Out Of The Slush. . .

praying skeletonI’m about to recount a tale that meanders from Phelan to Phoenix, hippo to hope. You may find it informative; perhaps, even mildly entertaining. Is it worth the read? I don’t know.

Regardless, here it is.

This morning, a certain hippo–aka, Ms. Putputt–sent me a hot tip in the form of a private message posted on AbsoluteWrite. I’ve mentioned Putster before in this blog. She’s a writer currently living in England; multi-talented, very smart, incredibly sweet, witty, funny. . .

Did I mention multi-talented?


Anyhoo, Putputt is currently interning for an agent at The Bent Agency. This morning, the hippo informed me of a Beth Phalen post: they’re now accepting applications for a Generalist Intern jennybent.blogspot.com

Putputt thought I might be interested. Was I? I gave it some serious thought. They want a commitment of at least ten hours a week, so . . . Monday through Friday, two hours a day? I could probably do that. Question is, would I want to? Doubt started creeping in, almost immediately. What if I got the nod, my God, they’d expect me to wade through the slush, quickly discerning what’s good, bad, and ugly; expertly plucking, and chucking the rest.

Relying on what, though? Aside from whatever parameters they’d provide, and my own woefully unobjective subjectivity, what qualifications do I possess? I may not possess any, Ms. Phalen. Maybe I shouldn’t do it. Probably, I shouldn’t.

But I did; sent in my application, played by the rules. Sort of. They wanted a resume (it wasn’t required, but. . .). I didn’t provide one, although I did say I loved to write, and read. And I thoughtfully answered this question:

Why do you want this internship?

Curiosity, I replied. Practicality. I’d likely learn a shitload about the querying process, which would be great, considering I’m querying two novels right now, one of which recently netted me an uncommonly kind REJECTION from the amazing Ms. Bent.


Anyway, I answered that question, leaving out the profanity. Hopefully, Ms. Phelan will get the gist, which reminds me–in her post, she provided applicants with a list of authors they should have read. No, not ‘should have,’ what did she say?

This is an eclectic list, so obviously you don’t need to like everyone on it! But basically, you should like at least two of the following genres: humor, memoir, upmarket women’s fiction and literary suspense.

At least two? Well, CHERRY is literary suspense. As for the author list, I’ve read one Jodi Piccoult novel, but Erin Morgenstern? Tana French? Eleanor Brown? Jacqueline Sheehan? Who are these people? I like Stephen King and Lee Child and Chuck Palahniuk.


I don’t think I’ll make the short list for that intern position. Not sure if a NO would be disappointing, or a relief. I guess I’ll find out, if they inform folks who don’t make it. Either way, I’ll keep you guys posted.

There was one part of that application that got me thinking, though, and in a good way. Applicants were asked to list their 10 favorite books. I had fun coming up with my list and I’m curious to know what you guys–my beloved, ersatz readers–might have included. Here’s mine: THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME, THE STAND, THE PILLARS OF THE EARTH, INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE, HATCHET, LORD OF THE FLIES, BILLY STRAIGHT, CHOKE, A WRINKLE IN TIME, STONE CITY, and LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, LENNY BRUCE!

Eleven, but who’s counting? 🙂 After I hit ‘send’, and after a few back-and-forth emails with a certain amazingly talented writer friend of mine who lives in NYC–Mrs Fringe, I’ve mentioned her before on this blog, too–I realized I’d forgotten about some other great novels: THE CATCHER IN THE RYE, IN COLD BLOOD, TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, THE KITE RUNNER. . . which got me thinking about how many great novels are out there, and how many great writers have penned those great books, and how much I hope to one day be part of that amazing group, and how awesome it would be to see my name on some literary agency’s ‘Must Read’ list some day.

But first, I need some hapless, doubting, unpaid intern to take a chance, bravely pluck my query out of that roiling sea of desperation . . . kkellie, rising like a Phoenix out of the slush.


4 thoughts on “Out Of The Slush. . .

  1. Yaaay you applied! I didn’t send in a resume either. 🙂 I led with “I am applying for the position of Generalist Intern. I love many of the auhors mentioned in your list, especially Gillian Flynn and Tana French. I’m a Californian stuck in Oxford, England, where I spend my days being snubbed due to my uncouth American accent. The last ten books I have read, according to my Kindle, are: . . . ”
    Didn’t get the Generalist Intern position, perhaps because I closed with: “As you can see, my reading taste is, well, all over the place. I am a YA writer but YA comprises only about 20% of my reading. I have a Masters degree in Creative Writing from Oxford University, although I have yet to find a way of saying that without sounding completely obnoxious.”

    Bwur hur hur! I’m sure your application is much awesomer than that!!

    Good luck kk!


    • You are delightful, Putputt! Have I ever told you that? I know I have. So what!! As for my application–I fear it pales, compared to yours. Perhaps, compared to most. We shall see what transpires, shan’t we? But whatever happens, I thank you for the nudge. You have a way of pushing me out of my perpetual comfort zone, just hard enough to get me moving, not too hard to set me clamoring for the kitchen chair. You know how much I like it under there.


      xoxo kk


      • Oh, and I forgot to say…no, they don’t send you an e-mail if your application wasn’t picked. I knew mine wasn’t picked when they made an announcement on the blog saying they’ve picked a generalist intern. 😀 Hur hur! Wheeee! My advice is just to send it and then fuhgeddaboutit!


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