Recently, I dove into the slush. Here’s why I said no to some of the queries that were there…
- Not my cup of tea. A memoir needs to be knock ‘em dead unique or by a celebrity or by someone with an amazing platform. Also, if it’s a memoir it isn’t a novel. A novel is fiction. If your memoir is fiction (i.e. you made it all up) then it’s not a memoir.
- Puh-leeze. A plot that’s all over the place in the query is most certainly going to be all over the place in the manuscript. And the author mis-used a word, showing me they’re thesaurus-izing their writing. Huge red flag.
- Smoke up my skirt. First the author re-quoted me, to me. Then it was portal fantasy, which I’m not fond of. Then the author bio gave me all personal, unnecessary information and no information about their writing chops.
- Delete. Nutty query for something I would have rejected anyway, and the author didn’t follow submission guidelines (i.e. they didn’t include the first 20 pages).
- Delete. Another memoir about something kind of not that interesting and the author didn’t follow submission guidelines (again, no pages included).
- Woof. I don’t do werewolves. Does anybody still do werewolves?
- Oh. My. God. Slightly turned off by the one-sentence intro that repetitively redundantly reiterated the genre, leading in to a synopses replete with multiple infarctions of the law against thesaurus-izing.
- Something’s fishy here. I’m not a fan of mermaids and there was something off about the syntax in the query.
- I’m so sorry, but NO. The querier’s native language must not be English, because there were non-native-English-speaker kinds of mistakes all throughout the query. Plus, it’s another portal fantasy, it’s unfinished, and it’s way too long.
- Out of this world. Another re-quote of me, to me, and a manuscript that’s too long. I don’t really do outer space Sci-Fi. I’m more a social-science-fiction-grounded-in-reality-ish kind of Sci-Fi reader. Plus there were a bunch of spelling errors.