Monday, May 19, 2008

MISS SNARK...NOT JUST FOR NITWITS.. This was posted 12:17 AM May 20, 2008 New York Time.

The Target dog sends his best to KILLER YAP.

A tribute to Miss Snark on the Anniversary of her last post.
The first thing I thought of when I was asked to post a tribute to MISS SNARK'S BLOG on this the first anniversary of its demise was: DON’T BE A NITWIT.
And then. “Why didn’t I think of that?”
(Kind of like hearing about a really great premise about a man winning the LOTTERY… but I digress).
There are others who are more worthy to do this. Have just the perfect subtlety of prose or just the right humorous take on what this blog meant/means to us writers.
I only know I am proud TO HAVE BEEN A NITWIT.
Proud to incorporate WTF as a copyediting mark on my manuscripts.
Proud to know all about RABINTAINIA
Proud to have been clued in about CLUEGUN.
Proud to be able to use SERIAL SCRUBBERS in a complete sentence.
Proud to understand and converse in fluent “SNARKSPEAK.”
Back in 2004 I was a hapless neophyte in query-land. I can’t remember how I discovered Miss Snark’s blog -- I wish I could. I was a lurker for ages. Not brave enough to post until flush with the thrill of obtaining representation I emerged from my shell and became ORION. I needn’t have feared…unless of course if I WAS A NITWIT.
Time passes. She is gone now but certainly not forgotten. I took some time to go back and peruse the posts starting in March 2004 that started with just a photograph, then March 2005 with the first comment appropriately enough by anonymous and finally to May 20 2007 when it all ended. Her advice is as apt now as it was then.
Don’t be a Nitwit.
I repeat.
Courtesy of Stephen Parrish I have been given the following facts:
“According to SiteMeter, Miss Snark's blog has been visited some 300,000 times since her last post.
According to Technorati, almost 400 new bloggers have linked to Miss Snark during the past six months alone.
If you google "Miss Snark" you get 128,000 hits.
More and more blogging agents and writers are critiquing queries and opening lines for the benefit of the online writing community. Query letter advice seems to be converging along lines governed by a zeitgeist; the mark of the Snark is unmistakable.”
When I last checked the counter on Miss Snark’s Blog, it read over 2.8 MILLION hits. Like that suburban legend about exploding hamsters in the microwave or mules who kill cougars, the legend of Miss Snark lives on and on. Undeniable. Powerful.
So calling all commenters and Loyal Snark Fans. Let Miss Snark know her impact. Tell us if you have attained representation or sold your novel. Let us know how you found her and that she is missed.
She helped us to laugh at ourselves (and especially at other writers) and see the humor in the situation (especially at other writers). Helped us to realize that if we were going to be published it would take determination and the merging of a unique premise with solid writing (something other writers find difficult if not impossible to do).
I tried to explain all this to the guy on the next boat.
“I’m doing a tribute for an amazing person online.”
“For an obituary?”
“No, she’s still alive.”
“Who is it? Is she famous? Do I know her?”
“Her name is Miss Snark.”
*note: he was already on his 6th beer as it was 10 in the morning and we were in a boat harbor after all. He jumped up and pulled his feet out of the water because he thought I said “Shark”
“Miss who?”
“Miss Snark. She was an anonymous literary agent who gave great advice and rescued poor na├»ve writers from scamming predators.”
“You mean like a cross between Superman, Ann Landers and George Clooney’s future lover?”
“So what did she do that made her so special.”
“Well she called us Fuckwits when we were bad, Snarklings when we were good and we all fell over ourselves to submit to her Crapometers.”
“Oh,” he said. And then opened another beer.
I guess you had to be there…


Nathan Bransford said...

When I first wrote to Miss Snark after I started my blog, I told her, "It's your world, I'm just blogging in it."

And that's still true to this day.

Here's to Miss Snark!!!

ORION said...

Hey you're the first commenter!! Way to go!
I miss her alot and wish her all the best.
She supported me and LOTTERY from the very beginning.

Sarah Miller said...

Best advice ever from Miss Snark: "Quit obsessing."

I don't know why, but I finally GOT IT when she said it.

Plus, I discovered LOTTERY because of Miss Snark. ;)

Bonnie S. Calhoun said...

I sure do miss her! Miss Snark was a real breath of fresh air in a world of nitwits...*snort-giggle*

I must confess that several dozen of those hits since she left were mine...LOL...I just couldn't convince myself that she'd leave us forever!

Hope springs eternal that she will come back one day!

And if she's listening.."Hey Miss Snark, I've got an agent, and I'm launching an online magazine in July!"

All because, you made me brave :-)


Stephen Parrish said...

The first Miss Snark post I stumbled on was a rant against prologues. My novel had a prologue! I read her blog every day for the next couple of weeks, then went back and read all the Snarkives, at the time more than six months of daily advice. I found out just how much of a nitwit I had grown up to be.

Miss Snark became my morning coffee, my daily bread, my reason for living. (Okay, that latter is over the top, but this is a tribute, so allow me to tributize.)

I changed my query technique dramatically as a result of her advice and received three offers of representation, two in one hour. Life got good.

Miss Snark, it's impossible to send flowers, candy, and obscenely large gemstones to an anonymous blogger, so you'll have to settle for expressions of gratitude:

Thanks for everything.

Anonymous said...

So miss Killer Yap and Miss Snark ...

MaNiC MoMMy™ said...

Long live Snark!

I miss the martinis.

The Clooney sightings.

Her hair catching fire in her apartment.

The stilettos.

The vodka.

Oh yeah, and the literary words of snarkistic wisdom she would enlighten us with.

"Don't end a sentence with a preposition."

OK... The literary words of snarkistic wisdom she would enlighten us with ... asshole!

There, is that better?

And yea, if inquiring minds want to know, I have been drinking... and I was out with NYT bestselling author Emily Giffin tonight!!!


Time to grab the clue gun, my copy of People's Sexiest Man ALive from 2006, and a vat of vodka, curl up with killer yap and reminisce of the olden days of the crapometer and such...

Or I could just get out a freakin' pen and WRITE SOMETHING ALREADY!!!

Every single Effing time Clooney is mentioned ANYWHERE, I think of Snark.

I do.

I hope she's happy.

I hope she's writing her memoirs.

She sent me personal emails from time to time, and that says a lot to struggling authors.

nancorbett said...

When Miss Snark first shut down her blog, I thought, "Now who's the NIT WIT?" Maybe she's just suffering from a case of snarcolepsy and that she'll recover.

She really did something amazing. Her blog opened a flow of communication between writers and all the facets of the publishing industry. This communication has been essential for me. My novels are still, as yet, unpublished... well, I've only completed the one. But I have learned so much about the parts of being a writer that reside outside of the story I'm writing.

Chris Eldin said...

I heart Miss Snark for everything she's done to help writers and encourage everyone.

I woke up an hour early every morning to check her blog.

Shtephen, some days DH would walk by and shake his head. Like I was ignoring him or something. I can tell you understand. You had to be there.

Miss Snark, warm hugs and positive energy headed your way!

Please come back!!! Just for today!!!!!

Can we talk you into one rant? Your choice. For old time's sake.....


MelodyO said...

Miss Snark was like the cool high school teacher who could make the most complicated subjects fun and understandable...if your high school teacher had a gin pail beside her desk and routinely pistol-whipped her students with a clue gun whilst holding a growling Killer Yapp in the crook of her other arm.

I definitely think she changed the way agents operate on the internet. She was a pioneer in stilettos, baby! She taught me more on her blog than any how-to book I've ever read, and with a lot more panache, too. Miss you, Miss Snark. ::blows kisses::

Spy Scribbler said...

I miss her posts so very much. They were my morning coffee, too. After I discovered her blog, I never missed a day.

I was mostly a lurker, but she answered a question of mine, once. I don't remember what it was, but I do remember it helped.

There are quite a few agent blogs I read now, but none of them compare. I pop by her blog about once a week, in the hopes that she'll some day surprise us with another post.

Thank you, Miss Snark!

Anonymous said...

Ah, Miss Snark... I finally made a contribution to her blog (Killer Yap sex toy) but then a few weeks later she was gone. I wonder- coincidence? Was I the Nitwit? Probably. But I still miss her terribly. Life just ain't the same without the divine Miss S. Wherever you are, I wish you well.

Anonymous said...

Query Widely. The best damn advice she ever gave. I ended up with many requests for partials and fulls after learning from her how to write a query, four agent offers, and a FABULOUS agent. I've had an article published on hooking an agent with your query and how to find the right agent (forthcoming). All the stuff in the articles I learned from the grand Miss S and a lot of trial and error. When new writers ask me for advice, I usually search her archives before answering, just to make sure I've got it right. I have had a website for a year now because she said "Don't wait! Get a web presence now!" and even though my agent is just now working on my first book, I have lots of blog readers already. I've linked back to this post on my site and posted my own tribute to her here:

Kimbra Kasch said...

Cheers to Miss Snark, wherever she is.

ORION said...

Those of you who are wondering the very pregnant author next to me is Mia King from the Big Island of Hawaii.
We were presenters at the Hawaii Book and Music Festival.

Bernita said...

Miss Snark Dear taught us to respect ourselves and our efforts as writers.
She was sheer delight, every friggin' day.
I miss her so.

Kim Rossi Stagliano said...

How wonderful Nathan got first comment! I met most of my writer friends from Miss Snark's blog. Including Patricia Wood!

I'm wearing black today. I'm in mourning. COME BACK FOR A POST MISS SNARK!

A blogger named Snark, she was it.
Advice all wrapped up in a snit
Your book she'd attack it
Did you think you could hack it
One more post! Asks this lonely Fuckwit.

Aimlesswriter said...

Here's to Miss Snark
We miss you much
If we promise to be good
Will you come back to us?

Anonymous said...

Life is not the same with Her Snarkiness.

She left a void.

I still HEART Miss Snark. (Not Ms. Snark!)

(lifts gin in tribute)

Gone, but not forgotten.

The Anti-Wife said...

I so miss our dear Miss Snark. She was one of a kind and so much fun - even when she was calling us nitwits and setting her hair on fire. And, my dogs were absolutely in love with Killer Yapp!

My tribute is long and posted on my blog. I'm off to surgery. Have a wonderful Snarkfest today!

bob said...

Her snarkiness kept it real, but you could feel the love that was just behind it.

Her affair with gin and Clooney kept me in stitches.

But her wisdom she shared was more precious than gems to all of us writers.

Even now, when the word "Snarky" makes an appearance by a media type on tv, I sigh and think - Miss Snark oh how we miss you!

laughingwolf said...

i'm totally unaware [as usual], and sounds like i missed out [again] on something/someone special... *sigh*

Anonymous said...


I stll send every writer who asks me "How do I get an agent" to read every word of Miss Snark's Archives...

Tena Russ said...

All hail the Snarkangel!

Were it not for this illustrious lady, I would be sans clue and also sans some very special blogger friends.

Her best advice? "Write well. Query widely." Oh, and don't forget to use spellcheque.

Confidential to Miss Snark: You do know that Killer Yapp is a Bishon Frise and not a Poodle, don't you?

Thanks, Pat, for hosting this Snarkfest.


Kimber Li said...

I'm not worthy! I'm not worthy!

We love you, Oh Queen Snark, wherever you are!

ssas said...

Query Widely is still handed around as a sort of charm nowadays as part encouragement, part "get off your ass, nitwit."

Her blog should be required reading for MFA programs and new agent training.

I proudly bear scars from the Cluegun.

Thank you, Miss Snark.

Your ever humble gin-pail carrier,


Maya Reynolds said...

"Good writing trumps all."

I probably quote that line of Miss Snark's more than anything else she ever said.

It's the perfect response to every newbie who is obsessing over font, getting his/her great idea stolen by an unscrupulous peer and a lack of query credentials.

I miss her.

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Query Widely. Some of the best advice I've ever heard.

Awesome post, Orion.

Know what I miss the most? The community in the comment trail. I recognized many names, visited many writers. I've seen lots of Snarklings around, but it's not the same.

Margaret Yang said...

"You had to be there."

Yes, indeed. And I was. Every single day.

Thanks to Miss Snark and her clue gun, I became less of a nitwit. Thanks to Miss Snark, "WTF?" and "yanno" and "dear dog" are part of my regular vocabulary. Thanks to Miss Snark, I queried widely, and an amazing agent actually agreed to represent me.

Just this week I heard an editor and an agent speaking to newbies at a writer's conference. What was their number one advice? Go read Miss Snark! Because, really, what could they say that Miss Snark hadn't already said?

D. Robert Pease said...

I was a lurker for about a year on Miss Snark's blog. Finally I got up the nerve to submit to her crapometer. I waited with baited breath (man that is a disgusting phrase now that I see it written down). Then I got the notice that I was a complete nitwit and forgot to put "crapometer" in the subject of my email, and so it got rejected. I can't tell you how disappointed I was. I wanted so desperately to be berated by her. Ah, but there is always the next one. But it wasn't to be. That was the very last one. So I missed my chance. I missed my only opportunity in life to be shot with the clue gun. So here's to Miss Snark, wherever you are (George Clooney's closet?) I miss you greatly, but thank you for all your wisdom. If I ever find representation, I know it will be in large part because of you. And if I don't I will have a pretty good idea why. "It's the writing stupid."

Precie said...


Miss Snark. Inimitable. Unerring. Brilliant. With those red stillettos, the gin bucket, the clue gun (occasionally, the clue cannon, I think), and seemingly boundless energy, advice, and wit...dear Miss Snark, you and KY are sorely missed.

Kim said...

I must also confess to hiting Miss Snark's blog now and again - just in case.

I miss checking back six and seven times a day (on a slow day), waiting to see if my number was chosen for the Crapometer (it never was. **sniff**), waiting to see which nitwit would fall into her clutches next, and making my family give me strange looks by saying things such as "Dear Dog," and "Okay, where's the cluegun."

I heart the Snark. Now and forever.

BernardL said...

Miss Snark elevated plain speaking to an art form.

Janet said...

I still regularly go back and read through the archives, one week at a time.

WendyCinNYC said...

Sadly, I was too late in the game for the whole Miss Snark phenomenon (in real time, at least.) But count me in those amazing stats of visits after she stopped blogging.

Tyhitia Green said...

I found Miss Snark shortly after she launched her blog through another writing website. :*)

Miss Snark's advice was/is truly invaluable and I miss her dearly. Her blog was the first site I checked whenever I would log onto the computer. She helped me more than she could ever know!

I haven't quite gotten an agent yet Miss Snark because I set my hair on fire after receiving information from my betas. But it won't be long now. ;*)

Tell Killer Yapp I have a few squirrels for him. Oh, and George Clooney's new movie was filmed in my state. :P`` I could have seen him only if I'd known earlier.

Here's to Miss Snark and her wonderful advice! :*)

Authoress said...

Quite a legacy.

Definitely worthy of remembering today.

I wonder if she's rolling her eyes...or wiping gentle tears from them?

Anissa said...

To Miss Snark!

I miss her, and her little dog too.

Katie Alender said...

Miss Snark was and still is an amazing resource, and the first link on my list of publishing links.

I'm sure it would curdle the gin in her gin bucket to find out how "helpful" and "kind" she was. ;-)

It was so sad last year when the blog went dark. Just knowing the fun was over.

Stephanie J. Blake said...

RIP Miss Snark!

Cynthia Bronco said...

I learned a lot from Miss Snark, and snorted Diet Pepsi onto my keyboard frequently while reading her blog entries.

I send her my sincere best wishes! The last I heard, she was agenting Lucifer.

Merry Monteleone said...

Miss Snark, she was my first stop every day... multiple times a day, actually, as she had that habit of occasionally posting great little tidbits in bunches of posts... so if I popped in before bed, I might find five new posts since the morning - which always made me happy.

I only found her blog a few months before she retired and I don't think I commented that often. But Miss Snark did more than hit us all with the cluegun, she built a writer's community on that blog. Most of the writers I blog with today are also former snarklings...

I'm another one who's visited the snarkives a number of times since she left... for wit and wisdom, and just for fun.

So thank you Miss Snark for all of the time and wisdom and for giving us a place to congregate around the cyber water cooler and learn a few things while we laughed.

Robin Lemke said...

I miss Miss Snark everytime I open Bloglines. I've learned so, so much from all of her advice. I still have two of her emails sitting in my inbox to remember the good old days of reading her blog with my morning coffee and then, of course, having to replace my poor keyboard time and time again.

She made me "get" the querying process, feel like I could be a part of this whole publishing world, and stick with the novel because I wanted to play, too!!!

Cheers, Miss Snark!

ORION said...

Because the blog stays up it's the advice that keeps on giving...

Stephen Parrish said...

Know what I miss the most? The community in the comment trail. I recognized many names, visited many writers. I've seen lots of Snarklings around, but it's not the same.

I agree, it's not the same. That was a great community. I met almost all of my blogging buddies in the MS comment trail.

Liz Wolfe said...

Miss Snark was mentor to thousands and I count myself incredibly lucky to have been among them.

Chris Eldin said...

I also think of her blog as the first true writer's blog. I know there were one or two before her, but this was the blog that launched it all.

She's the Big Brown of Blogs.

Ello - Ellen Oh said...

I didn't even know what a blog was before I found Miss Snark. I had been searching the net for advice on the writing world and found her ranting and raving about some nitwit who had sent her an arrogant query which had cc'd a 100 other agents on it. I laughed and laughed and smirked about how I could never be a nitwit. Then started reading her archives and realized yes I was! I lurked for a year and then started commenting because I would see the same people popping up and they would make the whole Snark experience even more fun. And my crowning achievement was when Miss Snark called my crapometer entry meaningless drivel. Oh how I miss the days!

When she retired, I kind of felt lost. Who would I read every morning? And while I am so happy that Nathan Bransford stepped in to fill the void, I do miss my morning Snark.

Danette Haworth said...

Miss Snark's blog was the first agent blog I discovered, and I spent many, many hours reading the archives. I had Snark with cappuccino every morning.

Chris Eldin said...

Ello!! You are too funny!!

Who else misses the spankings?

Jillian said...

I am also among those who received great benefit from Miss Snark's helpfulness.

I wonder if she understands the depth of her influence in the World of Aspiring Authors.

Just in case you're reading -- thanks for everything, Miss Snark.

Writer Babs said...

After "Quit Obsessing", which I use in everyday life, my favorite Snark-ism would have to be "What fresh hell is this?" Or abbriviated: WFHIT. Every time I edit someone's horrible term paper, I think of her.

She is missed. A lot. I hope she knows that.

Celina Summers said...

If it weren't for Miss Snark, I would never have learned how to write a query. Seriously. I used to tremble in horror when I found a smarkism on a line that was eerily similar to one in my query letter.

And then I'd get on my knees and thank Gawd that it wasn't MY letter being savaged. My sense of humor is odd like that.

Miss Snark! Miss Snark! Where are you?


All good things must come to an end, I know. But on this first anniversary of deSnarkdom, I just have to say...

...I really hope my query letter is in your slush pile, whoever you are. *grin* I'm thinking you should like it.

Thanks for everything.

Katharine O'Moore-Klopf said...

Miss Snark, you dispensed a good deal of wisdom. You'll never know how many people I sent to your blog so that they'd get a clue. But what you did best was make your readers laugh at themselves and then want to do their very best. We miss you, O Great One. May life always give you plenty of opportunities for snark.

Anonymous said...

I found the Snark site while I was researching (googling)an ad I'd seen for a contest for writers. (It turned out to be a scam) I was fascinated beyond my wildest dreams to have found a place chock full of writers and authors and agents and such. Her's was the first blog I'd ever read and it was love-at-first-site!! I still go back and check the archives every now and then. I miss her. Thank dog in heaven she directed me to Evil Editor's blog, as that is where I spend (way too much of)my time now.


ssas said...

Gaa?? What happened to my comment??

Anyway, I surely do miss you, Miss Snark. I hopes you crawl out of your gin pail occassionally and survey your handiwork. :)

Even when she was being mean, she was still being kind. Takes a certain kind of wonderful to do that.

ORION said...

Sorry! I have comment moderation turned on!
I'm trying to keep on top of it LOL!!!

Stephen Parrish said...

Even when she was being mean, she was still being kind. Takes a certain kind of wonderful to do that.

Tough love. She made some enemies, but in each case the person was either the devil incarnate or unable to handle criticism.

Tish Cohen said...

I do miss the Snarky One. She told me I wasn't cool enough for New York City. And I loved her for it.

writtenwyrdd said...

Miss Snark had some amazingly good advice on her blog. I'm not surprised that people still link to it.

I haven't gone back and read her blog since she stopped blogging, though. Perhaps I should.

Thanks, Miss Snark, were ever you are lurking these days. And thanks for the reminder, Pat.

ORION said...

If your comment is not posted it means you made a reference however oblique to who Miss Snark might be- there will be no conjectures...sorry...
If you don't like it throw oranges at me LOL...
(just kidding)
feel free to repost...

Aprilynne Pike said...

During my time reading Miss Snark I acquired an agent and wrote three books. Since she has retired, I've sold four books and the books I submitted to her Crap O Meter is currently on review with my fab agent.

About 85-90% of my knowledge of the publishing biz I can trace back to good ole M.S.!!

We miss you Miss Snark!!!

Aprilynne Pike

Barrie said...

I do wish she'd come back for just one day. Or, better yet, a whole week of posts!! I'd be happy to bribe her with a bucket of gin.

Anyway, I'm linking to your post today.


Stephen J. Gallagher said...

A whole year, amazing. I used to visit Snark Central 2-3 times a day. Almost everything I learned about the business of writing came from Snarky. And yes, even when the three-inch Pumps of Doom crushed my query letter like the ineffectual silly thing that it was, I still loved her. Peace, Snark.

Carrie Ryan said...

Miss Snark got me through the days -- I loved being able to check in and let my mind wander from the day job to the writing world. She was the first blog I read every morning.

Since she stopped blogging I signed with an agent and sold a two book deal. I def. learned a ton about the industry (and met other fab writers) through her. I miss her tons!

Stuart Neville said...

I owe Miss Snark a huge debt of gratitude. When I first started writing seriously between 18 months and 2 years ago, hers was the first blog I discovered when googling for tips. It quickly became part of my daily routine. Here are some specific things I got from it:

1) I realised the WIP that was 10k words and counting basically sucked and dropped it for..

2) My first completed, which when shredded through the Crapometer, turned out to suck too - but not as bad as the first.

3) I discovered Elektra's Crapometer spin-off from Miss Snark's recommendation, and started getting critique.

4) I started another project keeping Miss Snark's advice in mind, and it did not suck.

5) When an uber-agent contacted me about that project, I knew enough from Miss Snark's rants about nitwittery, that I was able to be cool and not blow it, thus...

6) Bagging said agent.

So, a thousand times thank you, Miss Snark. If I ever meet you on my travels, I will buy you a whole case of gin.

none said...

Well, I haven't sold my book, or obtained representation, and I'm probably still a nitwit, but I do miss her.

Anonymous said...

I posted my own little letter on my blog ( but I just have to chime in here too and say THANK YOU MISS SNARK!!

Susan Adrian said...

She was, and still is, amazingly helpful. I've pored over those posts many times, trying to avoid nitwit-itis.

Since she's been gone I've signed with a wonderful agent, and keep WRITING!

Thanks Miss Snark! *clink*

Anonymous said...

Aw hell. I miss the old bag.

Heidi the Hick said...

Oh man, I learned SO MUCH from Miss Snark. I owe her so much. I mean, I'm still a total nobody but I feel like being a nitwit isn't such a bad thing, really.

(Patricia, I don't know if you'll remember this, but I found your blog because of Miss Snark. I made some comment about wanting to make enough money from writing to buy hay for my horses and food for my kids, but that I'd keep teaching riding in the meantime. You commented on my blog that teaching lessons converged with your writing in a very advantageous way. So I guess you could say that I have a wonderful book on my shelf because of Miss Snark!)

I don't have the higher education, y'know, all the book learnin' and stuff, but I have Bogiversity here and I consider Miss Snark to be the Professor Emeritus!

Gail said...

Thank YOU, Miss Snark. This is one writer who owes you. You changed the world with words. How awsome is that?

jill said...

I found Miss Snark's blog through Forward Motion and read it two or three or four or more times a day until it closed. Haven't sold any projects yet but 'perfecting' my query leads me to improving my writing (amid distractions - ooh, shiney new story over here, write it instead!).

Thank you Miss Snark for all you did for us humble, undeserving writers and thank you for leaving the blog up for a reference so all can learn from your brilliance.

WordVixen said...

I miss her daily doses of wit and wisdom, but am ever grateful that she left us her Snarchives.

Her posts inspire me still as in "I will not let Miss Snark's words archive in vain! I will finish this book!" and "How can I dedicate a novel to Miss Snark if I never finish it?".

When trying to figure out how I was supposed to format my WIP- I searched the Snarchives. I take notes while reading the Snarchives. I write blog posts about what I've just read in the Snarchives. I've cried a few times, while reading the Snarchives.

But you know what? The biggest reason that I'm sad that she no longer posts or allows comments there is that when something happens, or one of us accomplishes something- there's no way to say "Thank you, Miss Snark". I just hope that my future agent knows her in real life so that he/she can pass on my regards (and the info of my getting a super hot deal because of what I learned from her).

I've never understood her obsession with Clooney- but the more fool he for spurning her advances.

jjdebenedictis said...

Miss Snark was brilliant, hilarious, razor-tongued yet warm-hearted (and occasionally warm-haired), and perfectly wonderful.

Thanks to her, I was not (much of) a nitwit when I started querying my first novel, which means it is partly due to her that I now have an agent representing that novel.

If I get published, I ♥ Miss Snark will be in my acknowledgments. I do miss her.

Anonymous said...

I was one of the blessed few to get in on a crap-o-meter, and boy was I thoroughly Snarked. But I learned a lot, and check back regularly.

Just in case. Dowanna miss the revolution when she makes like a vampire and comes back stronger, hotter, and with more gin than ever.


Gina Black said...

I miss her so much. I'm being very sniffy today about it. She gave us all such a gift. I don't get the people who didn't get her.

I blogged about her today. I will always be in her debt.

Barrie said...

Okay. It's up now--a few words about the infamous Miss Snark and a link back to you. ;)

Mary B said...

:raises gin pail in toast:

I learned so much about what to do and most importantly, how not to get pistol-whipped with the clue gun!

To you, Miss Snark. Where ever you are.

:sets hair on fire in tribute:

JKB said...

Oh Miss Snark! And Killer Yap!

Come out of hiding and say hello to your devotees!

Seriously, I learned tons, and with the upcoming official query and huge edit looming, I will be visiting her site yet again.

Rule on, Snarky!

ORION said...

Miss Snark!! Miss Snark!! Is that really you??!!
*Prostrates self and beats hands onto the deck of ORION*
Oh exalted one give us a sign...

Ello - Ellen Oh said...

Nice tribute going on here Pat! Such a whole lot of reminiscing! No crapometer is as good as Miss Snark's crapometer. I guess because being slapped around by here was never offensive it was tough love! I have to say that her tough love helped me turn my crappy query to one that had a 1 in 5 request for partials and a kudos nod for good query from those lovely agents over at Bookends. I had to thank Miss Snark for that. Course the manuscript still needed a whole lot of work, but that's another story! ;o)

ssas said...


((waves wildly and sloshes gin))

There wouldn't be a Crapometer without you, or anything like it. And there are more out there: Electra's COM, Janet Reid's new blog, Nathan's contests... You spawned a revolution of web-savvy agents and agent-saavy writers, yanno?? And we are eternally grateful.

Joanne Levy said...

Ah Miss Snark. What can I say, but that you are missed, but never forgotten.

Thank you for the times you aimed your clue gun right at me - I needed it.

p.s. Thanks to Pat for this important tribute!

Anonymous said...

Well, here I was in my back axle broke pickup truck, stopped dead still like, at a train crossin' on country road 113. It were asphalt meltin' hot and there's train cars crawlin' far as eyes meant to see - both direction. City kid grafitti was writ on most all with lots a cussin' They's mostly empty coal carriers, black, sooty, creakin' whinin' everwheres. I thought on dozzin' for a spell when sum 'em caught my gaze. Here come a full un.' Yes, Sir, I mean brim up full a coal. And to my wondrous amazement there's MISS SNARK'S name writ in city kid grafitti on the side of this here only filled up coal car. I knowed the steal horse was headed North, maybe New York City... I commenced ta laugh as I come ta realize that ole' Gal's still at it. Miss Snark ordered up a load of coal to put in ever SASE she'd be postin' back at NITWITS!

Haste yee back ;-)

ORION said...

Ohs anonymous youses so poetrified...

Anonymous said...

Thankee, thankee much Miss Pat. Poetified... right nice word.

Ya'all come see me...

Haste yee back ;-)

Julie Weathers said...

I've been thinking about writing a Martha and Tilley story in honor of Miss Snark all day, but I'm not going to clog your thread with it.

Suffice to say I am an admirer. I am horrible at queries and the beast named Synopsis, but I am finding some light at the end of the tunnel through her advice.

I discovered her towards the end of her illustrious career, but at least I discovered her.

She and Killer Yap are greatly missed.

Gabrielle said...

To Miss Snark: may honesty and snarkiness make publishing a better place.

I really need to check up on some of those archives...

Mary said...

I loved Miss Snark. She did so much for so many and her straight-talk demystified the world of publishing.

You’re an icon, Miss Snark!

(And it was your blog that started my Internet addiction. ;) )

Anonymous said...

Miss Snark revealed that the publishing biz has a sense of humor and there's humanity on the other end of every query. Yikes!

Real snarklings tread softly and carry a big cluegun.
A credit to the industry.

Cheers, Miss Snark! I want the Hogwash stamp...

"Shouga Tea" *still occasionally clue free*

Steph said...

I still can't believe there's no more Miss Snark ever. :( Lovely post, though. <3


Anonymous said...

Well, I for one, keep going back because I am selfishly hoping that Miss Snark will miss us the way we miss her and come back for a little visit.*sniff*

One of my favorite lessons I learnd was, "Quit obsessing". I could NOT move on until I heard her beat that into my head.

Here's to you, Miss Snark.

Phoenix Sullivan said...

Oh hail, Miss Snark! Or, in another mood, it could well be Oh hell, Miss Snark!

You could love her one minute, hate her the next. But you always had to respect her (with a holstered cluegun and a leashed Killer Yap, of course she commanded respect).

Thank you for being the voice of reason for a snarkfest of overly emotional, overly obsessed, overly clueless writers. Your legacy lives on ...

Williebee said...

What do you think? If all of us who learned, laughed and grew thanks to Miss Snark each sent in a buck?

She could buy another publishing house or two, come back, and rake us over the coals all over again.

I miss you and will thank you forever.

A Paperback Writer said...

cheers to Miss Snark, the greatest of us all.
I am proud to have been a snarkling and to have survived the final crapometer.
Many, many are the times I have been tempted to write WTF? on a student's paper but stopped because I value my career.
All hail, Miss Snark!

Andy said...

The new drink sensation that's sweeping the nation: the Miss Snark!

Take one bucket. Fill with gin. Stir in one clue-by-four. Serve.

Unknown said...

Miss Snark:

You told me that I wasn't perfect. No one was. (It should have been obvious, not being Jesus and all, but for some reason, it wasn't.) You let me know that it was great to be a writer with a pile of rejections, that rejections made us stronger. And even now, when I'm still getting rejections, I think about the gin pail (or was it bucket; I always got that wrong) and I try again.

Simply put: You gave me the courage to believe in myself and to keep trying, and you continue to give me that courage after a year of silence.

Anonymous said...

*toasts Miss Snark and Killer Yap with a pail of gin*


We miss you.

Anonymous said...

Miss Snark, I hope you are lurking here, reading your due. I hope you are floating several inches off the ground with happiness, knowing you effected so many so positively. And I hope you save this all on your desktop, so that on a rainy day you can read all these comments again and remind yourself of the contribution you made. I know this is pretty sappy,
hard for a gal like you to endure, but I can't help myself. I always get sloppy when someone gives me a great gift.

Problem Child said...

Oh, how I miss Miss Snark!

You know, she did an interview for my website when it started, and she was fabu about it.

I was also honored to have a couple of my questions answered on her blog--and one on Killer Yapp's blog as well!

And I just sold my first book two weeks ago...

Robin S. said...

I was very late to the party- found Miss Snark only a few months before she stopped blogging.

But I was glad I found her - and I hope and expect she's doing very, very well.

Ulysses said...

I came to Miss Snark shortly after the demise of her blog. I laughed. I cried. I wised up. Then I went back to her first post and read her through. I wish I had been there when she was posting. I was impressed and humbled by the no-sh*t way she had of making her point: fearless, impolite, honest.

After reading her words, I may still be fodder for the cluegun. I may still be a nitwit, but I'm a slightly wiser and more knowledgeable nitwit because of her work.

Miss Snark said...

That Anon is NOT Miss Snark.
How do I know?
Miss Snark has her own gmail account.

ORION said...

I'm going as fast as I can for those of you that need immediate gratification with respect to your heartfelt tribute...

ORION said...

okay she goes MWA HA HA...

Bonnie S. Calhoun said...

OMG!!! MISS SNARK!!!!! Is that really you????

We miss you so much! Please come back!!!!

Miss Snark said...

Yes Bonnie my dear beloved early reader, c'est moi. Remember the post where I mentioned we'd have to revive you cause the title was Why I Love Satan?

I still laugh about that.

Heidi Willis said...

Truly and really Miss Snark is here????

I totally missed the Miss Snark boat the first time around. I found her in archives, when I first started exploring the idea of publishing my writing. She introduced me to blogs, to queries, to a entirely new language, and to many, many late nights obsessing over catching up.

Without her, I would be a total nitwit.

Thank you, thank you.

Bonnie S. Calhoun said...


*sigh* We miss you so much!!

You've had a good rest....Can't you come back to us? Hell, you could even add Adsense to your blog, and make a fortune with that many clicks! *snort-giggle*

Miss Snark said...

Bonnie, I see you want the new and improved nitwit hat all to yourself. Adsense indeed. I can just see iUniverse advertising on that blog.

On the other hand, Bombay Gin might work juuuust fine.

Anonymous said...

Miss Snark!! Wait - you're here...please come back...just one more minute...(why do I see myself clinging to her stiletto hood ornament?)

LOL! You HAVE to be thanking dog that you are not in the middle of this mob - you would be dragging us on your coat tails!

For Pete's sake, woman, start another blog already!

Bonnie S. Calhoun said...

Neener, neener...see I need you to keep me on the straight and narrow...Although you can give key words to things that you want to show, like stilettos, poodle walkers, George Cooney, gin, and more gin! :-)LOL...actually I've never seen an ad for them on any of my sites :-)

Sandra Cormier said...

I'm late to the party as usual. Yay! La Snark made an appearance!

I remember a late night when the game show Jeopardy had a whole category about George Clooney. I emailed Miss Snark and gave her the heads up, but she was stuck at work and couldn't get to a television. She asked me to watch the show and give her the details.

I had a fun evening of back and forth emailing with the Great One herself.

My excuse for being late: today is my daughter's nineteenth birthday and we were a little busy with cake and stuff.

Michelle H. said...

I don't know what is more amazing:

The amount of helpful advice Miss Snark has given to everyone.

The amount of love in the room.

Or the many memories concerning a Crapometer - I'm dying to find out what that was.

Still kicking myself for arriving late to Miss Snark's party, er, blog. Sigh. But I have taken your advice, Patricia. I've started perusing the archives.

Miss Snark said...

I'm actually rather touched by the volume of comments. Not to mention poor Patricia working her fingers to the bone for darn near 24 hours here (sleep is SO over rated Pat!).

Start another blog? I'd rather set my hair on fire.

Janet said...

At the risk of sounding stunningly unoriginal, I miss you too...

I think I found your blog originally through an article on good websites for writers. I mostly lurked, but I followed the shenanigans faithfully.

If you're ever feeling masochistic, nobody would object if you started up again... ;o)

ORION said...

Sleep? I don need no stinking sleep!
Sleep is for NITWITS.
And those creepy little rabbits from RABITAINIA.

Bonnie S. Calhoun said... don't need another blog!!! You've got a perfectly good one languishing for lack of love....LOL...and the lack of comments because we can't leave any!

McKoala said...

Start another blog? I'd rather set my hair on fire.

You could always just light up your kitchen again. Handsome firemen...

I'm still a nitwit, but now I'm an agented nitwit, and without you I wouldn't have got that far. Thank you.

Miss Snark said...

cool McKoala!!!!
Very very cool!

Now let's all think AUCTION and SIX FIGURE DEAL!

ORION said...

We interrupt this program to bring you a important announcement...
Barnes and Noble just emailed me and said they're shipping the trade paperback of LOTTEY that I ordered early!!!
uh yeah...
I uh ordered my own paperback uh to see how long uh it would take to get here...
uh yeah I know it's lame...

Sarah said...

I discovered Miss Snark after she'd quit blogging. I read every single blog, and learned so much along the way.

I learned the difference between the plot and the hook.

I learned how to write a good query.

I learned not to obsess.

I started looking twice every time I caught a glimpse of George Clooney on TV or in print.

You know what I appreciated most? At the end of one of crapometers, she thanked all the participants, especially the ones who were savaged, or who got the purple WTF.

That taught me that it's okay to have manuscripts under my bed that make me blush. It's okay to make mistakes. Good dog, she of the stilettos of death respected those who learned from their mistakes and kept writing.

And I've kept writing.

Thanks, Miss Snark. I'm glad I finally had a chance to say that.

Sandra Cormier said...

I saved all my emails from Miss Snark. I'm such a pathetic fan girl...

I have followed every piece of advice from Miss Snark. Except one.

I entered a query for my third novel and she said it was about nothing. No plot, no conflict, no point. It stung, but I dove back into the novel and now it has a plot, a conflict, and a point. Thank you, Miss Snark.

Sandra Cormier said...

Oh, Pat! I did the same thing with my first novel, and it worked!

Now you can tell your friends to order away!

Miss Snark said...

stilettos of death! I love it!

And congrats Pat!

And Chumplet, I'm not sure the word pathetic would be correct for anything associated with being a Snarkling. Rabid perhaps. Prostrate maybe. Pathetic? Nevah!

LadyBronco said...

I freely admit to frequenting Miss Snarks blog several times a week - simply because I realize how clueless I still am. There will never be another like Her Snarkiness.


I heart Miss Snark - and her Killer Yapp, too.

Liane Spicer said...

Miss Snark, is that really you??!!

I was one of those detested anonymice. In Jan 06 Yahoo Weekly Picks dropped MS in my mailbox. Four agents were reading partials and one a full. Two months later the latter offered to rep and I leapt.

Meanwhile, my addiction to MS was well underway.

My first novel sold April 07, just weeks before she stopped posting. By this time I had an understanding of 'the business' - the essence of which was "Don't be a nitwit" - that would stand me in good stead for the rest of my publishing journey.

When I started a blog of my own in June 07 the first link I added was hers.

What tickled me the most? Serial scrubbers, grammar police and the image of Brady in the vat.

ORION said...

So just in these snarklings alone...
2 have been published
3 have sold books
11 have been agented
all because of Miss Snark...

Miss Snark said...

no, not because of me. Because they write well. I just shortened the learning curve.

But I'm still damn pleased to see those numbers.

ORION said...

oops make that
4 have sold books and 12 have been agented

ORION said...

What you are is a catalyst Miss Snark.
A person who makes things happen...

ORION said...

Kind of like a kick in the butt or a shot with the CLUEGUN

Miss Snark said...

well I can certainly make FDNY jump, that's for sure.

Bonnie S. Calhoun said...

Yes, yes...because of YOU, dear Miss Snark...You belayed our nitwit qualities into ones that made us publishworthy :-)

josh said...

May 19th, I turned 20... May 20th, I first discovered Miss Snark's blog - *on the day she stopped!*

Discounting the superbly bad timing on my part (or hers! hah!), I too went through the archives of all of her old posts.

I knew next to nothing about publishing before I discovered her blog, and didn't even think I had a reasonable chance of doing so until I read the questions and answers she had on her blog. They were always informative, humane, and crackling with attitude... now I check other agents blogs daily, and am planning to start sending queries out soon.

I feel prepared and confident because of the lessons she taught us as aspiring writers. And I'm determined to take her advice to heart.

In short, thank you MS. You're one in ten million.

Liane Spicer said...

Chumplet, I saved my e-mails from her too: two when she notified me that she'd answered my questions on the blog, and even the two or three mass e-mails she sent when she cleared out her mailbox!

I forgot to mention, when I started a blog I went searching for some of the familiar 'faces' from the comment trail at Snark's. That's how I ended up here at Orion's and a few other places as well.

Thanks for the community, Miss Snark!

Miss Snark said...

you saved form emails? This is troublesome.
Sweet, but troubling!

Sandra Cormier said...

I think we'll have to start monthly tributes like Stiletto Day, Cluegun Day and WTF Day, just to lure Miss Snark out of hiding on a regular basis.

It's like keeping an eye to the skies for a glimpse of a comet.

Miss Snark said...

well, no, no no no.
this is a once only thing.
I was flattered and honored by Stephen Parrish's idea, but what makes it special (and possible) is that it's only once.

Sandra Cormier said...

It was worth a shot...

ORION said...

And that's why at Midnight New York Time the comments to this thread will be closed...

Liane Spicer said... saved form emails? This is troublesome.
Sweet, but troubling!

LOL! Don't worry, Miss Snark. I'm not a stalker-weirdo-fetishist, just sentimental.

And I don't know if you invented WTF, but I first saw it on your blog. Now I use it all the time! Loved your e-mail address for nitwit queriers too...

ORION said...

I'd love it if Miss Snark had the last word...

Sandra Cormier said...

If that's the same as Toronto time, I'll say goodnight and thanks, Pat for hosting a wonderful day!

Take care, Miss Snark!

Bonnie S. Calhoun said...

Nooooooooooo....we're going to sink back into the abyss of Non-Snarkdom....egads....I need gin....Ack!!!! I don't even like gin!

ORION said...

Going once...
Going twice...

Miss Snark said...

Thank you Pat for 24 hours of yeoman duty at the moderator helm.

Thank you Stephen Parrish for coming up with the idea.

Thank you Nathan for being first, and Bonnie for being last (I think).

In the words of the great, too-soon-departed Jane Kenyon:

There's just no accounting for happiness,
or the way it turns up like a prodigal
who comes back to the dust at your feet
having squandered a fortune far away.

And how can you not forgive?
You make a feast in honor of what
was lost, and take from its place the finest
garment, which you saved for an occasion
you could not imagine, and you weep night and day
to know that you were not abandoned,
that happiness saved its most extreme form
for you alone.

No, happiness is the uncle you never
knew about, who flies a single-engine plane
onto the grassy landing strip, hitchhikes
into town, and inquires at every door
until he finds you asleep midafternoon.
as you so often are during the unmerciful
hours of your despair.

It comes to the monk in his cell.
It comes to the woman sweeping the street
with a birch broom, to the child
whose mother has passed out from drink.
It comes to the lover, to the dog chewing
a sock, to the pusher, to the basket maker,
and to the clerk stacking cans of carrots
in the night.

It even comes to the boulder
in the perpetual shade of pine barrens,
to rain falling on the open sea,
to the wineglass, weary of holding wine.

by Jane Kenyon, from Otherwise New & Selected Poems © Graywolf Press, 1997. )