Animus is an imagination-kindling realm of wonder
On the 22nd of March 237 aspiring writers and I received a form rejection email from an astoundingly inept intern at Writers House Literary Agency. The standardized reply began with “Dear 1 of 238 Authors I have to mail a standard reply to,” and got progressively worse. However, the ‘palm-to-face’ moment was when we all realized that we had all been copied the message along with each other’s addresses. This motley, yet serendipitous occurrence unleashed an unprecedented wave of camaraderie among the mass-insulted and out of the brief chaos The 238 Club was born. The few. The proud. The 238.
I wrote the following parody piece to lighten the mood:
“Tho’ uncouth was the rejection made,
Was there a word-smith dismay’d?
Not, tho’ the writers knew
Someone had blunder’d:
Theirs is not to mass-reply,
Theirs is not to get tongue-tied,
Theirs is but to hope and try:
All in the valley of Rejection emails
Rode the two hundred thirty eight.
Flash’d on the network buzz,
Flash’d as they pursued their cause,
Querying the agents there,
Challenging the condescending stares while
All the world wonder’d:
Plunged into the Rejection smog
Right thro’ the patronization-steeped bog;
Gate keeper and intern,
Left slack-jawed and agog
Stutter’d and wonder’d.
One day they will break through the Pearly Gates,
All of the valiant Two Hundred Thirty Eight.”
Rejection in itself is nothing new to artists. Impressions and opinions are very subjective and agents are entitled to cherry-pick whom to represent. Likewise, I have nothing against form letters – what difference does the ‘flavour’ of the word ‘NO.’ make (as long as it’s spelled correctly)? That’s fine–their loss–as far as most of us are concerned. However, the agency’s reputation and pedigree become quickly tarnished when they let simple-minded hirelings cause a scandal through pure incompetence and then fail to make things right by issuing a public apology. This sheer laxness in managing image damage control after a public muck up, casts a long shadow over all their sugar-coated promises of good service.
See how deep the rabbit hole really goes – join our groups and meet the ‘troops’: