1. To Disclose or Not To Disclose: Certainly the complaint of every writer is the ambiguous or non existent comments that accompany a rejection. Should the FULL DISCLOSURE apply to editors and agents, and can writers handle the truth?
We do accept unsolicited manuscripts and seriously consider all submissions, including first time writers. Your submission should include a synopsis, the first 50 pages of your manuscript and a self-addressed, stamped envelope.
Additionally: If you are requesting full-disclosure, we suggest you return a cashier's check in the amount $25.00 to cover processing, as our agency receives more than 2,000 unsolicited queries a month. Please sign the six page liability waiver to allow us to provide you with the requested full-disclosure and information on the status and quality of your submission. Expect a response within eight to ten weeks of our receipt of the requested items.
Do not send a complete manuscript.
3. Several years ago on an e-harlequin.com group there was an enlightening discussion on the words rejection and pass.
Think about it.
Editor ABC dislikes peas. You can prepare the peas in a variety of ways but they are still peas. She is going to pass on your peas.
Agent Z has a stellar author who writes anchovies. You submit your novel of anchovies. Frankly, one anchovy is really all she can handle right now. She is going to pass.
Editor Q just bought a series on sweet potatoes. Your sweet potatoes are actually just as good, (possibly better), but there isn't room for another sweet potato in this year's line-up. Yes, dear,he's going to pass.
Exploring Contest Mood-Disorder
Contests: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
The Savy Diva's Guide to Contests
Obsessive Contest Disorder: OCD
Contests are the single most subjective mode of exposure and potential for rejection available for a writer with reviews coming in second. Despite the contest coordinator's assurances, there really is no guarantee that the judge is qualified, knows the location of their reading glasses, or has taken their medication. Enough said.
Your novel might never get published, but your rejection letters could make it big!
Bill Shapiro (editor of Other People's Love Letters) is looking for your literary rejection letters, planning to publish them in a 2010 collection entitled, Other People's Rejection Letters.
From the release: "Whether typed form letters or handwritten in a fit of rage, whether sent by text message, email, or scrawled in crayon, any kind of rejection is fair game ... If you have a letter, you can either send it to me or scan it (600 dpi, por favor) and then email it."or check out a great rejection blog:Literary Rejections on Display: A vast public collection of real-life rejection
And finally, before you toss those manuscript pages into the circular file:
Last Words on Rejection...
"Jack Kerouac, George Orwell and Sylvia Plath are just a few of the authors whose books were turned down by the Alfred A. Knopf publishing house. Researchers going through the Knopf archives have come across their rejection letters, as well as a few others." Check out this NPR audio program.
Rotten Rejections: The Letters That Publishers Wish They'd Never Sent written by Andre Bernard
Carrie by Stephen King
'We are not interested in science fiction which deals with negative utopias. They do not sell.'
Catch – 22 by Joseph Heller
‘I haven’t really the foggiest idea about what the man is trying to say… Apparently the author intends it to be funny – possibly even satire – but it is really not funny on any intellectual level … From your long publishing experience you will know that it is less disastrous to turn down a work of genius than to turn down talented mediocrities.’
The Diary of Anne Frank
‘The girl doesn’t, it seems to me, have a special perception or feeling which would lift that book above the “curiosity” level.’From Ursula K Le Guin's web site: A rejection letter
Dear Miss Kidd,
Ursula K. Le Guin writes extremely well, but I'm sorry to have to say that on the basis of that one highly distinguishing quality alone I cannot make you an offer for the novel. The book is so endlessly complicated by details of reference and information, the interim legends become so much of a nuisance despite their relevance, that the very action of the story seems to be to become hopelessly bogged down and the book, eventually, unreadable. The whole is so dry and airless, so lacking in pace, that whatever drama and excitement the novel might have had is entirely dissipated by what does seem, a great deal of the time, to be extraneous material. My thanks nonetheless for having thought of us. The manuscript of The Left Hand of Darkness is returned herewith. Yours sincerely,
21 June, 1968