Quick Class Participation Time, Query Letter Style

February 15th, 2005

Do you think it is “not funny” to include the fact that sometimes a mom wants to sneak a little drinky in (while the baby is asleep) in letters to literary agents?

It seems as if some people (read: Not parents) think that I’m telling everyone to be an alcoholic. Or then again, maybe I’m just too frazzled today and read too far into criticism.

So? Anyone? Bueller?


  1. Jen wrote,

    Given the history of what goes on during naptime, small amounts of alcohol seem harmless when compared to other ‘mommy’s little helpers’. I think a nonbreeder making comments about someone’s parenting style & stress relieving choices is pretty not funny.

    Comment on 2/15/2005 @ 2:22 pm

  2. HidyPitts wrote,

    I think it really depends on how it is mentioned. Can you give an example?

    Comment on 2/15/2005 @ 2:35 pm

  3. Steph :) wrote,

    I agree with HidyPitts. It does depend on how you mention it. As long as you don’t come off sounding like a booze-swilling demon mother, I think you’re just fine. Honesty is key.

    Comment on 2/15/2005 @ 2:50 pm

  4. coffeegirl wrote,

    You mean you weren’t telling everyone to be an alcoholic? Damn.

    (( hic ))

    Comment on 2/15/2005 @ 2:53 pm

  5. Jen wrote,

    I’m a non-breeder, well, there’s on cooking right now but anyway….SJ…you are so very funny. It’s hard to believe that anyone would critize you about drinking comments. I can only imagine when my baby comes, I’m sure a little drinky will be needed.
    Agree with the other Jen….I’m sure those critizing SJ, use pills or whatever to help them get through the day!!

    Comment on 2/15/2005 @ 3:04 pm

  6. Emily wrote,

    Um…hence the title “Sarcastic Journalist”? In the words of the wisest man I know “People are stupid”…repeat that, delete stupid comments, drink a martini and laugh at all the idiots out there who don’t have anything else better to do than accuse of you promoting alcoholism b/c there own lives are so boring! Oh well S.J. I guess I just get your humor. Bunches of love coming your way!

    Comment on 2/15/2005 @ 3:05 pm

  7. LX Robotnik wrote,

    I hope you heed this from me; DON’T try to be funny or cute w/agents. Speaking from experience.

    Comment on 2/15/2005 @ 3:05 pm

  8. LX Robotnik wrote,

    Just to elaborate a bit on the above. These people get innundated w/queries every day–and every day they get swamped with cute, funny, adorable, “I’m trying to stand out from the hundreds” type queries. From having spoken w/a few in da biz…they want something straightforward and professional.

    Comment on 2/15/2005 @ 3:10 pm

  9. Crystal wrote,

    I’d say leave it out of the letters, it’s fine for the book. Most of us have had a moment where we felt like taking the edge off a shitty day, but for the purpose of getting you published, that may offend someone reading those letters. JMO

    Comment on 2/15/2005 @ 3:25 pm

  10. Ninotchka wrote,

    What I have learned in my writing career is that some people, EVEN PARENTING PUB. TYPE PEOPLE, just don’t really “get it.” Some subjects are still taboo. Either that or they simply have no sense of humor.

    Comment on 2/15/2005 @ 3:32 pm

  11. Mirella wrote,

    First let me say that you have every right to say whatever you want in a query letter. It’s your letter, you can rock it any which way you choose!

    We, your readers, TOTALLY get that you’re not an alcoholic and that you are an awesome mom and that there is no need to call social services on your ass. Literary agents? Not so much.

    Those “drinkging on the job” comments are the kind of nuggets (ew, I hate that word) you can throw at them during your on-the-phone or in-person pitch, once you’ve already piqued their interest with a solid, edgy-yet-not-oversharing query letter.

    I don’t think you’re suggesting parents turn to alcoholism. But I could see how a literary agent may read that statement and either a) think that or b) wonder exactly how serious you are and decide they don’t have the time to figure it out. Just my two cents.

    Comment on 2/15/2005 @ 3:49 pm

  12. Corrie wrote,

    You mean it’s wrong to drink before, say 5 o’clock p.m.? I usually announce it’s beer o’clock around noon. Is that bad?

    Comment on 2/15/2005 @ 4:40 pm

  13. LX Robotnik wrote,

    Actually, you do have the right to put whatever you want in a query letter–but that ain’t gonna get you published. There are guidelines. We’ve talked about them. You’re golden.

    Comment on 2/15/2005 @ 4:45 pm

  14. Texas T-bone wrote,

    It doesn’t matter what we think, it’s up to whomever the letters are sent to. Because the statement is wide open to interpretation, I’d say don’t incude it.

    Comment on 2/16/2005 @ 1:50 pm

  15. propecia wrote,

    A slight perusal of the laws by which the measures of vindictive and coercive justice are established will discover so many disproportions between crimes and punishments, such capricious distinctions

    Trackback on 3/30/2005 @ 1:23 pm

  16. backgammon boards wrote,

    backgammon boards
    By recognizing a favorable opinion of yourself, and taking pleasure in it, you in a measure give yourself and your peace of mind into the keeping of another, of whose attitude you can never be certain

    Trackback on 4/4/2005 @ 10:41 pm

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