The Mail I Get, Part Two

I got the strangest piece of spam today from someone named Kelly Kilpatrick:

I'm interested in writing a guest article on your site A Writer's Life in order to increase my writing profile. I'm not sure what the process is for submitting an article for your review or if you have certain requirements, but if you're at all interested I'd appreciate you getting back to me, and I can send you an article for you to consider for publication. I'm planning on writing something related to your existing articles, but if you have something specific in mind just let me know. All I'd ask in return is a by-line with a link pointing back to my site.

Her site offers links to online educational institutions and vocational training services. I'm not linking to it because I don't what to give this woman any traffic.

What's amazing to me is that Kelly thinks that by spamming bloggers, and offering to blog for them, she will increase her "writing profile." She also seems to think that my blog is a magazine, and that people submit posts for my review. (What I actually think what she did was take her standard query letter and substitute "on your site A Writer's Life" where she'd usually insert the name of a magazine). Clearly, Kelly has never visited or read my blog. She also has no idea how to begin a career as a professional writer.

Here's a hint, Kelly: spamming strangers whose blogs you haven't seen and offering to write a post for them is not the way in. It is, however, a terrific way to increase your "idiot profile."

UPDATE: I've seen some of her brilliant blog posts, all of which link back to a variety of different sites that flog online education courses. Most of her inane articles are basically lists (Five Anti-Obama Blogs, Top Firefox Add-Ons You Need, Best On-Line Marketing Guides, etc) with an introductory paragraph. What amused me the most, however, was an article she wrote on how aspiring writers can achieve success. Here's her introduction:

Here’s the thing about writing – it doesn’t come easily to everyone. Yes, a lot of people do know how to speak well and articulate their thoughts with the élan of a skilled orator; but ask them to pen down their thoughts and they’re as out of their element as a deer caught in a pair of headlights. There are some people who have a way with words when they’re given total freedom, when they’re allowed to write on just about anything under the sun.

Apparently, she thinks the way to success is paved with cliches ("As out of their element as a deer caught in a pair of headlights,"  "Allowed to write on just about anything under the sun" etc.) but that particular piece of advice wasn't included in her list. For the record, her amazing advice included start a blog, leave comments on other blogs, and write interesting articles. Wow. I wish I had that sage advice when I was starting out.  Kelly is a writer who is like a fish out of water who is up shit creek without a paddle looking for a needle in a haystack. 

It wouldn't surprise me if "Kelly Kilpatrick" was just a pen name for several bad writers who are paid by a variety online education sites trying to draw hits to their pages.

UPDATE 2/5/09 – She's baaaak. 

Hi Lee, 

We just posted an article, "Top 100 Creative Writing Blogs." I thought I'd bring it to your attention in case you think your readers would find it interesting.

I am happy to let you know that your site has been included in this list.

Either way, thanks for your time!


Wow. I am so honored.

Either this spam mill doesn't know that I've already trashed their activities on my blog…or they think linking to me in one of their "lists" will buy me off…or they are doing it for a laugh. Whichever it is, it's just one more indication of how inept they are.

5 thoughts on “The Mail I Get, Part Two”

  1. The whole thing does sound a bit goofy. I started my own blog six months ago and write about what interests me, with no other objective in mind. As to whether what I write is interesting…eh, I get a bit of traffic.
    But that’s not why I do it.
    If this Kelly is not a group, but one writer, she sounds like one looking for the easy way in and not willing to do the work, as folks like you and Scalzi, necessary to be a success.

  2. Wow. After playing kickball with Kelly and the “pre-published author”, these two could be used as textbook examples of What Not to Do. It’s obvious neither of them did any homework at all. Kelly has never even read your blog – I’m wondering if she’s read ANY blogs of any caliber. If she had, she’d know how to, say, avoid stupid cliches. And the pre-pubbed gal would know how to actually approach someone for a proper blurb.
    Perhaps I could write something up about it as a guest on your… (HA HA HA HA HA HA)

  3. “—– is a writer who is like a fish out of water who is up shit creek without a paddle looking for a needle in a haystack.”
    Ha, ha, ha!!! This gets my vote for FUNNIEST LINE OF THE YEAR AWARD!!

  4. I think you’ve struck on a good book idea, “Increase Your Idiot Profile.” Make it part of the “For Dummies” series, perhaps. Or, just in case an idiot doesn’t know what a profile is, call it “Idiocy for Dummies”. That’s got some punch! Call it a non-working title.


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