Dear Person I’ve Admired for Years and Years and Years,
My book is an accumulation of pain, broken relationships, heartache, and things I’d rather not talk about, but I cannot write poems about bunnies any longer. I couldn’t think of what else to do with this manuscript, so I mailed it to you. If I got published, maybe I could move out of my parents’ basement.
I have been published in three journals you’ve never heard of, and one—my best publication—that you might have heard of in grad school. I would be pathetically grateful if you took my manuscript, and thus would agree to all edits, even the ones that go strictly against what my novel is about. You have my word that I will only complain about it in quiet bars where no one knows how to read.
Here are the five books I read over and over while writing my book. I have them memorized. I stalk three of the authors on Facebook, and the fourth and fifth authors died in the last century by their own hand. I hope to avoid their fate.
Yours very sincerely,