I Can't Let It Go

I've tried. I might be shooting myself in the foot or the ass or some other vital body part, but I do it knowingly.

I can't let it go.

One of the most uncomfortable things I've ever witnessed is going down on Twitter today.

I love the Twitter community. I love the support, the laughs, the tweets that have turned into emails that have turned into phone calls, cupcake dates and friendships. I love the way writers rush to console and celebrate with one another. Love it.

What hurts me personally is when one person, a person with power and influence and an audience, decides that the public humiliation of one individual is what's on the schedule for today.

I'm not naming names or posting links or pointing fingers. I won't do it, don't ask me. All I'm doing is asking this question:

What defines bullying?

The Young Adult author community came together recently over the death of Phoebe Prince. Carrie Jones and Megan Kelley Hall formed a Facebook group and are working hard with other writers to grow awareness and support.

Phoebe was harassed and targeted at her high school, and one day she walked home from school and straight into a noose.

Because things were bad. Because people made fun of her. Because she didn't feel like there was another option.

Say you interview for a job at the Sardine Factory and you don't get it. Instead of a polite "Thank You For Your Time" note you send the interviewer a "You're a Stupid Douchebag" note.

This isn't wise, is it?

But obviously, you're not in a completely "right" state of mind or you wouldn't have sent that note in the first place, would you? Maybe you're anti-social, or maybe your mama didn't raise you right. Maybe you were just sad and you made a poor choice. I've done that.

But is it a better choice for the Sardine Factory president to post the "You're a Stupid Douche Bag" note on the company web site's homepage? Or to encourage employees to write ugly limericks about you on the bathroom walls?

Is it a better choice for that interviewer to tell everyone else in the sardine business that you aren't fit for marketing and sales or packing and shipping?

Sardine business people are pretty smart. They can figure these things out for themselves. And if not, maybe the company prez can mention it to them in an anecdotal type way at the yearly Sardine Convention.

Over Pina Coladas.


Because maybe working at a the Sardine Factory is your lifelong dream. Maybe you've sacrificed everything - free time, relationships, sanity - to make it come true. And now, because of one bonehead move, you've been publicly crucified.

How do you feel? Are you shamed? Yes. Have you learned your lesson? Maybe.

Is your heart in a better state than it was when you sent the original Stupid Douche Bag letter?


I grieve for the person that is taking a beating on Twitter today. I've made NUMEROUS bonehead moves in my life (and y'all, this post might be one of them). I've had people who've shown me grace and people who haven't. I've been forgiven and screwed up again. I'll screw up several more times before it's all over with, probably at least three more times today.

I learned the most from the people who forgave me. Receiving grace from others teaches me how to give grace to myself. When you can give yourself room - to grow or change or get out of a situation - when you have others around you to gently point you in the right direction - a noose ceases to be an option.

Just think about what bullying means.

And don't do it.


  1. Eeeeek!! I did not witness this so I have no idea who you are talking about (and no I'm not going to ask because I know you are too nice to say). I think people need to think before they speak basically. ESPECIALLY if you are in the public eye or even if you are a professional. As a nurse, I cannot say even HALF the things I sometimes want to say when people are treating me badly because I have a professional image to uphold. This is the same for any profession. And twitter bashing is just NOT professional. Not even that, it's just not nice. My mum always used to say to me "if you've got nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all" and you know what....mum is ALWAYS right...this is a universal truth!

  2. I admit I agree with you, as someone who has been bullied (i am still recovering from adolescence at age 37). I've seen what you are referring to, and even understand why and how it began, but there is a fine line between humor and harassment. Whether or not someone walks right into the wall on purpose does not always make it okay to laugh. You are a brave woman :) Unfortunately, I doubt the one you are defending would bother to say thank you, so I will :)
    (ps-congrats on book!...I'm looking you up on YAlitchat too)

  3. This is most definitely not a bad post. I saw your tweets, but I'm not sure who said what to start it. I think you're right.

  4. I'm with you, Myra. Obviously that guy's response was extremely rude and unprofessional, but I was really surprised at the, um, public nature of the reaction (was publishing his name really necessary? THAT's the crux of it for me) and the gleeful mockery that ensued. He did something mean and stupid, but he's still a human being and I don't like to see dogpiles like this. I think it reflects poorly on both people involved.

  5. Thank you, Myra. I heard rumors about what was going down today, but only got to really investigate it in the last half hour. I'm getting so upset I feel sick. You totally mirrored my first impulse -- that the timing couldn't be more ironic. Just days after the industry bands together to form a coalition against bullying, it proves even as adults we haven't outgrown it. The victim being a clueless jerk isn't an excuse. We don't know his situation. This is not okay, in junior high or outside of it, and I am disappointed in everyone who participated.

  6. ♥ You're awesome, and you couldn't be more right. The girls who bullied Phoebe Prince thought she did something wrong too- so they bullied her to death. Somebody doing bad to you isn't a license to do worse back. An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind.

  7. I don't think you should regret this post at all. You are graceful, professional, and honest.


  8. Thank you all so much for your comments. Posting this was terrifying.

    I will say that if you do comment below this, please do not name names or link to anything. If you do I will delete your comment.

    I'm not about shaming someone, I'm about asking people to think before they do things.

  9. I totally, 100% agree. A line has been crossed and it's not cool.

  10. I blogged too, and linked to you. Am also experiencing whistleblower fear, but it needs to be said.


    thanks again, Myra, for your post.

  11. Thank you, Myra. The unprofessional actions of a few have made me heartsick over this entire episode. I commend your bravery for posting this. Thank you.

  12. Wow. I'm on twitter, but don't spend much time actually tweeting or reading tweets.

    How terrifying to know that what happens with kids, is happening with adults as well.

    And thank goodness twitter wasn't around when I was in my early twenties...

  13. Well said, Myra. We've all made mistakes, had stupid moments. I agree if they feel the need to discuss it in private, then do so as professionals.

    I'm sure you were quaking in your boots to hit Publish Post. I applaud you for speaking up.

  14. I am proud to know you and call you a friend (Twitter friend as it were). You are an excellent example in so many ways.
    You rock!

  15. I know what you're talking about and I agree with you. I'm guilty of leaving a comment on a certain blog, but I didn't join in on Twitter. To be honest, I didn't realize it had spiraled so out of control - was off of Twitter most of the day today.

    Thanks for standing up against the elements. It's not easy to do, especially in our small community. Hugs to you, my friend - I'm proud to know you. ;-)

  16. Outstanding use of your voice as a writer and the platform you have here. Bullies must not be tolerated. I'm still so sad about what happened to that beautiful young girl and so many others. Thanks for speaking out.

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  18. I just wanted to say I really appreciate you standing up for your thoughts and feelings on this. I know that couldn't have been easy.

    I had a different reaction to the situation than you did, but I was glad that you spoke up. :)

  19. Thank you for having the courage to speak out against this. <3

  20. THANK YOU! I've been sick over this since yesterday. It's irresponsible and immature. I have to wonder what the owner of this agency thinks about his employee acting in such a way. The owner of the company I work for wouldn't stand for his company name and the power that comes with it to be used in such a way.

    It's pathetic. And unfortunately, I have to be pathetic and post w/o my name as an editor with my ms is partaking in the fun today. Looks like I've been silenced as well as Mr. Roscoe.

  21. I salute your courage. I agree with every thing you said.

  22. I admire you so much for speaking out and not letting it go. I am agented, but I will admit that I did fear speaking out because of what might happen in the publishing industry. However, I just came off of teaching Night as well as researching the Holocaust for one of my WIPS. I've always thought of the people who used their voice and spoke out against the wrong, no matter the cost. I use this analogy with the kids often in correlation to bullying, and how they should speak up and out for those who are being treated unfairly.

    What truly sickened me beyond the orignal issue was how quick other jumped on the bandwagon. This mob mentality was truly frightening, and the fact they were willing to do this to a person they didn't even know who had done nothing to them. Those people really concern me.

    Anyway, I just wanted to tell you again how much I appreciate you having the balls to stand up for all of us who perhaps felt unable to do so ourselves out of fear of retaliation.

  23. I don't think I can articulate any better than the other commenters how I feel about this post. Thank you so much for taking the time to stand up and write this! I couldn't have said it better!

  24. I agree 100%. As an un-agented "wannabe" I have to say it terrifies me to speak up against one of the gatekeepers so I've been lame and kept quiet, but I'm glad you and Kirsten H and others have taken a stand.

    I'm sure this all comes down to a simple knee-jerk reaction (we all have them). But I can't help thinking about the individual on the other end of all this.

    I guess it's further proof that sometimes it's best to sleep on that blog post/ email before you hit publish/send. Also, proof that agents (who are just people after all) are indeed capable of the same poor judgment that querying writers sometimes use. Imagine that.

  25. Thank you, thank you, thank you for writing this. It takes a lot of guts to move against a tidal wave. I wish I had had your courage.

  26. I've only seen bits and pieces of this situation today. I was a bit horrified when an actual name was used. I completely agree with your post. Thank you for having the courage to post it.

  27. I have nothing fancy or eloquent to add to this, other than bullying is a stupid, stupid thing. Some people never that lesson, and we are all damaged as species because of them. Offering kindness and\or respect may be harder, but infinitely more rewarding.

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  29. So well-put, Myra, and I really can't say how much I admire you for putting this out there.

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  31. Thanks for writing this. I made a few tweets in response that what was going down wasn't at all cool, but I don't have the same audience. I love that you posted and can't agree more--bullying in any way, shape or form is unacceptable, and it should be ESPECIALLY true in our industry.

    To me, there is a huge line between posting an anonymous funny from your work life and encouraging public humiliation.


  32. It is a sad commentary on our society - please check out my post about the same thing


    So sad. Just so sad.

  33. Thank you for standing up for decency. Whatever motives were originally behind this whole thing, they aren't worth the negativity. It only makes things worse. I applaud you for taking this stand.

  34. You're my hero. I was fine with and, admittedly, liked the post. What followed made me sick to my stomach. XOXO

  35. I agree with you completely, Myra, and I admire you for having the courage to post this.

  36. I also didn't see this happen. From what you describe it sounds like the people doing the bullying didn't think about what they were tweeting and what they were throwing out to the universe.

    It's unfortunate that bullying is pervasive and there doesn't seem to be an 'age' or an event where it stops.

    I like your sentiments and I've just followed you on Twitter.

  37. I'm sorry, and you're right. I RTed one and now I wish I didn't.

  38. Like you I absolutely love the supportive community I've found on Twitter. I'm apalled to hear that someone there is bullying others. Bullying is a terrible, devestating thing. Power to all who stand against it!

  39. I missed the drama on Twitter, but I've seen the sort of thing you're talking about on several occasions. Yes, people can say stupid, thoughtless things, but I have to believe this doesn't necessarily mean it's a stupid, thoughtless person saying them. I've woken up more than once and thought, "holy crap, what did I say?" and have been happy my words weren't recorded and used against me. I can only hope that whoever the victim is in this case is able to bounce back from the public lynching.

    Thanks for your brave words.


  40. I may know what you are talking about. And I may have posted on said blog that I do believe this is about. However, I did not join in this twitter fiasco that went down.

    I may have retaliated with what the person said by saying narcissistic, but I only said that and did not do what others have done.

    I just wanted to make that clear in that regard since I have been bullied before, and I know how much being bullied can hurt. I wasn't truly sure of what you were talking about until I read some of the comments and came to the conclusion that it is indeed what I've been seeing earlier today.

    It may have not been meant as bullying, but it came across as that. Furthermore, it probably should not have gone this far. I'm surprised that it actually has.

    With that said, I have nothing more to say about this. The targeted person should have thought about it and either walked away from the computer to cool off or apologize for what (s)he said. It was wrong in both parties and neither should have done what they did.

    I just hope a lot more people will think before they post, email, or whatever.

  41. I was completely shocked at how this 'professional' reacted.

    yes there are some bad seeds out there, but the matter should have been dealt with more professionally.

    and It sickens me.

    the comments, and the tweets.

    it truly sickens me.

  42. I'll add my thanks for summing this up so well. I watched all of this go down and simply refrained from commenting. I felt deeply uncomfortable about all of it. You precisely put your finger on why.

  43. Also, I would like to add that this would be called "trolling" over the internet. It's a type of bullying where people make fun of said person by either doing what was done on twitter or by other means.

    It can be considered stronger than flaming. I've seen this done before on a forum with someone, and it became a huge mess.

  44. This is a very insightful post. But I don't quite agree. I don't agree with the backlash as well - I think it should have ended in the blog and not gone to Twitter - but I don't blame the person who started the backlash. The guy had it coming.

    Make no mistake, the dude is a bully as well. You can actually tell from the way he replied - TWICE, his manner of trying to put down the agent and making her feel less than herself because she didn't accept his manuscript.

    This is simply a case of a bully getting bullied, and I'm not going to shed a tear for this guy. No way. I was bullied at school. Phoebe was bullied. The difference btw our cases and this dude's is we most definitely didn't do anything. It was maybe a case of being at the wrong place at the right time. This guy on the other hand? Come on, don't make this into something it isn't. Don't create sympathy for him.

    Again, I think the backlash went a little too far, but I think the guy deserved to be told off.

  45. I appreciate that you posted this, Myra. Excellent points, and I totally agree. Thanks for being so brave!

  46. I agree with you 110%.

    This should never have happened. Not from someone who is a role model in the writing industry. Very unprofessional.

    I think most un-agented/un-pubbed writers are too scared to stand up and say anything for fear of ruining their writing careers.

    I'm glad you took the liberty to speak your mind. :)

  47. I saw only a re-tweet of the original and read the post you are referring to. I couldn't believe an adult would post something of that nature either.

  48. I agree totally. Posting the stupid note would have been okay... without the name attached to it. Posting the name of the person, along with the Twitter thing was just absurd. What's funny is that the guy called this person unprofessional in response to a perfectly professional e-mail, and the person turned around and responded unprofessionally.

  49. I have to say, you're brave. I really admire you and this post, hopefully, will make others think about what they say/do.

  50. Myra, props to you. I'm so relieved to see that I am not the only one who felt extremely uncomfortable with the Twitter mockery. The blog post didn't seem that bad, but when it went viral the way it did? Gross.

  51. This is beautifully said. Thank you.

    The Twitter Firestorm effect when a meme catches on can be really alarming. It happens so very swiftly. And the giddy high people seem to get from the adrenaline of mingled anger, indignation, and self-righteousness is, I suspect, crazy-addicting.

  52. Lots of love comin' your way from MI right now. You feel it?

    Also, I disagree with the commenter who said this post is creating sympathy. Totally not the case. The guy in question was wrong to respond the way he did, 100%, but part of being professional is not sinking to an unprofessional's level. IMHO

  53. Agree, agree, agree. This is an example of unprofessionalism at its ugliest.

  54. I also completely agree with you! I hate bullying, it's such a horrible disgusting thing to do. I'm glad you posted this! You are awesome!

  55. This kind of behavior is called "mobbing."

    See: What is Mobbing

    Also: the workplace version of mobbing:


    She should have redacted the name; not only because of privacy rights but because she does not know who else has that name, or that the person was entitled to use that name. Remember, on the Internet, identity is liquid.

    The Twitter stuff is not acceptable at all.

    I'm not amused.

    And -- to those who might wonder -- I don't have a dog in this fight; I'm not a writer of fiction.

  56. Lisa, thank you for those links. VERY enlightening!

  57. Myra, I know what you're talking about. And you are right.

  58. You have a terrific heart and it shows in every word you wrote. Proud to be associated with you.

  59. We have a saying in our house.

    "Being nice is so easy."

    You rock for this post, Myra.

  60. Frankly, I'm more upset at the sheer number of people cheerleading her efforts. Either they actually agree with what she's doing or they're sucking up in the mistaken belief that their odds of representation will increase by being on her side.

    Both are pathetic.

    I wish I can say I'm surprised at this agent's actions, but I've seen enough from her to know better.

    Not on my query list. Never has been.

    Great post.

  61. I agree wholeheartedly with what you said in your post and do think it was very brave of you to do so. I've seen this type of behaviour on the internet many times before this particular instance, engaged in by many different people, and find it disturbing. However, I almost wish you had disabled comments on this one. Because the mob-like piling on over here seems a bit hypocritical, all things considered.

    At what point does a so-called bully become the bullied? And at what point does a mob have a responsibility to refrain from comment and further escalation, to stop the pendulum of condemnation and ridicule from swinging back the other way?

    I'm not defending what happened. Far from it. Just asking everyone to hold themselves to the same standard they would impose on others.

  62. Well, as for the bully being the bullied...I can only equate that to an expression my Grammy has. "Wrong's wrong and right's right, and the truth will stand when the world's on fire."

  63. Agree 100%. Everyone deserves to blow off a little steam but engaging a steamroller is a bit much. It puts the agent on the same level as the writer.

  64. Good post Myra. I knew exactly what you were talking about in your first tweet today and admittedly hung my head in shame. I did not enter into this mornings poetry, but did comment once to agent in question last night. At the time I didn't see it as bullying but when it snowballed this morning I realized I had a part in it no matter how small. Not a proud moment for me.

  65. I'm loving y'all and your comments. I'm so glad that everyone is being respectful and leaving names out of it.

    I'm going to have to do a follow up post, because as hard as I might wish for it, Blogger doesn't have threaded comments and I can't figure out the third party thing.

    I learned today to not be afraid to speak up, even if it makes you sweaty. Everyone has a right to an opinion, so thanks for sharing yours. :)

  66. I'm sorry I backed you via DM instead of in public today. Next time I'll have the cajones to do what's right, after seeing you and Kirsten in action today. :hug:

  67. You're one classy lady (and writer)! Great post!

  68. CHEERS. I was thinking the same exact thing when I realized what was going on.

    *stands, applauses*

  69. Thanks for writing this post. It's very well said.

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  71. Thanks for being one of the few brave enough to stand up to this person's unprofessional, obnoxious, and childish behavior. No one has the right to be publicly humiliated, writer or not.

  72. (Oh, and I wish Blogger had threaded comments, too. I haven't been able to find any plugins that work well enough to do it. Feh!)

  73. I said it on Twitter today, and I'd like to say it again. Because you are so right. I felt uncomfortable and shocked at the unprofessional behavior from everyone involved on Twitter - a place I've felt comfortable.

    Nice. Thanks for speaking up. This is the second time a post of yours has made me tear up.

  74. I saw the blog yesterday and tweets this morning, but didn't make the connection between the two...

    Thank you for posting this. As someone also trying to walk a fine line, I've been nervous about posting my thoughts.

  75. Ok, so I had no clue what this was in reference to when I read it the first time but I agreed with your points nonetheless. This kind of stuff is not ok. Bullying is not ok.

    Then it struck me and I realised, I had to double check, but I suddenly knew what this was about. It was right in front of my eyes all the time. Hidden a little out of sight, but blindly obvious if I paid attention. Sometimes I'm decidedly slow.

    Either way I look at this, what went on was inappropriate. I'm sure people said things they regret now (we all do sometimes, we're all human) but in all honesty a lot of those things shouldn't have been said at all in the first place. One of the remarkable things about this writerly community (the thing that struck me the most when I happened upon it) was the support, professionalism and the general awesomness overflowing from every angle. I've got to say, this kind of detracted from it for a while.

    Thanks for this post. I agree totally with it and now let us hope that we can all move past it.

    p.s. As an unpublished writer this has scared me half to death. It doesn't matter how many people say that we're not at the bottom - when you're looking for representation you FEEL like you're at the lowest rung on the ladder. Hierarchy is all about how you feel, and unpublished writers are vulnerable.

    I understand that whatever happened may have been deserved in some people's opinions but this was somebody's work here. I sort of hoped people could respect that and take the higher ground when necessary - even if that meant having to suck it up occasionally.

    Anyhow, thank you for speaking out Myra.

  76. Myra Babe... You are the woman. I didn't see the post but saw the tweets and thought... What on earth?

    It's never okay to send nasty emails... and it's never okay to retaliate. End of story.


  77. I have to agree. I saw the original post and felt a bit squiffy about that, but the twitter fest afterward made me writhe.

    I would hate to think that one moment's idiocy could end up with being publicly humiliated on such a scale. It's oh so very easy to put your foot in it, and oh so very difficult to take it back.

    One thing that also concerned me in all this was the agents safety. She's someone I've really enjoyed following on twitter and as a blog follower, and I'm worried for her sake too.

    This guy was clearly in a heck of a state when he wrote. Who knows what state he's in now? What's more, agency addresses are not exactly difficult to find. It seems an awfully risky thing to do for your own personal safety, to me.

    Putting aside professionalism and all the rest, this is just a dangerous situation for everyone involved. Don't you think?

  78. Well handled. Professional, graceful, and well written.

  79. Retaliating against him is getting a restraining order. Blocking his e-mail address. Informing colleagues that So and So is threatening.

    Posting his e-mails and encouraging people to mock him for two days running isn't retaliation. That's calling out the posse so everybody can go beat on the guy for you. That's inciting a mob.

    What he did was wrong. What you did was also wrong.

  80. So perfectly said. I applaud your honesty. I love the analogy, Myra, sure puts things in perspective. If you wouldn't do it in the business world, why would you do it anywhere else?

  81. Do none of you realize that what you're doing on this comments thread is - ironically - exactly what you're all accusing this agent of doing? It's hypocritical at the very least and mob mentality at best.

    I'm a writer, I query and I get rejections. A lot of rejections. But I do not send scathing letters to agents who reject me. If I did, I suppose that I'd deserve whatever was thrown at me, because at that point, I would no longer be playing by the unspoken rules of our profession.

    Was the Twitter thing silly? Sure. Was it unnecessary? Probably. Was it bullying? Hell, no.

    Think about how you would have reacted if it had been you on the receiving end of those emails. And then think about what it might be like to get those kinds of vicious emails every single day as a regular part of your work.

    You may not want to accept it, but we writers can certainly be an entitled bunch of jackasses at times. And when we are, we deserve to be called to account for it.

  82. I thought about exactly that before commenting, Sean. The reason I went ahead and commented was because of one big difference. Myra, and no one else here except the agent herself, used a name.

    I don't believe this post was intended as an attack against the agent, if it was, I'd be protesting that too. I think it was meant as a way of spotlighting a type of behavior that's dangerous. Also, no one here is suggesting anyone start up a twitter war against the agent in question. It's very different.

    Personally, I can understand and sympathize with both the original parties in this, but I don't think either one of them was right. I do think that one had a very much larger voice than the other, though.

    I also think that we all have a responsibility to say when we think something is out of line.

  83. Stupid gets what stupid does. While the whole Twitter ****fest was a bit over the top perhaps, this person really had it coming to him. And I say that as a former victim of bullying (9 years, but I luckily never got to the point Phoebe did. I wish I could have been there to talk to her).

    What got me the most about the writer's childish and insulting response to a perfectly kind, to-the-point, professional rejection e-mail, was how SEXIST it was. A clear exercise in what is known as "Master Suppression Techniques". His choice of words clearly indicated that he thought himself superior to the agent because of their respective gender. To domineer and belittle by correlating gender with competence, intellectual abilities and aptitude for a certain profession is Medieval and something we should have abolished from our society a long time ago.

    If you have to resort to gender bashing to get your opinions and ideas across, you have already failed. He had it coming for him. He could have been the professional he should have been (and he has already been published, mind you. This was not some newbie failing his first attempt to fly), but instead he chose to bring it to the playground in a manner that should upset every woman who believe men and women deserve the same respect and opportunities.

  84. Thank you for posting this, Myra. You said everything I wanted to say, and far more gracefully than I did. :)

  85. Myra,
    I applaud you (which I know was not your intent) for posting this. It's hard to stand up for yourself against the cool kids -- and it seems that the majority of folks reveled in the latest Twitter debacle. The internet is so immediate, Twitter most of all, and sometimes we need to take a deep breath before we jump on the latest bandwagon. I try to take what I need and leave the rest.

    I shudder to think that something I sent or said to a business professional would one day end up on Twitter. Granted, I am mild-mannered (unless you mess with one of my kids) but still.

  86. I agree with everything you said here, Myra. Classy post from a classy lady.

  87. Myra,

    Well said. And I applaud you for having the courage to say it. I saw this this morning, and was extremely uncomfortable watching how it progressed.

    Giving an example of how not to query or react to a rejection is fine, and even necessary -- but naming names, and inviting public ridicule? -- not remotely okay. It's cruel, and it made everyone involved look bad.

  88. Well said, Myra. This behavior is disproportionate, it's bullying, and it's way way way out of line. As for those Master Suppression Techniques, they're NOTHING compared to the agent's misuse of her position. NOTHING.

  89. I agree with you wholeheartedly. I'm pretty speechless, to be honest, that there are people out there who would be so proactively willing to, yes, bash. This entire fiasco has seen multiple levels over the past few days and I don't think that there was one on which this has been acceptable.

    Thank you for the post, Myra. This needed to be said.

  90. Thank you for writing about this. I am in full agreement with you.

    You have my support.

  91. I agree - I don't really mind posting the letter, but the NAME? That poor man's career is ruined before it even began - and maybe he is a big *ss now, but ten years from now, who knows? People learn. That bugged me, but I felt sick too when I saw the *ahem* limericks. I'm unagented and am still forming my list of people to query, so I don't like saying anything to stir the pot or burn bridges (just as that man could learn, so could the agent - I'm an equal opportunity rehabilitater), but I'm glad people ARE speaking out. What he did was stupid, but what she did was just mean. :/ The whole situation stinks.

  92. Great post. I agree entirely. I find it hard to believe that a business professional could be so petty. It's business, you're an agent, and you're going to get a few jerks. What you shouldn't do is make a personal campaign to ruin the jerk's life. In this situation, you hold all the cards. The only reason to hurt them would be if you got some personal thrill out of it.

    I'm familiar with the agent in question. I submitted 2 manuscripts to her about three years ago. On one she asked for three chapters. I didn't hear back from her on either of them after that for over a year and a half.

    In the time since, I signed up with a different agent for one of the manuscripts, and got signed to a publisher. I was following the agent in question on twitter, and noticed she was burning through her inbox, tweeting the query count as she did, as she'd let the queries sit for so long. I got two rejections from her within three days - one saying she kept the first three chapters for so long because she was so invested in the story.

    But, from her twitter account, I knew this wasn't true. She had simply let her queries and correspondence build up, and was looking to clear them out all at once. I don't believe she had given my submissions the amount of thought that they deserved.

    Twitter and the internet have a lot of uses. Everyone should be careful with how we use them. Even agents, because the transparency allows us to see that some behavior is extremely reckless. From my query experience with the agent and this Twitter story, I think some people might want to avoid submitting to her.

  93. Agreed - this was an abuse of power, and an invitation to her sycophants to gang up together to bully somebody.

    It's also a TERRIBLE reflection on that agent's values and priorities.

    Then again, it was probably a helpful revelation to unagented writers - is that the kind of behavior you'd want to see from somebody representing YOUR work?

  94. Posting the letter was one thing. Adding the name was out of line and unprofessional. Orchestrating a Twitter campaign was just plain wrong.

  95. I don't tweet, and I have no idea what you are talking about. But I am glad you are speaking out.
    Some people do not how to disagree or state their opinion without putting people down or disgracing them. And that is disgraceful. People can be more diplomatic. Everyone has feelings.
    Yay, Myra, for speaking out!

  96. Thank you for posting this. I think both parties were in the wrong at the email level, but the twitter campaign was just sickening and over the top.

    From what I've heard on other agent blogs, stupid replies from rejected aspiring authors happen more often than they should. As a professional in the industry, I hope one would simply press the delete button and leave it at that.

    I applaud you, and all the other authors and agents (especially the agent from the same agency).

    You're very brave to post this. And I'm glad to see so many people supporting you.

  97. GREAT POST ... I love how you handle your angst, frustration and anger. You've done it with the utmost grace and class.

    I'm not fully aware of the situation you speak of since I'm not in the YA circle, but to out a person in such a public way is wrong on so many levels.

    Glad you have the courage to speak up and stand for what you believe. What a great example for your sons.

  98. Posting the text of the obnoxious person's email was, in my opinion, a good idea.

    Posting that person's name was not. If the person later chose to out themselves to defend their obnoxiousness, that would be a choice on their part, but doing it for them was just wrong.

  99. Thank you for speaking out. Your post was wonderful.

  100. What a way to stand up. I'm all too familiar with the bullying that can happen--in any situation--and I've joined that facebook group too. Not for me, but for someone I lost. No one deserves to be treated so badly they believe they have nowhere else to go.

    I know the situation you're talking about (on twitter) and it was inappropriate and unprofessional. Thanks for standing up and saying something. The world needs more Myras!

  101. This comment has been removed by the author.

  102. I agree. If the name were omitted, the initial correspondence could have been used as a lesson to teach and benefit other writers. Instead it was used as a rallying point to persecute and belittle the corresponder. This is bullying.

    Was the corresponder in the wrong? Yes. His letter was rude and uncalled for. Was his subsequent harassment wrong. Absolutely.

    And two wrongs never make a right.

  103. So, Sean, you think what the writer in this case did was wrong.

    I agree.

    But do you genuinely think that what the agent, who, after all, had every advantage in this situation, and nothing to gain from either posting the letter on her blog or creating a twitter campaign, was right? Do you honestly think that was the morally justified thing to do here? Do you believe that alerting the publishing community about this author's submission was more of a drive than personally punishing this man who personally insulted her?

  104. Well said. I know the incident you're talking about and completely agree with you.


  105. You all clearly have no idea what real bullying is

    Really? Seriously? This blows my mind. So mass public ridicule is... good clean fun? Are you saying there needs to be blood for it to be bullying?

  106. What's going on in this comment thread is NOT bullying. As far as I've read, none of the comments are trying to humiliate the agent.

    Showing support is not mob mentality.

    Showing support for the agent in the original issue is NOT bullying, but joining in on the writer-bashing IS.

  107. Thanks again for all the comments.

    Here's the follow up post:


  108. Definitely true. Some things should be handled with grace and dignity, not force. Tact and love.

    Bullying is never okay, even if it happens online.

  109. I don't know the specific instance you're referring to, but I agree with you. Thank you for your words.

  110. I agree fully. I think we've all been tempted as this agent was to respond that way, the difference is, we are adults and we don't. We take a deep breath, and then we take the high road. What good can possibly come from responding the way that she did? I wonder if she has any idea how damaging this may in fact be to her? I wonder how many authors who are represented by her may be inwardly cringing at the idea of editors seeing that and being turned off and potential new authors to this agent, who may have considered querying her, and now will instead cross her off the list?

  111. You all clearly have no idea what real bullying is

    No, actually, you don't. It's when the person you have the audacity to say "no" to creates a Website, with your name in the domain, simply to attack you.

    Here's the point where the complete lack of both professionalism and Internet savvy hit the wall:

    You posted the name of the writer *based on email contact*

    That's so stupid that it goes beyond incompetence. Did you even check the ISP? Did you Google and see if the prose style was typical of the name on the email?

    Did it occur to you that you, maybe, were dealing with someone who was non compos mentis (it happens on the 'net)?

    Yeah. I was pretty sure you didn't.

    News flash: By including the name on the email, and encouraging mobbing via Twitter? You are so close to violating 47 U.S.C. 223 that you'd need an attorney to examine all the case law.

    So no, really, I don't think you know much at all about bullying. And dear lord in heaven, I'm glad I'm not a writer.

  112. Siobhan -

    I've read that statute and according to the statute, the writer was actually guilty of being in violation by continuing to harass the agent via email.

    If the agent - or anyone, frankly - perceives something as a threat, it's the perception of that threat that matters. I could certainly see how one would perceive the emails from the writer as a threat. According to the law in some states and cities, it is the perceived threat that counts.

    I don't think the Twitter haiku thing was a smart idea but I do think that it's interesting and a bit disturbing how much everyone here has jumped in here to bash this agent.

    While Myra's initial post was perfectly appropriate - it is her own opinion, after all - the comment thread that follows has become it's own form of bully pulpit and I find it distasteful.

  113. Please go to my blog to see my entry about this matter:


  114. I felt the same way when the same person was involved in a similar controversy last year.

    If she worked for me, we'd have a talk about the public image of the company. I can only assume that since this continues to happen, her company approves of or even encourages it. After all, everyone is talking about them, yeah?

    We all have done things for which we deserve to have been crushed and humiliated publicly. That's the reason it's such bad karma to do it to someone else. That, and the fact that hurting other people, no matter who they are or what they've done, always does more damage than we realise.

    Just my 2 pence.


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