A Gent's Outlook

A Literary Agent Divulges the TRUTH about Publishing

Sunday, March 05, 2006

English Teachers Can't Write Books

I may have posted this before, but I can't remember. It's been a helluva week. Marley's pissed again--what's new?--but better English teachers suffer than I. Heeeeeere she is...

Jesus fucking Christ, people! Are all English teachers insane? I just got another goddamn letter from some crazy bitch who teaches kiddies all day and wants to change the world, mainly so she can get rich and be adored. Do our schools really allow these psychos in our classrooms? And she argued with me! She e-mails me one of these foo-foo letters about how she wrote this middle-grade fantasy (Holy Christ, it is ALWAYS middle-grade fucking fantasy!) because her students needed something besides the schlock being published to read. And, of course, they just LOVED hers!

Oh, where do I begin?

First of all, never include this bullshit in your query about who loves your book. My first thought is this: So, if they love it so goddamn much, have them represent it. Or pay to have it published and distributed. Next, asking your friends, colleagues, loved ones, students, employees, etc., to comment on your crap is like asking them for a loan—bad idea! You are the big person in the classroom, and there is the chance that the little persons might lie to get on your good side…do you think? How do you feel about the kid who says your shit sucks? Don’t you just want to smack him, just a little? I would. I would flunk the little bastard, and I’d tell the principal he tried to hump my leg during a lecture on Shakespeare, too. How about that? That ought to get him expelled. The difference between me and you, crazy English teachers, is that I know not to trust myself, so I don’t put myself in that situation. But you do, don’t you?

Finally, if I ever found out that some dimbulb teacher was using my kid during class (not to mention using school resources to query agents during school time) to get free critiques on her work and pump up her ego (while claiming it is good for the kiddies to participate in creating something that might get published—yeah, right), I would threaten to strip naked in front of the school board until that teacher got FIRED. I have stripped naked before, and I would do it again in a heartbeat, bi-atch. How would you feel if Junior came home and told you that some dippy-do teacher used his ideas to get published? I would want a piece of the action, or a piece of Junior’s teacher’s head—one of the two.

So, crazy fuckin’ English teachers, especially those who argue with agents, sure, there are middle-grade fantasies of 10,000 words or less. Sure, yeah, right. Whatever you say. You are the teacher, and I am just the fucking literary agent. So go fuck yourself and don’t write me again. Or the clothes come off and the school board will get the thrill of a lifetime.

Fuck you,


  • At 6:57 AM, Blogger WagerWitch said…

    I have no clue who you are - or where you work...


    I can say this with utter aplomb:

    (it sounded good, sue me)

    You're freaking funny.

    I'll be back to read more.

    Lady M

  • At 7:59 PM, Blogger Victoria said…

    Marly is my hero. I wish I could sic her on my current English teacher.

  • At 8:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Love you.

    Wanna marry me?

  • At 3:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    As a college English teacher, I can attest to the fact that not only can English teachers not write books, they can't even teach English. Not all of them, of course, but I get enough students at the fancypants university where I teach who can't write a straightforward, intelligible sentence, let alone sustain a cogent argument over several pages.

    And what the hell is "middle grade fantasy"? It sounds as though it involves masturbating while thinking about Susie Miller. At least, that's what MY middle grade fantasies always led to.....


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