Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Rejection and Despair:Just Another Day in Writer Paradise

Welcome to the annual meeting of 
Whiners Anonymous, Writer Rejection, Virtual Chapter.

Meeting Agenda:
Sharing of Misery
Kick in the Pants
Inspirational Thoughts 
Hugs & Chocolate Served 
Meeting adjourned

Dear Writer,
Thank you for submitting your manuscript. After careful consideration we have decided this manuscript isn't right for us, but we wish you luck placing it elsewhere.

Kind regards,

The Editors

You are not alone!

 From Cracked: Once upon a time, J.K.Rowling was living off of government assistance, retyping complete copies of the manuscript for Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone to send out to publishers because she was too broke to have photocopies made. Rejected by dozens of publishers, the Bloomsbury CEO published it only at the request of his eight-year-old daughter.

Carrie by Stephen King-'We are not interested in science fiction which deals with negative utopias. They do not sell.'

 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.’

"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.

From Seekerville

Of her list of 426 fiction submissions, short story writer and novelist,  Tina Radcliffe reports that only 1/3 of those submissions led to sales or contest finals or wins. Tina parodies her own writing journey in the post Exploring Contest Mood Disorder (every single parody actually happened.)

Says Julie Lessman in this post: " I spent two years and about 31 rejections on unagented queries to publishers, some of which took as long as three years to reply. In fact, within six months of signing with my agent, I sold to a publisher who STILL had an unagented proposal (requested from me at a conference) lost somewhere in their very, deep slush pile!"

 Kick in the Pants

Inspirational Thoughts

From romance author Liliana Hart and her RWA #13 Atlanta Workshop "Self-Publishing Q&A with Liliana Hart and Tina Folsom," the previously unagented, Liliana reports she received eight unsolicited agent queries once her self-pubbed books hit the New York Times List. Ms. Hart sent out form rejection letters.

From Literary Rejections:

Louis L’Amour received 200 rejections before Bantam took a chance on him. He is now their best ever selling author with 330 million sales.

 “Too different from other juveniles on the market to warrant its selling.” A rejection letter sent to Dr Seuss. 300 million sales and the 9th best-selling fiction author of all time.

 “You have no business being a writer and should give up.” Zane Grey ignores the advice. There are believed to be over 250 million copies of his books in print.

 140 rejections stating “Anthologies don’t sell” until the Chicken Soup for the Soul series by Jack Canfield & Mark Victor Hansen sells 125 million copies.

“This will set publishing back 25 years.” Rejecting The Deer Park. Its author Norman Mailer goes on to win The Pulitzer Prize, twice.


"I used to want the words ‘She tried’ on my tombstone. Now I want ‘She did it.’”-Katherine Dunham

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”-Harriet Tubman

“Develop success from failures. Discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping stones to success.”-Dale Carnegie

“Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” -Winston Churchill

It's time for hugs and chocolate. Share your rejection story/stories. We'll be giving away two, one chapter critiques (up to 15 pages) and 1 dose of chocolate.  

Three winners. Winners announced in the Weekend Edition.

Tina Radcliffe is a mild mannered hermit who writes Inspirational romance for Harlequin Love Inspired as Tina Radcliffe and romantic comedy as Tina Russo. You can find her at www.tinaradcliffe.com.

Her latest release from Love Inspired is Mending the Doctor's Heart. Her first Indie release,a romantic comedy called The Rosetti Curse, is available on Amazon NOW!

Praise for The Rosetti Curse:

"The Sopranos Meets Fried Green Tomatoes. Loved this book!" - Sharon Sala author of Going Once--Mira Books--October 2013


Christina Rich said...

I think my biggest pet peeve is the not knowing. I have been happier over rejection letters than receiving nothing.

Btw, I received a rejection from my editor I. Friday, well two actually because she wanted a change that I just wasn't ready to make yet. But I was okay with it all. Well, I would love to see them both published, but all in God's timing.

A day later I received an offer of representation, which mass it all better. Somebody wants me!

Christina Rich said...

Oh and im totally up for a critique. I am trying something new. Contemporary

Tina Radcliffe said...

Yes!! Wanted rocks!! Congratulations.

Clari Dees said...

I had a manuscript rejected back in April, and I won't lie. It hurt. And I cried for a few minutes. But thanks to Seekerville, I knew that LOTS better writers than I experience rejection and that while it was okay to hurt, I wasn't allowed to wallow in it. So, I got up and got back to work, and last week I submitted something new.(gulp)

Christina Rich said...

Yay! Clari! Prayers for favor.

Thanks, Tina! It feels good.

Elizabeth said...

This is so encouraging. I have never been rejected because I have never submitted a manuscript but I am sure I'll paper the walls with them. But I'll keep this in mind for when I need it.
I am within three chapters of the end of my manuscript. It is so exciting.

Jackie said...

Last year at conference the agent I spoke to asked for my synopsis and first chapter. I handed it over and she said if she wasn't interested would I care if she passed it to another agent. I said sure.

Almost a year later another agent from her company contacted me with some questions and asked for a full proposal.

So I've sent it off prepared to wait for the second year of "waiting."

In the meantime I've gotten a lot of thanks for your query we're very busy. If you don't hear from us in X amount of time ...

So I've begun to keep a notebook of when X goes by before querying again.

So do you all think it's best to send out a bunch of queries at once or one at a time?

Congrats Christina!
Way to go Clari. Don't give up.
And thanks to Tina for encouraging us to enter contests, I've gotten some good feedback and even a 2nd place.

I'd love a crit too. Thanks.

Rose said...

When I was writing short stories, articles, devotions for children, I kept an acceptance to rejection ratio it was 7.

So for every seven submissions, one would be an acceptance! To be honest, I thought it'd be higher than it was. Why? Because it feels like it when two or three rejections hit your mailbox on the same day.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Way to go Jackie,

In the words od the great retired agent Marlene Fortune, the only reason not to multiple submit is if you have lots of time on your hands because your doing 5 to 10 at the state penitentary.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Clari! Join the club! Three proposals in 8 months.. One hit the wall snd stuck. We just keep trying.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Almost done, Elizabeth!! Congratulations!!!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Totally agree, Rose. You are right. Never ever got multiple acceptances in my mail box! Ha!

Melanie Dickerson said...

Oo, girl. Do I have some stories for you! Only, because this is a small world (Christian publishing) and I'm still getting rejections, I can't tell most of them! Haha! But I AM continuing to get tons of rejections. But I'm at the point where I know I have options, and I know that, just because a lot of people reject a book doesn't mean it isn't worthy of being published and won't be a huge success.

Rejections are the pits. But I usually get over them in a couple of hours now, instead of a couple of weeks. Although, some rejections are more painful than others. But those more painful ones are also the ones that make you want to work harder, just so you can show that person (really, to show yourself) that you are better than they seem to think you are.

Giving up is not an option, so why complain? I know I'm going to make it, sooner or later. :-) Of course, you might think it's (kinda) easy for me to say that, since I already have published books, but I know lots of authors who had one book published, or one series published, and now they can't seem to get another contract to save their lives. It is a really tough business. But as I said before, quitting is not an option, but with the proliferation of e-books and e-publishing and indy authors doing well, we have OPTIONS! ;-)

Jeanne T said...

What an encouraging post, Tina.

CHRISTINA—Congratulations on the offer of representation! I'm so happy for you!

I haven't received a rejection for a manuscript yet, because I haven't polished one enough to send it off. Life, kids, too many activities. This year will be different. I've cut back on outside activities, and plan to devote more time to writing so I can polish and send off my current WIP when its ready.

I have received a couple rejections for articles I submitted a couple years ago. Those were disappointing. But, looking back, I'm sure my writing wasn't up to their standards at that time.

Like Elizabeth said, I'm sure I'll have plenty.

PLEASE put me in for a critique! I'd love to have eyes on my new WIP.

Cindy Regnier said...

Really needed this post today. Had high hopes for a contest entry that I didn't hear from. On the other hand, won a finalist position I wasn't expecting in another contest. I was asked for a full manuscript by an editor a few months back. Still waiting. I agree with Christina. The waiting is worse than the rejection letter. At least then you know and can go on. I'd love a critique - thanks.

Sherri Shackelford said...

So many stories..so little time! I was rejected by an agent an hour before the editor called offering a contract. I received a form letter rejection from an agent AFTER the book was published...The first book I sold was initially rejected by SYTYCW.

It's a strange business, that's for certain!

Debby Giusti said...

Wish I'd counted my rejections. :)

I had years and years and years of rejections. Finally, I said, "This is the year. I'm pushing with every ounce of energy to make it happen."

It happened. But only after I changed to the inspirational genre. Found my home and my publisher!

Connie Queen said...

I haven't submitted many ms to editors/agents, mainly just contests, so I only have one form rejection letter to my name.

But if I get bad feedback from a judge, I go into my best defense mode.

"They are idiots!!!"

This negative attitude last a day or two before I began to wonder if it's possible my story could have flaws??? I go back and see if there's some truth to the comments. Sometimes the points are valid, sometimes I disagree.

...and I try real hard not to let "Idiot!" become my motto for everyone in my entire WORLD for those couple of days.

Walt Mussell said...

Every year, my RWA chapter holds its rejection collection competition. People put money in the pot and the person with the most rejections at the end of the year wins.

I won.

I think I bought chocolate and books (and coffee).

And more chocolate.

And moe chocolate.

And more chocolate.

Did I mention chocolate?

This year, I'm focusing on finsihing new projects, but I've lost count on the number of rejections I've received.

Janet Dean said...

Thanks for the great post, Tina!Fun to see the big-name authors who were rejected time and again! I'm visualizing the downcast faces at the pub board meetings for passing on books or authors that soared!

“Develop success from failures. Discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping stones to success.”-Dale Carnegie

Carnegie's advice works when rejection makes us tougher and wiser.


Mary Connealy said...

I could just go on for so so so so so so long. I always say I wrote for ten years before I got my first book published. But that whole ten years I was seriously pursuing publication. I got so many rejections in that time.
I guess what I'll tell here is the year I won the Genesis Contest. My first year at ACFW.
I was a double finalist in the historical category and I went there, spent all the money for a conference and I was intensely serious that I would NOT waste this money.
So I took every opportunity.
By the end of that conference I had fifteen requests for five different books. And I rushed home and I got to work and have every single request responded to within weeks.
And then the rejections started limping in.
Every single one of those fifteen requests was a rejection.
My ultimate sale came because I sent a partial of my winning book to Cathy Marie Hake and she invited me in on a three book series to pitch to Heartsong Presents and that's what sold and that one little sale, made riding on the coat tails of a very successful author who happened to smile upon me, led to all the other sales.
It's so easy now, when I've written for four publishers and I've had lots of interest from different publishers to think I'm so talented and so successful but it wasn't easy and not everyone saw the glory that was ME back in the day.

Janet Dean said...

Debby, like you, rejection turned me to writing inspirationals. One of the wonderful things rejection did for me! Rejection and bad contest scores made learn more, try harder. Like discipline, rejection isn't fun, but the results can be amazing!


Mary Connealy said...

Have you ever noticed how one day an editor is saying:
No one is doing what you're doing.
and if you sell all the sudden they're saying:
She's a fresh new voice

Cara Lynn James said...

Tina, I love the chocolate hearts and your new picture!

When I first started writing I sent in a proposal and waited and waited and waited for about 2 years. I finally met the editor at a conference. The editor apologized and asked me to resubmit because the manuscript must have gotten lost. I resubmitted and received a rejection within a week! Groan.

Mary Connealy said...

Remember the year Julie got to go up on stage for getting the most rejections of anyone in one year?
Well, the only reason she was up there was because I was too slow of a counter. I totally won.

Julie Hilton Steele said...

Sigh. It is the fear of rejection keeping me from sending in my full. Sigh. My big girl panties are in the wash.

I am up for the critique give away.

But I am not alone. A great feeling.

Peace, Julie

Elaine Manders said...

The road to success is paved with rejection for everyone.

- Most small businesses fail.
- Job seekers are rejected many times before landing the job.
- How many people married the first person they dated?
- Even after you publish a book it can be rejected by readers.

I don't have any current rejections, except for a few contests, but in my other writing life I did...and a few almosts. Those I remember.

Thanks for reminding us we're not alone, Tina, and here's another reminder.

Swimmer Diana Nyad finally swan from Cuba to Florida after 15 attempts. She's 64. Her advice:

1. Never give up
2. You're never too old
3. You need help along the way

Never heard it better said.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Giving up is not an option, so why complain?-Melanie Dickerson.

Massive success is the best revenge-Frank Sinatra.

How serendipitous, Melly.

Carol Moncado said...

I married the first guy I ever dated... ;)

My most recent rejection wasn't really a rejection - it was more of a "is this what you really want to write" and when I answered no, she very kindly asked me to send my next project.

Like Mel, I don't want to say too much because it is a small world out there. THANK GOD most of my recent rejections have been good ones ["the writing is solid but we didn't like x. Maybe you could try y kind of manuscript." [Yes, that person is one my choices this year.] or "I liked x about the manuscript but didn't like y aspect."]

I kind of um haven't looked too closely at my most recent contest stuff [variety of reasons for that] but now that it's been a while, I probably should... I did get these two for one MS:

"This conflict can't sustain a whole novel." [in Category - so LI type length

"This is more than enough conflict for a trade length novel."


There ya go.

Tina Radcliffe said...

I didn't know Diana Nyad was 64--ROCK AND ROLL!!! What an inspiration!!!!

Myra Johnson said...

If you're writing and submitting--published or not!--rejections are a never-ending fact of life.

And they never get any easier.

Not really, anyway. We just keep eating chocolate while we keep on keeping on.

Thanks for the pep talk, Tina!

Sandra Leesmith said...

TINA love your photo.

WALT congrats on your win. Good choice-chocolate.lol

CHRISTINA congrats to you too.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Ha!! There you go, Carol.

If you look at the link I provided for my post on Contest Mood Disorder, that's exactly the feedback I got on Rosetti. Note the comment about the grandmother.

But conflicting comments are exciting too. They show our work is not vanilla. It touches people positively or negatively. Beats vanilla every day. I want to induce emotion. Hate me or Love me but do not ignore me.

Myra Johnson said...

Elaine posted:

Swimmer Diana Nyad finally swan from Cuba to Florida after 15 attempts. She's 64. Her advice:

1. Never give up
2. You're never too old
3. You need help along the way


Tina Radcliffe said...

Yep. Myra. Too true.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Sherri!!! Such a tale. Life..and the writing life in particular is much stranger than fiction.

Jan Drexler said...

I love acceptances, and usually ignore rejections.

And the rejections have been gathering like a murder of crows lately. I'm trying (through my agent) to pitch a slightly different story than I've been selling to Love Inspired, and so far have hit brick walls.

BUT - I got the best rejection ever on Friday! An editor said, in effect, "Love the writer, but we're not looking for this genre. We'd love to see something else from her, though."

Now THAT'S a rejection to treasure, right?

The problem is that I don't have anything else.

YET. :)

Tina Radcliffe said...

BWOCK!!! <= that's a chicken for Julie Hilton Steele.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Ha, Cara. That's a typical story.

The longest for me is two years from an agent. And she didn't lose it.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Bet it was embarrassing to count on your fingers and toes at the ACFW dinner, Connealy. I try to wear open toed shoes for that very reason.

Tina Radcliffe said...

WHAT A GREAT IDEA, WALT. I love that your chapter does this.

Can't sell what you don't send out.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Jeanne T, here's hoping you sell first time out the gate.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Cindy W! Good story. Those unexpected finals are life savers.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Yes. I guess the secret is to keep lots of SOMETHING else in your basket, Jan. Like Mary Connealy.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Ha, Connie Queen. The Kubler Ross Stages of Grief are another part of the rejection process.

1.Denial — "I feel fine."

2.Anger — "Why me? It's not fair!"

3.Bargaining — "I'll do anything for a sale or contest final.

4.Depression — "I'm so sad, I suck as a writer.

5.Acceptance — "It's going to be okay."

Tina Radcliffe said...

Go Debby!!!

Mary Connealy said...

Wow, way to go Diana Nyad. 64 years old. I got a little winded on Sunday cutting up a watermelon.

But it was a BIG watermelon

Mary Connealy said...


Mary Connealy said...

Tina the stages of grief absolutely apply to rejection letters. It's just so perfect.
The denial NO!!!!!
All of it and it rolls over you. If you're LUCKY it rolls fast. If you're not lucky sometimes you get stuck in a stage (usually the 'I suck' stage) and that can really bog you down.
That's when you need to just go back to writing. Forget the whole rejection and get back to your work in progress.

Carol Moncado said...

I spend way more time in step 4 than is probably healthy :p.

Mary Connealy said...

Sorry, Carol. If it helps, you're not alone in 4. In fact, it's crowded in there. We probably need to build on.

Naomi Rawlings said...

Love the inspiration, Tina! And I LOVE LOVE LOVE the story about the author who hit the NYT list and then sent out form rejection letters to the agents who contacted her.

That's one of the reasons why I love seekerville so much. It's WRITERS talking about writing. Seems like most of the writing blogs out there are written by agents. While I think agents can be helpful and probably understand some aspects of the publishing process, I sure don't know of many agents who sit in front of a blank computer screen coming up with completely original characters and a plot, and then getting form rejections six months later. Most agents, if they write at all write non-fiction.

Makes me love Seekerville that much more. :-)

Tina Radcliffe said...

I agree, Naomi. Agent blogs are great but most of the reason for following is for kissup. No kissup around here. hahahaha

Tina Radcliffe said...

Yeah, we should add on a wailing room for gnashing of teeth.

I never smile with teeth in my pictures you will notice. I gnash too much for that.

Seekerville: Home of the Gnashers.

I love that word btw. gnashers. gnashers. Like bangers and gnash.

Myra Johnson said...

Tina, you have a gorgeous smile!

And I love your expression in the photo at the end of your post! So flirty and charming!

Tina Radcliffe said...

LOL. That's my Mona Tina Smile.

Clari Dees said...

Christina, Congrats on the representation offer! Yippee! And I appreciate the prayers. Especially for patience. :-)

Tina, thank you for this post. The stories of persistence in the face of rejection make keeping-on so much easier.

Anybody thirsty? I'm sharing freshly-made grape juice from our own vines. Yesterday was truly labor day around here, but the corn and okra in the freezer and the green beans and grape juice on the shelf are worth it. Yummy!

Tina Radcliffe said...

It's grape harvesting time in Western New York too, Clari.

I've had so many great fruits and veggies lately I am just smiling.

This morning it was home grown cantaloupe from the shores of Lake Erie.

Erica Vetsch said...

Howdy, Seekerville!

I had a great rejection sequence with a literary agent once. I was green as grass, but trying to follow protocol. I mailed in my query and sample chapters, carefully including a SASE in the packet.

A month later, I received a letter from the agency, but not in my SASE, saying no thank you to the manuscript, and didn't I realize that I should've included an SASE so they could reply on my dime rather than on theirs?

A week after that, I got a letter from the same agency, in MY ORIGINAL SASE, asking to see more of the manuscript, since they liked the story?

Bemused, I sent the rest of the story off to them, which of course, three months later, led to a final rejection.

I always think of that when I see this agent at a conference or hear one of this agent's clients speak about them.

It makes me feel more comfortable knowing that this Rock Star Agent is human (and or has a human staff.)

Jenny Blake said...

im not a writer but had rejection letters for work. One sent the letter stating I was a very close second but I know that before I got the letter cos he rang up so apologetic that he couldn't give me the job and that I was a very close second. If the other girl didn't work out I had a job.
I got this a few times and decided being last is better than a very close second.

I am off chocolate! been two day without it (wonders if thats why I can't sleep cant be the fact I see the dr today and have to ask for a referral to a specialist I made and appointment with while she was away and now wondering if I got the right one. no its chococlate).

Happy Birthday Janet Dean hope you are having a great day.

Tina Radcliffe said...

JENNY!!! WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN? I was ready to send out the Kangroos.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Janet Dean is indeed 21 yet again. Sly gal.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Erica! Good to SEE you! Great story. Reminds me of the one I got where they named another manuscript in the rejection. Not mine. Sigh.

Mary Connealy said...

Erica, how about the time, for me three agents ago, when MY OWN AGENT asked me to send in a manuscript and then sent it back to me and rejected representing me.
She was already representing me.
She didn't recognize me, her client as the person who had sent in the manuscript.
She wasn't saying the manuscript was bad and I needed to work on it or send something else, she was saying she didn't want to sign me up as a client.
I always picture her just tearing the thing open, pulling it out, shoving the RJ letter in with the manuscript to my SASE and mailing it off without reading a thing. How else could it have happened huh?

Tina Radcliffe said...

LOL, Mary. That cracks me up.

Missy Tippens said...

Excellent stuff, Tina!! I love many of those quotes and examples. All very inspirational and encouraging.

Christina, congrats on getting an agent!!

Julie Lessman said...

TINA!!! I am on vaca right now and am SO behind on emails and the such, so I missed that this post was for TODAY!!

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE IT!!! But then I always love rejection "success" stories, so this was a blast to read.

I'll never forget my very first phone conversation with my new editor. I told her I had pitched this same book to her a few years earlier at ACFW, but she had no recall, even when I mentioned starting it after reading GWTW at the age of 12. I thought that little tidbit -- and my CDQ personality -- would at least lodge somewhere in her brain, but no. Neither I nor my pitch were very memorable, apparently. But trust me, she remembers everything I say and write now ... ;)


Missy Tippens said...

Good for you, Clari. I wonder if it'll ever get easier?? I cry and/or get a stomach ache every time.

Jeanne T said...

TINA, I forgot to say earlier, I like your new pic too. I confess though, I wondered what mischief you'd just caused when I first saw it. ;)

Julie Lessman said...


And contemporaries are HOT, HOT, HOT right now, so you go, girl!!


Missy Tippens said...

Amen to that, Melanie! Quitting is not an option.

Julie Lessman said...

CLARI ... SO sorry about the R, but SO proud of you for dusting yourself off and jumping back in!! I had 45 rejections total on A Passion Most Pure, one of which came about six months after I sold it. :) Trust me, that was a fun letter to write back ... ;) So hang in there, girl. I've read your stuff and gotta feeling you are in for a much, MUCH lower number of Rs before you sign on that dotted line. :)


Ruth Logan Herne said...

Writers are no stranger to rejection, before and after the sale. How cool that we have some alternatives now, the ability to self-publish...

And the ability to self-promote unlike anything seen by writers before this time of technological innovation.

We've got opportunities galore, if we just take hold of them.

Tina, we all smile at those rejections of famous works, and we know that the rejection can be good, a way of toughening us up because if folks think this biz is easy-peasy and feel good 24/7, well...

It's not.

But having said THAT, I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world because I'm literally having the time of my life.


Ruth Logan Herne said...

CLARI!!!! I'm so proud of you.

The "R's" sting for sure, but you're an overcomer.


(Link to Mandisa's "OVERCOMER!!!"

Ruth Logan Herne said...

And hats off to Melanie Dickerson because her candid talk up above (points upward to the early comments!!!!) is so stinkin' true, and she's a gal who's come a long way.

When she says she'd have crashed and burned for a WHILE back in the day, she's not kidding.

She's toughened up, and ya' gotta do that in this biz. Don't take it personal even if it IS personal.

Success is the best form of revenge.

And I don't mean revenge in a vengeful way, but I loved what those noted authors in the blog had in common:

They didn't quit, they pulled up their big kid panties and moved on.

And that's the way of it.

Jackie said...

Tina, you crack me up. Message received.

Have a great day!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Connealy, can you still beat Julie's FORTY-FIVE? Impressive, Jules.

Tina Radcliffe said...

I was planning world domination, Jeanne. I am currently reviewing minion resumes.

Erica Vetsch said...

MARY, take solace in the fact that back in the dark ages when you and I shared an agent...he walked up to me at a conference and asked me if I was YOU!

I sighed and said, I'm afraid not.

You know me...not the rose, but near the rose...

Christina said...

I loved this post! Lots of encouragement, great quotes and shares stories of rejection. I have an inspy romance in a drawer that hasn't seen the light of day. But I have a novella that has been out 3x and it hasn't been horrible. No form rejections and 2 editors actually asked for more time to 'review' it and then finally rejected. BUT Saturday I sent it out again and yesterday (a holiday of all days) an editor said she loved the first few pages, liked the comedic tone and wanted to know if I was open to some tightening and revisions. Even when I was working magazine freelance I never got a reply that fast. So is it me or is that a good sign? I'm afraid to cross my fingers and toes just yet. I'm aware how tough it is 'out there' so if nothing comes of it, even after some work, I'm ok. Good thing 20 years in journalism helped me grow a thick hide. Guess I'm going to need it.

CatMom said...

GREAT post Tina--and am loving all these comments too.

I don't have any outstanding rejection stories to share--just the usual ones and I was thankful they were polite. ;)

However, at my 2nd ACFW conference I was pitching to an editor, and an earring came off. When I leaned down to the floor to pick it up, my ink pen flew out of my hand (thankfully didn't poke the editor in the eye). And you might wonder WHY I was holding an ink pen? For security---it's a little less obvious than bringing a pillow or blanket and clutching it to me.

Anyway, thanks for this post and wonderful uplifting reminders. And I'll add that even though chocolate is yummy and can be a great comfort, sometimes after a rejection I like a little "cheese with my whine" - - LOL (sorry, just couldn't resist).
Hugs, Patti Jo :)

Tina Radcliffe said...

Chistina L!!! Congratulations!!!!!!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Christina! I can spell. Really!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Lol Patti Jo ... What a visual.

CatMom said...


I hope you're having a wonderful day!! Not sure what kind of cake you like, so I picked up several kinds for you: Yellow cake with fudge icing; Red velvet cake with cream cheese icing; Spice cake with maple icing.
ENJOY!! Hugs, Patti Jo :)

Jenny Blake said...

Tina, it was a tough few days the end of last week Thursday went out with a friend which was really nice and then the sun came out.
Blame Debby Giusti for me being AWL Her two books made me want to read.

We also started a new Australasian Christian Writers blog which I was working on.

Today I see the dr about a referral to the specialist I have an appointment with haven't slept well I think its cos I am worried I did the wrong thing (I know I didn't but its playing on my mind) Please pray this specialist is the right one and she gives me a referral for him.

Melanie Dickerson said...

Massive success is the best revenge-Frank Sinatra

I'll take massive success. Massive success is good.

Now I know what to pray for. Thanks, Tina!!!

Melanie Dickerson said...

Ruthy, I HAVE come a long way! Gosh, when I think how much I have learned, personally, spiritually, from the writing journey, from all the rejections, and even from my successes, it is just enormous, GOD-sized stuff. Only God could take a wimpy girl like me and turn her into the ... uh, woman of faith and trust you see before you. ;-) Seriously. I have come a long way. :-)

Chill N said...

>>the previously unagented, Liliana reports she received eight unsolicited agent queries once her self-pubbed books hit the New York Times List. Ms. Hart sent out form rejection letters. <<

Yes! Now THAT is inspiration.

Nancy C

Chill N said...

Anyone heard from She-Ra ... uh, Melissa J today?

Nancy C

Stephanie Queen Ludwig said...

I haven't had many rejections for my writing, mainly because I've hardly submitted anything! I submitted a short story several years ago and had it rejected, but looking back, I didn't research the market the magazine catered to at all. So at least I comforted myself with THAT.

Hoping to have many rejections in the future, as I gather up enough courage to submit my novels!

Chill N said...

Rejection. I still wallow in ... uh, experience ... the negative reactions. Glory in them, actually. But eventually whining and wallowing gets boring and the "Oh yeah? I'll show them!" surfaces.

I sent a full to a publisher and received a next-day rejection. Considering how long it takes some writers to receive a rejection, I was kind of proud of how quickly the publisher responded to me.

Nancy C

Chill N said...

CHRISTINA -- Congrats on the offer of representation! Talk about inspiration :-)

Nancy C

Mary Hicks said...

The first manuscript I ever submitted passed the synopsis and they asked for a full.

I was so excited... then I got the rejection letter. I was so disappointed... until I re-read the letter, then I was excited again.

I learned a lot from that letter. it said they loved my story, but it didn't have enough romance. Romance. Not sex. I was excited again! They loved my story!

Telling me NO is like throwing fuel on a fire—I get so fired up, I bypass depression, anger, unhappiness and all those energy draining emotions. :-)

Julie Lessman said...

WAIT A MINUTE, MARE ... when Brandilyn asked for a show of hands who had the most rejections in a year, only a handful of people were stupid enough to raise their hands, and I was the one in the far back corner waving my hands like an idiot. I was so desperate to win ANYTHING back then, I even wanted the booby prize. :)


Lyndee H said...

Tina, Tina, Tina! Reading Rosetti and loving it! Yay for you!

Regarding rejections - In my humble thinking, there are the slim chance and the no chance. Slim chance means you've at least written and submitted and the no chance means...well, you know what it means. To me rejection means I tried and I'm happy with that. Plus I believe that there's a season for everything. And right now I'm in the season of learning patience! And doing so without grinding my teeth into nubs.

Happy Birthday, JANET DEAN! Ahhh, to be 21 again...

And CHRISTINA! Whooohooo for you! Congrats!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Thank you, Lyndee!! And so true on the seasons!

Tina Radcliffe said...


Tina Radcliffe said...

Nancy, welcome to the 'R' club.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Stephanie Queen Ludwig! Here's to more 'Rs' in the future... But I prefer you sell!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Mary Hicks, I'm like you. i get mad! And am determined to revise to sell!

Virginia Carmichael Munoz said...

Oh, man! I missed such a fun day!!
I have so many rejection stories I could ... write a book.

One of my favorites was getting a partial, and then four months later a request for a full, with a personal note of extreme interest from an editor. I was so excited! I sent the full. Waited AN ENTIRE YEAR, and received a form letter rejection.

Another one was a partial request (with enthusiasm) from an agent. Then a full request (with more enthusiasm). The six months later a form rejection. Uhhhh.

I saved most of my rejections, even the e-mail ones. I like to read them and then read my five star reviews. :D It gets my blood pumping before I sit down and write.
I especially love the ones who say 'no one wants another Austen book' or 'this was too sweet, can you give it a little more passion?' Um, yes they do and no, I can't.

Virginia Carmichael Munoz said...

Oh, P.S.

As soon as my books hit the genre lists I get queried from agents... over facebook.
I thought that was a little lame.
I didn't send out form rejections though. I answered every one, nice and polite like I'd been taught. :D

I don't need on right now, but I'm sure I'll need one if things really, really take off.

Audra Harders said...

Great inspiration, Tina. I love the quotes.

Sometimes editors and agents make silly mistakes, don't they??

Tina Radcliffe said...

I save ALLL my rejections too.

Melissa Jagears said...

She-Ra's only superpower usage today was in answering handfuls of reader questions on the novella and the quirks of technology and surviving a two hour grocery trip complete with waddling.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Well good to see you, Jenny! And praying. Be sure to send us a link when your new blog goes live.

Tina Radcliffe said...

It's She-Ra!!

Anna R. Weaver said...

Looks like I'm late to the party, but I hope you don't mind if I share. I got my first rejection last Tuesday. I had submitted my WIP to the Love Inspired Suspense line after getting a request at the Happily Editor After pitch. The editor said that she found a lot to like, but it wasn't a good fit for LIS because the tone was too light.

I guess I'll finish it and keep submitting... Maybe someone out there is interested in light-hearted romantic suspense. :) Thanks for sharing, Tina!

Tina Radcliffe said...

I write light hearted romantic suspense and self published Anna. Don't rule it out.

And congatulations, you are no longer a hobbyist! YOU SUBBED! Way to go!!

Sally said...

Read this post yesterday and am still thinking about it today. Awesome points. Thanks for sharing, encouraging, and prodding. I never knew that about Louis L'Amour or Dr Seuss. What were they thinking? lol.
tscmshupe [at] pemtel [dot] net

Renee Blare said...

I'd love the critique, but how about two doses of chocolate? I've had a few rejection letters. Yes, just a few. :)

Tina Radcliffe said...

Lol, Sally. What were they thinking??

Tina Radcliffe said...

Welcome, Renee. Yes, I agree. Some rejections require two doses.

Pat Jeanne Davis said...

Read your blog posting on Wed. but couldn't comment then. Thanks, Tina. It gave me much to think on. Reassuring to know it's the norm to get many rejections before our book is published. Until that happens I want to be one who keeps my eye on the goal while improving my writing
skills. You're all so encouraging.