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Cutthroat Compounds

Scarecrow and pickpocket are compound words that name things and people by describing what they do. Such nouns were especially popular centuries ago, when quake-breech meant a coward, a saddle-goose was a fool, a scrape-gut was a violinist, and...

The Writing is Final

Another cocksure query letter received by the book agent at SlushPile Hell includes the line: “The writing is final, and I do not want it changed.” Okay, then. This is part of a complete episode.

Dog Wrote a Book

Another overly optimistic query to the book agent at SlushPile Hell reads in part: “My dog has written a book on how to be a success.” This is part of a complete episode.

SlushPile Hell Blog

Ever thought about getting that novel published? Apparently, others have too, and some of their queries are less than persuasive for the admittedly grumpy literary agent who writes the blog SlushPile Hell. He posts some of the more colorful queries...

Pithy Response from Slushpile Hell

The grumpy agent who writes the blog SlushPile Hell received a submission stating, “I have attached a copy of a letter I recently sent to Oprah about my book. She ends her show in September 2011, which leaves little time to select an agent...

sliding

sliding  n.— «Beavers and other investigators are also on the lookout for a practice known as sliding, where an agent sells coverages or add-ons to clients without their knowledge.» —“Officials Looking to Catch Few Bad Apples Among...