The place where submissions go to die.

I received a nice email today, harking back to when I was sending ‘Bringing home the stars’ to agents. It was around eight months ago, and as is inevitable some of the agents never got back to me, despite a prepaid envelope being enclosed. It’s one of those things that writers just accept happens in the publishing world.

It seems that one of the agents whose address was on a list online just doesn’t exist. I suppose it is the natural cycle of any business world that companies come and go, and agents are no exception. The email, however, enlightened what is happening with all those manuscripts that are being sent to one agent’s address in London. It’s a shame that so many struggling new writers are sending hopeful submissions, never to know that it never reached the recipiant, let alone got read and considered. Such is life. The email, because it was interesting to get closure for that one submission’s fate:

Dear Jennifer

I have some rather strange news for you. Quite some time ago now you sent your manuscript Bringing Home the Stars to an agency called Walker Associates. Well, I’m afraid to tell you there is no Walker Associates. Their address is just a townhouse in Camden Town divided into flats. Soon after I moved in here I noticed these large envelopes accumulating in the communal hallway which, every so often, someone would throw out. I became intrigued and began ‘rescuing’ what proved to be literary manuscripts. I didn’t want to just leave them as I’m a(n amateur) writer myself and I know about the mixture of hope and trepidation involved in sending off your work. Presumably Michael Walker was running an agency out of one of the flats, or purporting to, but I’ve been living here since the end of 2006 so he hasn’t been here for at least three years. The word ‘associates’ was a misleading one at any event. I took the liberty of reading your submission – I thought you really succeeded in creating something suspenseful and dark. The thing now is that I’m soon to be married, so naturally I’ll be moving out, and any new manuscripts that arrive will probably go unopened. Could I ask you to contact whoever gave you the address and let them know that Walker Associates is no longer operating?

Thank you, and with apologies,