Novelist. History Buff. Military Brat.



Dear Literary Agent: Enclosed Are My Hopes and Dreams


Dear Literary Agent:

I follow your blog. I pore over every word of advice you give to aspiring authors. I studied your interview in Writers’ Digest. I marvel at how much you have accomplished in your mere 28 years on earth: a liberal arts degree from an exclusive private college, your gap year at the Sorbonne, your recent MFA in creative writing, a darling fifth floor walkup in a fashionably shabby Brooklyn neighborhood, and NOW your job as partner in the most revered literary agency in New York!

I even met you at a very expensive writers’ conference in Santa Barbara, where I pitched you my mystery novel and tried to ignore the dandruff in your greasy scalp. You smirked at me and blinked your hungover eyes and said: “Sorry, just not for me.”

Ever since you rejected my last mystery novel, I have carefully studied the genre and come up with a sure-fire bestseller: GONE CHICKEN.

This dystopian young adult thriller is set on an organic corn farm in Iowa, where shapeshifting skate punk Ned Enron does a gender-bending turn as an egg-laying chicken named Bess. When mega corporation ConOgre buys the farm, Ned/Bess goes undercover (as only a chicken can) to expose the pro-GMO agenda of the evil conglomerate. Will Ned/Bess get plucked, fricasseed, or actually save the earth from toxic fertilizers? The environmental theme and hunky young male protagonist will no doubt hook tween readers for life.

In fact, GONE CHICKEN is only the first of an endless series, with tremendous potential for film rights, video games, action figures, and Iphone apps.

I am an award-winning writer with a 25-year free-lance writing career, getting paid for authoring articles, ad copy, technical manuals, and press releases. I have written four novels and lots of short stories — all unpublished because I haven’t been able to get an agent and I don’t want to self-publish. I have edited other writers’ manuscripts, met impossible deadlines, and taught college-level writing courses. Although I live in a flyover red state, I actually read The New Yorker. However, I can no longer afford to attend pricey writers’ conferences where I might meet an esteemed gatekeeper to the publishing world and hobnob with the literary cognoscenti.

I have dutifully followed all your submission guidelines, including the first 25 pages of my manuscript, a synopsis, a chapter-by-chapter action guide, and, just because you might find it useful, a downloadable coupon for Head and Shoulders.

Most respectfully,

Marian McCarthy