Don’t laught, but I’ve been thining of sending a letter to Oprah. Since it’s the last season of her show, my hopes of being picked for Oprah’s Book Club may be permanently dashed as it is (unless she’s continuing on with giving her picks on the OWN network or in the magazine). We all know what the golden “O” could do for book sales (and what the loss of it can do!). Oprah’s all about making dreams come true and philanthropy, and I deserve my wish as much as random audience members deserve a 2012 VW Beetle, right? So, without further ado, here’s the letter I’m working on to send to Oprah (or one of her hundreds of underlings, more likely) (Opinions/suggestions are welcome! )
Dear Ms. Winfrey,
There no reason this letter should stand out amongst the millions of letters you must receive each year from fans and prospective guests alike. I don’t have an incurable disease or an odd addiction. I haven’t overcome spectacular odds to be alive (except of the everyday variety faced by people the world over), nor have I done some great philanthropic work that deserves recognition. The most remarkable days I’ll probably have for the foreseeable future are behind me, unless of course you can help me with a major request.
I’m a writer. I’m sure you hear that a lot. I don’t write as a profession (yet). My acutal occupation is a support role in an insurance company, but I’ve been writing since I can remember, and before. People have recognized my passion for writing and tried to help me get different opportunities over the years, but as since I’ve entered adulthood, the impetus has been on me to help myself. I have no problem with this. In fact, it was my dream to be featured on your show as one of your book club picks when I was eventually published. I hope you’ll continue sharing your picks with your audience in future, and I still hope to be featured as one of them, but this request is about a dream that is much older.
When I was in the fifth grade, one of my teachers helped me prepare a small selection of my poety and a carefully crafted letter to send to *the Phenomenal Woman*. I loved her writing and wanted to write books of poetry like her when I grew up. I was very eager to hear back from her about the poetry I had sent her and get some feedback. I imagined that I could be a writing protegé of hers.
When I eventually heard back, I received a letter saying she couldn’t accept any of my work for legal reasons. I didn’t understand that then, but I do now. The possible copyright infringement or plagarism allegations that could result would be a nightmare, even from answering a ten year old’s request to review her simple poems.
It has always been my desire to be able to meet with and have a conversation with Ms. Phenomenal Woman. I read her autobiography/memoir as well as her poetry. I read about her trip to Ghana. I listened to her radio show when I had XM satellite radio, and I watched her on your show when she came on. I enjoy listening to her speak about her life, about writing, about anything really. She’s so inspiring to me.
I’ve never had the opportunity to see her in person, and it’s one of my biggest goals to be able to speak with her. It’s not in my nature to ask for a “leg up” in the publishing industry, or an endorsement of my writing that I haven’t earned, or even to be helped to go for my MFA. I have no problem working hard to achieve the things I want to achieve. But this is one of those once in a lifetime opportunities that I couldn’t create for myself, something that I could look back on with great fondness and wonder. Even if I never hear back from you or your staff, at least I will know that I tried…and you will still have a fan in me.
P.S. I would be honored if whoever reads this would check out my blog, Indigo Moods!
*OK, so maybe that last ISN’T what I would say to Oprah/Oprah’s underlings, but you get the general picture. So, help me out here; do you think I have a chance of getting Oprah’s attention? Should I start an email chain letter/petition? A twitter campaign? Or should I just pack it in?
- Oprah goes “old school,” adds Dickens to Book Club (omg.yahoo.com)
- Kindle Oprah update – Dickens is Pick 65, Kindle Oprah thoughts (ireaderreview.com)
- Oprah’s Book Club Hasn’t Included Female Authors Since 2004 (alternet.org)
- It was the worst of times for Oprah picking women’s books… (mjroseblog.typepad.com)