70% Rejected

Well, I got another rejection on Friday. I know I should have posted about it then, but the man creature has two weeks off work and it’s messing with my routine. I haven’t been nearly as productive as I should have been in terms of updating this blog or getting actual writing done. Now, back on track:

I recieved a form rejection letter again, this time from one of my my top choices. So far I’ve gotten no feedback on anything, so I’m trying to remain distanced as I start thinking of ways to better the submission packet. Guessing what is turning people off is a difficult thing to do. If anyone has any experience in this department, I’d LOVE a few pointers. I’ll combine this problem with my morning writing sessions and write it all over from every perspective (which is a lot of perspectives).

What I am currently thinking I did wrong: I gave too much thought to the rules and not enough thought to voice. Well, seven rejections on, I don’t think I’ll be as hesitant to break a few rules. Time to make this submission packet stand out.

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A Month On

Well, it’s been quite a few days, guys. Sorry about that. I was trying to update at least once every two or three days, but life happens. Sometimes, life happens really hard and fast, leaving you blindsided in an emotionally crippled heap on the ground. But time heals. Well, time and superhero movies. And alcoholic cider that tastes like apple pie.

Anyway, Four weeks and a day have passed since my last submission went out and I decided to look over the submission protocol for the remaining agents. Most of them still have plenty of time before they estimate I will hear from them, but one agent’s website says if you don’t hear from her in two weeks, she’s likely not interested. Well, it’s been four weeks and I’ve heard nothing, so I guess she’s out of the running. I guess that only leaves four.

This list is slimming rather slowly. Hopefully I’ll hear back from the others soon, but even right now it looks as if I’ll be making changes to the submission packet even if I get a request for a manuscript from one of the remainders. This is one hell of a way to learn!

5/10 Denied

So, I woke up this beautiful Saturday morning and, while waiting for my fritatta to bake, I decided to check my email. Lo and behold, there it was: another rejection, this one from my favorite agent. It was a nice little letter, but no matter how sweet, it was still a form letter and that kind of hurts a bit. Yet another letter to add to the rejection spike. Now is when I keep reminding myself that so many of the books I love today were initially rejected multiple times before they were published. Hell, Harry Potter was rejected a dozen times. Now, no, I don’t fancy myself as the next J.K. Rowling, but we do what we need to to keep our heads above the waters of depression. So, if you’re in my shoes and need a little reminding that not everyone is accepted on the first couple submissions, here’s some facts I dredged up from the internet:

  • Beatrix Potter had to publish The Tale of Peter Rabbit by herself
  • Tamora Pierce was rejected four times before someone recommended editing her manuscript for The Song of The Lioness into a young adult series. I have been unable to find how many times it was rejected after that.
  • Gertrude Stein submitted poems for 22 years before one was accepted (This one’s for you, Tara and Olivia!)
  • Carrie by Stephen King was rejected 30 times
  • Rudyard Kipling was told he didn’t know how to use the English language
  • A Wrinkle in Time was rejected 26 times
  • Frank Herbert’s Dune was rejected 23 times
  • Agatha Christie had to wait 5 years before being published
  • And, of course, J.K. Rowling was told not to quit her day job

If you’d be interested in learning more, there is a website dedicated to stories of bestsellers and their initial rejections.

So, another rejection to add to my spike, but at least I have a lovely fritatta.

The Rejection Spike

So, my good friend Olivia once got the coolest writing present ever. Her grandfather (I believe) made her something called a rejection spike. It was the first one I’ve ever seen and if you do a google image search, it’s the only one that comes up. Well, mine might come up now, you never know. Anyways, when I started my submission process, she recommended making one so every time I got a rejection, I could print them off and drive them through on the spike. I thought about what I would want to make mine out of. Olivia’s is made from a plank of wood and a railroad spike. Wexford, being the great metropolis it is, doesn’t have railroad spikes just laying around, besides, that one’s Olivia’s. That night I was talking to the man creature and he recommended I try this catch-all shop in town. I was headed into the library and would pass by it anyway, so I popped in. I had to dig to the bottom of a crate of old, dirty, rusted garden tools (thankfully, I have an updated tetanus shot), but I found this long, thin file with the perfect point at the top. Even better? The woman sold it to me for a whole euro.

Next, I needed a base. It needed to be quite thick since the file is solid metal and heavy. Enter Irish charity shops. They always have books there and books can be quite thick. I thought, why not? Then perfection happened. They had a copy of Breaking Dawn by Stephanie Meyer. Now, anyone who knows me knows I’m not a fan. I’m not one of the rabid anti-fans, but I never thought I would buy one of her books. Well, I did. I just also happened to drive a metal spike through it. I figure it can serve as a reminder that if Twilight can get published, so can I.

IMG_20141022_155103 The supplies

IMG_20141021_134525First, I had to clean the file with a wire brush. It was pretty dirty, so it took a while.

IMG_20141021_134515

And as it happens, Netflix had just recently added Gilmore Girls. I never really watched it when I was younger, so I figured “Why not?”. I nearly lost it when baby Sam Winchester popped up, calling himself Dean.  IMG_20141022_180701

It took a while and I lost a few layers of skin on my hands since, you know, it IS a file and I had no drill.

IMG_20141101_095134The finished product on my desk with four rejections. And let me tell you, driving the rejections through is SO satisfying!