how deep the rabbit hole really goes – come, join our groups and meet the ‘troops’:

Ave, Rejected 238! by K.O. Temple
As a wily, beamish pachyderm,
Rejections per se aren’t my concern.
For every artist – rich or poor,
Has suffered criticism galore!

Agents indeed are busy people,
I do not blame them for this fact.
But they make themselves seem low and simple,
When they scuff at talent without tact.

We sowed 238 finely-tuned queries,
As but a prelude to our true task.
We would not have considered this form-rejection silly,
If respect was mutual – or is that too much to ask?

We will keep on writing and we WILL grow,
But certain gauche ‘agents’ we are well pleased not to ever know!

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