DEAR SIR, WOULD YOU TELL ME HOW TO WRITE?


      Among other comments regularly heard in reference to the L. Ron Hubbards of 1935: He possessed a singularly rare concern for those who wished to write but lacked both editorial direction and contacts. He worked ceaselessly to open traditionally bolted doors of reputable agents and publishers, and otherwise stood ready to help all those who harbored the dream of writing for a living. The statements are true, as the letters to follow will attest.

      Regarding those letters: While publishers were theoretically open to all submissions, senior editors generally reviewed only those manuscripts of known authors or those offered through agents whom they likewise knew. The catch: one could not enlist an agent unless previously published, or at least recommended by an author of repute. In reply, and especially in his capacity as president of American Fiction Guild’s New York chapter, LRH fought to admit the unpublished author as a “novice.” Whereupon, he would usher them into the rear of Rostoff’s Restaurant for those all-important introductions to editors and publishers lunching on club sandwiches.

      Offered here is a sampling of the to-and-from novice authors, including an obscure Catherine L. Moore – then employed as a bank secretary, but latterly remembered for a long and distinguished career as a novelist and teleplay writer. Additionally included are Ron’s “solid meat” replies to the “word-weary,” and his letter from the airwaves of Radio KVOO – all in answer to that question of questions: “Would you tell me how to write?”


 




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