The Strange Similarity Between Mt. Everest and a Slush Pile…


Okay… Mt. Everest… is one big-ass mountain. In fact, it’s the world’s tallest mountain. Climbers are driven dreamers who believe in their heart of hearts that they have what it takes to walk a path of the very few. Climbing Mt. Everest is HARD. Lots of people try and don’t make it. Some people have even died trying. When people make it to the top it’s a life-altering event!

An Agent’s Slushpile… I hear tell is one big-ass mound of paper. This paper comes from driven dreamers (called writers) who believe in their heart of hearts they have what it takes to walk this path of the very few. Rising out of the slushpile is HARD. Lots of people try and don’t make it. Some people have even died trying. (Okay, there might be a bit of hyperbole in this last statement, but there are many definitions of death, right?) When people DO rise up and receive an offer of representation it is a life-altering event!

I’m just saying…

Now… there was some um, inspiration behind this post — something I read on a particular agent’s blog which… um, gave me pause. I’m going to C&P it here, but I’m not going to name the agent (for obvious reasons)… This is what she says is the status of her ‘slushpile.’

I have, at the moment, waiting to be read:
An entire bookcase, approximately three feet wide, filled with material to read. The top shelf holds client manuscripts; the bottom two shelves are completely full of partial manuscripts and full manuscripts that I’ve requested.
TWO 5 gallon Rubbermaid bins full of partial manuscripts.
A giant box of queries.
Even more mail that is literally eating my kitchen. And by eating, I mean that it is piled on my window seat, my two kitchen chairs, my entire kitchen table, and my kitchen counter (we move it, when we cook
Do you honestly think that I’m going to keep track of the queries, amidst all that mail? I receive approximately 10 queries a day, seven days a week. That’s seventy queries a week. And trust me, there are agents who get many, many more than that.

Okay, first of all (in the words of Dave Barry) I’m NOT making this up. This is the actual wording from the actual blog of an actual agent. (I haven’t queried her… and I won’t.) Her whole concept of organization offends my Virgo need for ORDER… I mean, seriously… they move the mail so they can cook?!!

I won’t bother to debate the trials and tribulations of working from home — I work in a home office as well. (Disclaimer: The only things eating my kitchen are human!)

But I just have to go on record to say if she has THIS MUCH backlog of queries, partials and fulls, then she should put up a notice that she’s (temporarily) closed to submissions until she works through what she has on her plate… er, plates!

Perhaps she should take a page (literally) from Miss Snark… just saying…

About Sheryl Scarborough

For MONEY I have written: TV series, cartoons, comic books, graphic novels, magazine articles, Business Plans, Direct Music Marketing letters (as Mariah Carey, MC Hammer and others), Corporate Newsletters, Mens Style (online) Magazine (as managing editor),screenplays (well, okay so not so much about the money there) and Restaurant Reviews (for free food!) Now… I’m writing for love and what I LOVE are young adult mystery novels.

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