Sunday, June 17, 2007

More Ways to Tell You Aren't Going to Get Published

Your manuscript includes footnotes
a) Explaining each punctuation mark to the reader.
b) Explaining how difficult each sentence was to write, and why.
c) Explaining how your calculation of all the two-dollar words in the text should apply to your advance.

Your manuscript points out that it is our differences that make us unique and valuable, and underlines this point with
a) Talking power tools.
b) Hairless goats.
c) Homeless people.

You think ‘scansion’ is
a) Something that comes naturally to people.
b) A type of muscle injury.
c) A method of mapping terrain.

You've thoughtfully included
a) Illustration directions, down to what each character is wearing.
b) Your own illustrations, executed in Photoshop.
c) A dedication (because it’s never too early to be grateful).

Things you think are a good idea include
a) A rhyming catalog of famous murderers.
b) A cosmetics book for toddlers.
c) Walter the Farting Dog Gets a Whistle. (think about it for a moment)

You've noticed a hole in the market! What kids need now is
a) Another goddamned book about collective nouns.
b) A rollicking adventure featuring anthropomorphized ipods.
c) A nonfiction poem about the different types of sofas.

You recently visited Two-Fingers-In-The-Eyes-Nyuk-Nyuk National Historical Monument, and instead of seeing the humor,
a) You thought you’d write a book for children about the historical significance of the site to early 18th-century explorers.
b) You were inspired to tell children about ways to resolve conflict without violence.
c) You couldn't wait to get home to write a story about Nyuk-Nyuk, your blind, two-legged, dying therapy dog.

16 comments:

Deirdre Mundy said...

Hey! Talking power tools that celebrate diversity are really hot right now! Don't you watch the Disney Channel???

Editorial Anonymous said...

Yeah, you think I'm kidding. I wish.

heidi said...

1. Including Footnotes

Unless you are John Green in An Abundance of Katherines and then you will win a Printz Honor.

Editorial Anonymous said...

Well done footnotes are different. I love well done footnotes. Katherines, Bartimaeus, FEG... gotta love that!
But I really don't want to be told that I should read 'more excitedly' because there's an exclamation point at the end of the sentence.

sharon said...

back back back back
arm back back back back arm
arm SEAT SEAT SEAT arm
SEAT SEAT SEAT SEAT
skirt skirt skirt skirt


I am really bummed about the sofa book.

ann said...

I toast the readers of slush. I drink to the editors that endure dancing ipods, and non-fiction works explaining different styles of toothbrushi.

You all are the valiant unrecognized.

Rilla said...

Wait a minute... you just stole ALL of my book ideas...don't tell me I have to start from scratch. Thanks a lot, EA.
!!!!!

ae said...

LOL! Thanks for making my eyes fall out of their sockets. Walter the Farting Dog gets a Whistle...??!! OMG!!!
It is too early in the morning for laughing like this. I am scaring the garbage man.

And the photoshop thing. Well, I am sorry but that one is NOT funny. Actually, it might be. I haven't seen your submissions.

Deirdre Mundy said...

Maybe someone should write a computer program for scanning slush... then you could take electronic submissions, and let the computer screen out the dreck...

At the very least, it could dump the ones that failed to run a basic spell-check.....

And it could also look for certain word combinations like +"365-stanza" +"epic" +"mildew" and the like...

Then it could send an auto reply message along the lines of "We're sorry, but this is not write for our list... or anyone else's, for that matter!"

Anything that passed the initial computer screen could go to the interns and on up the food chain as necessary...

Just a pre-coffee flash of brilliance--- which means it's probably not workable at all in the real world. =)

Elizabeth Fama said...

D'oh! I had to look up scansion in the dictionary. I'm not a poet, so can I still count myself as literate?

Anonymous said...

So, by omission, you're saying that you're open to a good "dead mother" story?

Anonymous said...

Funny. Somehow it's encouraging to hear stories about really bad slush (despite my sympathies to EA for having to read it!). It counters the depression that comes from hearing about huge slush piles ready to crush small towns, when you think about what chance your latest submission has in getting noticed. :)

AE said...

Once upon a time there were three mss that sat at the bottom of a rubbish heap called slush. Slush was ignorant, dumb and ugly. It was also big and could crush a small city with one simple, swift kick to the block.
The three manuscripts were quiet and could barely breathe. Months of smothering left them full of faint and atrophy but after they were pulled by editors they were still breathing. Eventually, the editors could hear them whimpering, "I am here...I am here, please don't give up on me." The editors pulled those nearly comatose mss from the slush and rushed them onto editor stretchers where they resuscitated them from splintered words to rejuvenated greatness, and created new and meaningful life.
The three mss grew up and left the publisher with a sense of purpose. One became a bestseller and sank into the IP cushion, one got a Caldecott and teaches his adoring students at RISD (I am so major)and the last married a fireman and continues to write for love...and has finally found fans.

Sam said...

Walter the Farting Dog Gets a Whistle...

You mean it's already been done? Damn! Guess I can kiss that 479 page ms goodbye.

Anonymous said...

Here I thought I was headed for a Pullet Surprise. Oh well.

All my ideas,
smashed to pieces.
I think I'll go
and eat some Reeses. Peanut butter cups, that is.

Anonymous said...

I thought scansion was a type of fancy seafood....