Friday, 23 December 2011

Letters to Santa

Dear Mr Claus,

Thank you for your recent submission. I enjoyed the unusual prose style and autobiographical main character. In these times of doom and gloom, it is a great relief to read about someone with such a positive, can-do attitude. Thanks also for the enclosed mince pie and glass of brandy – this was an unexpected twist that added much flavour to my day.

After much reflection, however, I am afraid that I will not be able to represent you at this time. Celebrity biographies are on the wane and, in truth, I wasn't sufficiently thrilled by your manuscript. In the current challenging market, a book must literally make my socks catch fire with excitement before I can consider taking it on.

My assistant tells me that beards are a hot trend for 2012, so perhaps you would consider a book on personal grooming?

Yours standing-in-a-bucket-of-water,

Marigold Bestagent.

Dear Santa,

This is a belated thank you for last year's present – a Moleskine® Special Edition Snot Green Extra Large Notebook with Removable Double-Sided Fountain Pen Tray. It helped me to write a very meaningful poem about clouds, and several wonderful shopping lists. Although it is still 80% empty, I must have this year's version in my Christmas stocking, as Moleskine® have increased the line spacing by 0.2mm, which is bound to improve my writing even more.

Also, can I please have the ultra-rare Moleskine® Swoonpad? This has a leather cover embossed with the portrait of hunky children's author Marcus Sedgwick – I am sure that staring at the delectable Marcus until my eyes go blurry will take me to new heights of creative ecstasy.

Many thanks,

Mary A. Certainage.

Dear Father Christmas,

It has come to my notice that I'm on your naughty list. Again. This is despite my efforts this year to enslave all muggles and create a world fit for pure-blood witches and wizards. I would rather have nothing for Christmas instead of your usual lump of coal, as last year, Nagini ate it and was then horribly sick on the hall carpet.


The Evil Lord Voldemort (Esq.)

P.S. All I want for Christmas is a new nose. That's not too much to ask, is it?

Dear Mr Claus,

Thank you for sending me the manuscript of Sleighing Them in the Isles – The Amazing True Story of How I Saved Christmas (Pop-up Edition). As you know, we are very selective here at Qualitty Publishing Inc., but your story just blew me away. I have to have it!!!

This amazing tale of psychic vampires / depressed middle-aged housewives / machine-gun-toting elves had me gripped from page one!! Your writing is truely some of the finest I have ever read! I hope you don't mind, but I sent a few of the pages to Martin Amis, as I think he could do with the help.

Please don't believe any rumours you may have heard about Quallity Publishing Inc. being a vanity press. We are actually a subsidiary of The Great Big Publishing Corp. and our sister companies include such well known brand names as Harper Colon and Hatchet. We would never charge for our services, as we believe that every author is a rare talent who deserves to be nurtured like a prizewinning cheese. It is true that, from time to time, we may levy a special "Internet Publicity Subsidy," but this is only because we operate out of Lichtenstein and are legally required to pass on the cost of our government's new "Twitter Tax". There may also be a small charge to spray the pages of your e-book, to stop them going mouldy in Amazon's Kindle storeroom.

Rest assured that if you place your manuscript with us, you will recieve the highest level of editorial suport and the best proof-readers in the busness. We pride ourselves on the excellence of our output, and the other 1,474 authors on our list would agree. In addition, if you return a signed copy of the attached contract within 10 days, you will receive a ten percent discount on our fees a Moleskine® Swoonpad with special wipe-clean cover. Because we don't charge any fees. Oh no.

Yours sincerely,

A.N. Editor.

Dear Santa,

I think I have been good this year, although I was rather rude to a pigeon a few weeks ago. Sorry about that. I have tried my best to write an interesting blog post every week, even if that one about deconstructionist Belgian picture books seemed to go over a few people's heads. If it isn't too much trouble, could you arrange for a publishing contract in my Christmas stocking this year? And if it could be a proper publisher too, as I still have 2,000 copies in the loft of a self-published book about whelks and probably don't want to go down that road again. I have written a new middle-grade novel packed with action, intrigue and dark humour, and it would be a shame if it had to stay on my hard disk forever.

Yours hopefully,



  1. Loved this, I had the biggest grin while reading it! Fingers crossed for 2012, you're a very talented, funny writer :)

  2. Wow - even better than last year's, Nick! Still have that image of drowning sprouts in my head whenever I boil green veg... Hurray for the experiences of 2011, and Huzzah for the forthcoming experiences of 2012! I'm sure it will be a great year for you. how could it not be when you belong to the best crit group on the planet?! Have a great Christmas.

  3. Bah humbug.
    You made me laugh.

  4. LOVE this! Made me laugh ten times over, especially Harper Colon and the image of Voldemort clearning up snake sick! All best wishes for Christmas and here's to a fantastic 2012 :)

  5. Fantastic! And, to think there are all those special Moleskines I haven't yet bought! Hope 2012 brings you all that you desire! x

  6. Terrific post!!! And I was going to say that I could name the pulsating Moleskine lover but she's revealed herself!
    I am sure your wish comes true in due course, dear Nick - your talent deserves to be discovered - and how lucky the discoverer will be! Keep on writing - love your blog! And all the best this season!

  7. LOL Nick,

    Have a WONDERFUL Christmas.

    I hope Santa doesn't disappoint


  8. So very very funny, Nick. Hope Santa delivers in 2012. He should do!

  9. Is that 'Whally The Whelk', and did you illustrate it all by yourself ..?

  10. Thanks for making us smile, Nick! Not just in this post, but so many, many times in your writing and in real life. I think Santa owes you big time. Here's to 2012 being your year!

  11. Ha ha! This is absolutely brilliant. :D Happy Christmas, Nick, and fingers crossed for you in 2012.

  12. Oh Nick,this is brilliant! You had me laughing out loud. As a devotee of Moleskine notebooks I can assure you they are the only place to keep your special and highly relevant notes.I am sure there is something the paper that addicts the unsuspecting writer.
    I hope 2012 brings you much happiness which I am sure will included a publishing contract.
    Thank you for your blog too, always a good read

  13. Superb post Nick - made me think that maybe I should just check out those moleskin thingies rather than using my rather prosais black and whites. Or maybe I could start a black and white cult and you could have a go at that next year? Mmmm. Have a great one and here's to those little contracts dropping on the doormat.