Thursday, February 15, 2007

Special Cases of Address

Dear Rejecter,

Another question. In the submission guidelines for a few of the agencies I want to query, their website says, write to the "Submissions Department", instead of any particular agent. In such cases, is it ok to write "Dear Agent" in the query letter, because I don't know which agent to address? Or, if I do get to know the name of a specific agent, is it advisable to write to her (and thus ignoring the submission guidelines)?

In this particular case, it is okay to write "Submissions Department" and not "Dear Agent." In most cases, however, the submissions department is usually defined as the corner of the agent's desk where the pile of mail was dropped in a rush to get to the phone.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Degrees Needed For Publishing

Hello Miss Rejecter;

I've been checking out your blog ocasionally for a while and lately you've mentioned your studies. I was wondering how important the level of studies and the grades received are in order to become an assistant to a lit. agent. I'm on my last year of a B.A. in English and debating whether to go for honors or not. I'm not very interested in the work they ask for honors but I'll do it if it will make any difference in my chance of getting hired as soon after my graduation as possible. I suppose that since you are working in the industry you must know some people in it, what do you think? Do people with normal/non-outstanding degrees have a chance? Is it harder or easier?

In terms of writing (for future novelists out there) degrees do not matter at all. You don't even have to have gone to college to write a great book. In your case, it's nice to have a degree in English, but don't stress yourself over honors. It's not going to make a difference. When I applied to my first job in publishing all I had was a BA in history. Now I'm going for a useless MFA in fiction mainly because it gives me authorization to teach, should I ever burn out in the publishing world. It will not make any difference, so don't stress yourself.