An open letter to Oscar Whitfield

Posted on 05/26/2009

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Dear Mr. Whitfield,

It has come to the collective attention that you are spam-querying agents pretty much every day.

As another writer, trying to get an agent, I applaud your tenacity, but frown upon your methods. By doing this you are not “changing the publishing industry” or “forcing your way in”.  You are, in effect, ruining all the other writers’ chances. Well, perhaps “ruin” is too strong a word.  You are hindering our chances at getting an agent, so instead of making it easier for agents to read our work (those of us who try hard to follow the rules and write compelling query letters) you are making it significantly more difficult.  If changing the industry is your motive, I implore you change your methods. You are changing it, to the detriment of others you are trying to help.

By continuing to requery over and over again, you are wasting the agents’ time and aggravating them to such a degree that they do not have adequate time to spend with other writers.  And when they do, they are so disgruntled by your spamming, they potentially become upset with all queries. This is selfish and detrimental to us all, and I urge you cease and desist.

If your query has been denied by so many agents, (and if you think they are going to change their minds, you are incorrect) perhaps you should revise the query using a good writers’ group, or posting it online at the sites that offer help with query letters.  This would be a much more productive use of your time and would not only help you, but other writers who can learn by helping you with their suggestions on ways to improve it.

In the spirit of openness and camaraderie, if you would like, feel free to contact me, and I would be willing to read and critique your query and offer up some suggestions. I am no master of the craft or anything like that, but often, others can see things you cannot.

So I beseech you, Mr. Whitfield, cease this lost cause. You are obviously a man who finds a purpose and fights for it with all his might. I just think you’re barking up the wrong tree in this regard and need to redefine your quest to a better spend of your time.

Thank you,

Jason A. Myers

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