Longtime readers of Slushpile know that one of my biggest irritations is when editors (fiction or nonfiction), agents, journals, and publishers don’t respond to queries. Mistakes do happen and sometimes things fall through the cracks. I know some agents who haven’t responded to me about various submissions but in these cases I know that these people are professional, well-intentioned, and kind and simple clerical mistakes were made. However, too many make it a habit, especially when dealing with email queries.
Covert literary agent, Miss Snark, writes on her hilarious and informative blog that “IF an agent elects to accept e-queries, common courtesy dictates a response should be sent. It can be a form response ‘thank you but not right for us’ but there should still be something. This hogwash about we’ll get back to you if we’re interested is ridiculous. If you don’t want to deal with queries then DON’T but to just blithely disregard them as though some sort of Ridley Scott robot is on the other end and not a human being is just plain BAD MANNERS.”
And this is from a lady that doesn’t hesitate to crush imbecile writers either. She doesn’t hold anyone’s hand, she tells when submissions are crap, and she generally seems to be fearless. So she’s no pushover. I’m having a tough time typing right now because I’m applauding Miss Snark’s etiquette bitch slap.