There are a lot of amusing and beguiling collective nouns for creatures, such as a parliament of owls, a murder of crows, a charm of goldfinches, a clowder of cats, a kindle of kittens, a murmuration of starlings, a sloth of bears and an ambush of tigers.
Collective nouns for professions are less common, but they do exist. Should you have a group of butlers, they’d be known as a draught. Jurors are collectively known as a damning, while the rise of portrait painters in the Renaissance, who sometimes painted flattering representations of their wealthy clients, led to them being called a misbelief of painters. Personal relationships have resulted in less than happy collective nouns: a group of husbands is an unhappiness, while wives are an impatience.
After knuckling down to another campaign of querying recently, I found myself wondering about what to call writers, agents, publishers and readers en masse.
* Writers working alone—a loneliness.
* Rejected writers—a frustration.
* Traditionally published authors—a smugness.
* Self-published authors—a hopefulness…or maybe a defiance.
* Literary agents—an elusiveness.
* Publishers—a haughtiness.
* Editors—a punctiliousness.
* Professional book critics—a fickleness.
* Online book critics—a bitchiness.
* Readers—a diffidence.
Any more ideas?