So, a competition, don't you think? Because parties must have prizes and games and all manner of fun. I'm providing chocolate and sparkly wine. Well, I'm consuming it anyway, and you're welcome to join me if you can find a clean glass. Jane Smith is going to make a cake if there's enough wind in Yorkshire to power her electricity or enough peat in the bogs for her aga and Lynn's beagle is getting the blender ready for the margharitas.
The competition is called: YOU MUST BE JOKING!
Here's how it works. I extract some bits from real covering letters that I've seen. (None written by any of you, I hope.) And amongst the real extracts I insert TWO made up examples. Your task is to guess which two I made up. And, in case of more than one correct answer, there's a tie-breaker.
Because one of the most important things a writer can do is read and be inspired by books currently being published within the relevant genre, your task is to pick a book you admire and recommend in your writerly genre and say why it's so wonderful / paradigmatic / inspirational for you. Your answer should begin:
I recommend writers of ... [YA / literary fiction / crime / whatever]... to read ............ by ............... because ...[no more than 15 words here](Secret: we won't actually need a tie-breaker because I predict that no-one will get the answer. Thing is, a whole load of wrong answers is going to be very amusing for me but teach us nothing. Whereas, you writers all sharing your knowledge and love of books will be useful all round. Sneaky? Me?)
Here are the extracts. So, which did I make up? Should be so simple .... Just give the two numbers and your tie-breaker in the comments box below.
- I feel, that to only send some some sample chapters, for which you ask for in your guidelines would not truthfully convey the full impact of my work.
- My story is aimed at children of all ages, including adults.
- Dear Ms [name redacted] or Sir or Madam,
- I recommend that you also try to sell Animation Film Rights as I feel that my story has real potential in that area. I am happy to offer these rights to you for your use, subject to an agreement between us, which I am confident will be forthcoming.
- I have put my properties in approximate order of commerciality, I hope this is as convenient as your stated preference
- I know you ask for a synopsis but I've found that such a thing rather defeats the purpose of sending sample chapters and tends to be an unwelcome exercise for all concerned.
- I have a Dream, it's different than others.
- I'm Irish.
- I would appreciate you take on my work by criticising the structure.
- It's an "Idea," Weather you belief or not.
- I have had interest in my stories from professionals in the Literary World.
- The children's market is as much writing for adults as it is for children and I believe my writing satisfies both.
- A little about me: I believe that coolness is emotional constipation.
- I feel with a little investment by an agent could really have an impact on the Children's writing world.
- (sorry, can't include this one - just too ridiculous ... please ignore number 15. There is no number 15. Honestly. My health is at stake here. I have gone quite mad. It gets worse ...)
- All pages are included but will probably need some alterations for the Publishing stage. This will be your prerogrative to advise.
- It is with great pleasure I include my synopsis's below as a small portion of the many manuscripts I have written.
- I have printed a copy of the book, complete with 289 illustrations, from my Toshiba Satellite with Windows Vista with an Hewlett Packard all-in-one printer (jpeg prints).
- I have not enclosed any synopsis but I will say that my work does not include any monsters or magic or cruel adults, unlike all the other children's books you see nowadays.
- My writing activates pure imagination and fun and I have tested them on some children and they have really loved them. A few adults have too.
- Here is my first synopsis'.
- (And here is one of the synopses:) The Extremely Envious Elf: Ernie is an Elf. Even though he has lots of possessions, he's always envious of everyone. One day, he meets a Pixie, (Percy) who is crying and Ernie learns that actually he's a very lucky Elf and he stops being envious. This is, I feel, a lesson which children do need to learn these days. Also, I have chosen names for the characters which will help children learn the sounds of letters, thus helping them improve their reading. For example, Envious Ernie and Percy the Pixie. There are others.
- Many professionals have called my stories "quite delightful" and "show lots of potential".
- If you don't agree, no problem!
- I also have another style of writing entirely and I would be happy to show it to you if you don't like it.
And now, I need something stronger than coffee.