Published 11 March 200911 March 2009 · Main Posts how not to land an agent Jeff Sparrow At JacketFlap, a bunch of literary agents list the worst query lines they’ve received. These lists always seem a bit patronising but the examples are all recognisable. Part 3 is headed ‘Only include relevant, professional publishing credentials in your query’. That means you don’t write: My credentials for writing this book include: A divine mandate to speak the word of God. The best credentials I can share are the comments from my family and friends after they read my book. Please Google my name for more information. This isn’t my first published work, I have published 2 articles in G4S Pipeline Trade Publication. I have been writing since I could hold a crayon, and before that I used finger paints. I know 10 people who would buy this book right now! This is not representative of my best work. This is my first attempt at writing a fictional novel. I read this to the high school English class that I teach and they all agreed it was wonderful. I’m a real estate developer and you contacted me once in the past about a building or a home I had for sale at that time. Four paragraphs about your former career as a technical writer. Not one sentence about plot of book. The entire manuscript has been reviewed by both my writing mentor and a copyeditor and is ready for wide distribution. The manuscript is complete. It is 320 pages in Font 10 with 178,313 words. It has 36 chapters. I am not a professional writer. In a nutshell, I have no credentials. Read the rest here. Jeff Sparrow Jeff Sparrow is a Walkley Award-winning writer, broadcaster and former editor of Overland. More by Jeff Sparrow › Overland is a not-for-profit magazine with a proud history of supporting writers, and publishing ideas and voices often excluded from other places. If you like this piece, or support Overland’s work in general, please subscribe or donate. Related articles & Essays First published in Overland Issue 228 10 November 202311 November 2023 · Subscriberthon 2023 On the final day of Subscriberthon, Overland’s most important members get to have their say Editorial Team BORIS A quick guide to another year of Overland, from your trusty feline, Boris. I liked the ginger cat story, though it made my human cry. I liked the talking cat, too, but I’m definitely in the “not wasting my time learning to talk” camp. But reading is good. And writing is fun, though it’s been challenging […] 1 First published in Overland Issue 228 9 November 20239 November 2023 · Subscriberthon 2023 On the second-last day of Subscriberthon, Overland’s co-chief editor Evelyn Araluen speaks truth to power Editorial Team To my friends and comrades, I’m not sure if there’s language to communicate how this last month has utterly changed me. This time a few weeks ago the busyness and chaos of bricolage arts and academic labour had so efficiently distracted me from my anxiety about the upcoming referendum that I forgot to prepare myself for its inevitable conclusion.