Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Balm for Rejection Letters

Moonrat gives good advice to a querier who got more than a form rejection.
When I read this, I'm not sure I wasn't the agent who sent it. It sounds exactly like what I think, and have sometimes said. I guess now I'll include a link to Moonrat's post with my rejections!

14 comments:

Annette Lyon said...

Fantanstic post. Thanks for pointing our way. I'm tempted to print it out and frame it.

Deaf Brown Trash Punk said...

yeah, that rejection is quite brutal. I don't think anybody has the right to tell someone else that they're not a good writer.

but technically the agent didn't say that she's not a good writer. the agent said, "the writing wasn't special enough," which suggests maybe the manuscript needs some polishing or something.

methink someone's crying a little too loud.

Susan Adrian said...

Hmmm. Excellent advice, but I didn't think the rejection was particularly brutal. I've gotten a lot worse than that, in my day.

Julie Weathers said...

"yeah, that rejection is quite brutal. I don't think anybody has the right to tell someone else that they're not a good writer."

I'm kind of mystified by the response of the author.

The agent took out time to write quite a bit about why they were rejecting and in this day and age, that's remarkable. I think if they were actually thinking the author they isn't a good writer there would have been a form rejection.

The author got several "good" rejections and yet is focusing on one that isn't even that bad.

There is a reason Janet says query widely. It's advice we all need to take to heart.

moonrat said...

thanks for the linky :) it wasn't you, incidentally...

JKB said...

Just FYI, from the querying/agented end, when I queried you you were fantastic, helpful and funny. Quite a fantastic bit in all, really.

So if you think it, you certainly don't write it. :)

clindsay said...

I don't think it was a brutal rejection at all.

The agent offered specifics, something that many agents don't have time to do, specifics that the writer should find useful in determining where to focus his or her efforts when revising.

Julie Weathers said...

I don't think it was a brutal rejection at all.

The agent offered specifics, something that many agents don't have time to do, specifics that the writer should find useful in determining where to focus his or her efforts when revising.

Exactly.

This rejection was a gift from heaven.

FIONA said...

Thank goodness there are still agents out there who take the time to give something other than a standard rejection letter.

ChrisEldin said...

I think it's the way the rejection was worded. Saying someone's writing isn't special enough is getting kindof personal, to me. Now, saying that the agent didn't fall in love with *the manuscript* is different.

In any case, an agent or editor eeking out enough time to scribble a few specific notes about the manuscript is valuable to the author. That's what the author should focus on.

Plus, as former Church Lady, I have dibs on the word "special."

ICQB said...

It would hurt, but I would love to get a rejection like this.

I'm in the "it's a gift from heaven" camp. Take the lumps and learn from them - AND keep your love for writing.

Think of it all as the midwife of great writing. Your'e in pain, you may hate the midwife for doing all that stuff down there, but in the end, great writing has been birthed!

Crimogenic said...

I rather get a rejection like this, then to get no response at all... it happens, repeatedly.

And I said it on Moonrat's blog, here response is still very motivational.


http://crimogenic.blogspot.com/

pseudosu said...

I agree. I'm really disliking what seems to be a growing trend towards the "no reply at all" rejection.

Any time an agent writes anything pertaining specifically to your submission they're going above and beyond. Tough as it may be to hear, take it and try to learn from it.

Picks By Pat said...

Any rejection can be tough to handle, but there's nothing to say the writing can't be improved & the work sent out again.