: views from the Hill

Thursday, February 02, 2006

[WRITING] Nick Mamatas, nihilistic_kid, on getting repped by Writers House

Followed a link on Jennifer Jackson's blog -- she's an agent with Donald Maass Literary Agency -- over to nihilistic_kid and read a blog entry about Writers House and the odds of being repped by them.

Seems Writers House receives twelve thousand (12000) submissions a year, forty a day. First reader is an intern. One of the agents is in charge of the slush and also reads.

Every "unexpected" submission, even those that are addressed to individual agents, go through an intern first, and sometimes the guy too. That's why God founded Vassar. On winter break, he does it all himself.

Of those twelve thousand submissions in the slush pile, one or two writers will be offered representation.

One or two.
Twelve thousand.

Of the submissions, most fall into two groups: talented writers with nothing that makes them unique or sets them apart, and writers with lots of creativity who can't write.

It can take months to get an agreement for representation, but a rejection can be gained as soon as you want it. "Call me twenty times in twenty days, and everyone here will hear about it." If people want a quick answer, the answer is no.

So don't bug 'im, eh?

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