Dear [agent's name]
MY NAME IS [author's name removed].
This is NOT a form letter. Your reply is rather generic and offers no insight as to what you want. Unless you had ESP there is now way to know what my material is about.
IF you judge talent on a one page query letter I'm sure you have MISSED a lot in life, especially up and coming writers who need a damn break. [La Gringa notes here: this particular agent asks for a writing sample in addition to a query, something this writer had failed to provide.]
If Spielberg, Poe, or another great came to you would you blow them off too? Without knowing what geniuses they are? IF SO; I'm surprised there are any writers at all with your agency. Are they related to you?
I get the feeling you don't know talent when it stares you in the face or emails a one page query letter. If you base all your judgements on a one minute note, you are either psychic or don't have a clue that there is much more to this world than your office or small stable of writers who somehow bribed cajoled or kissed someone's ass to get there.
I'm not willing to cajole, I haven't the money to bribe, but I certainly kissed a lot of ass in the [xxxxxx] business for over 40 years but ran my OWN label and Production Company to cut out the non believing assholes.
Here's what you missed by overlooking my talent. IF you take the time to read this list you will see that I am not just another idiot looking for a deal.
The letter continues on in this vein for approximately fourteen more paragraphs, whereupon the writer lists every single (unsold) project that s/he ever wrote. Then, it continues (the all-caps, by the way, are the writer's.):
WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO MAKE A PERSONAL MARK ON THE LITERARY WORLD OR MUSIC INDUSTRY?Those among you who are writers may wonder why it is that many agents these days choose only to reply to those queries in which they are actually interested. The above letter would be that reason.
Can you write, paint, play an instrument, or compose music? If not, is that why you became an agent? If not, how can you judge another person's work if you don't have the talent to do it yourself? Is that the power derived from being a watcher and not a doer, a tight hand on the purse strings? IF you have written a thing I will look it up and read it so I know where your talent lies. I'm looking for a brave, fresh, innovative visionary who can actually realize the money to be made form a talented script such as myself. Seen a film lately? Hollywood is boring audiences to death with remake after remake. Play it safe, represent the same old BS.
If you get a rejection, don't blow your top, lose your temper or otherwise behave like an asshole. Remember: A rejection isn't a value judgement on you or your work. It is simply an agent telling you that your particular manuscript wasn't right for that particular agent. Period. End of story. Accept it gracefully and move on.