I have now seen both sides of the spectrum and am forced to regretfully conclude that #queryfail participants showed more respect, restraint and professionalism than the majority of #agentfail participants.
As a writer I am frankly embarrassed. We were given a forum in which agents requested us to discuss things that we think could be improved and there is only one conclusion for what followed.
Writers behaved poorly.
There was unmitigated agent bashing and it only served to make writers look like petty, arrogant fools. Not only that, but the majority of those that behaved foolishly felt free to go all out and not pull any punches because they could do so in perfect anonymity. I think this was the beginning of the problem. #queryfail happened on twitter so we knew exactly which agent made what comments. They were held responsible for the things they were saying.
Many of the writers participating in #agentfail apparently felt no need to respond in kind. By far the majority were anonymous posters.
I'm not going to go into details of the many complaints on #agentfail that I believe to be unjust, disrespectful and flat out ridiculous. Instead, I'm going to highlight the relatively few valid points that were made.
1 - Writers don't like a "no response means no" policy to queries and submissions. They would prefer at the very least an auto-response stating that they received the material and a notification that they would be in contact IF they were interested.
2 - If an agent requests material then the agent should try to be ready to respond in the time frame they have requested, if not, the agent should drop us a note telling us they need an extension and how much longer they will need.
3 - Agents should keep their submission information up to date and available for prospective clients.
4 - Agents should be professional in their communications with writers--just as they would like writers to be professional with them.
this last note was my only contribution to #agentfail (I did not post it anonymously by the way)
5 - Agents should be more environmentally/technologically friendly and be accessible for e-mail queries and internet submissions.
If any of my writer friends would like to have a concise list of what should be expected from an agent. Please check out agent Rachelle Gardner's blog for an awesome post on that exact subject.