Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Rejection #1 (I feel all proper writer-like now!)

Today I'm going to talk about rejection, because I recently got my first one! This will also double as a bit of a confession (it's been a while since my last confession...). Today, I confess that I'm not ready to query! I shouldn't enter contests where the prize is a chance to send pages, or to have a partial or full manuscript considered, or anything like that. Why? Because I'm not ready. I know this. So from here on in, I'm going to remember it! rejection story. A while back I entered one of those pitch contests with my MG project. I didn't win, but my 140-character pitch still got some attention. I received an email from pretty big deal agent, requesting that I send in my query and pages. Because I knew I wasn't ready for that, I wasn't expecting much to come of the whole affair. It was still flattering, and exciting. Still, I had to wonder if I should email back saying, "Sorry! I'm not ready! Entering that contest was a mistake!" Then I thought, how stupid - no way could I do that! So I did some last minute frantic revision, ending with a totally new query and a half-new first chapter (and no time to get either critiqued). I was happy with the changes, but still sensed I wasn't ready. Particularly as my word count remains just a little too high.

Turns out I was right - and rejected. However, it was one of those "nice" rejections. I was told I'm "a terrifically strong writer". My project got a lovely compliment too. It just wasn't suited to the agent in question. Maybe not to MG in general, either. This is something I've worried about, but I also think my introductory pages don't completely reflect the overall silliness of the story. Something I need to think about when I get to revisions.

Anyway, that's it - my first rejection! And all in all, I was pretty pleased with it. I've seen other writers blog lately about how they can't wait for their first rejection, because at least it means they're out there making a go of this writing thing! I know how they feel...and I now know the healing power of a good, kind rejection, too. :)

In other news, this is what happens when I don't pay attention. My former first chapter of SUNDOWN was an entrant in this contest, and I only found out after the voting week was over. D'oh! I got one comment, which came in today, and it was nice: "Good writing style! I'm not big on first person reads but this was done very well. Story pulled me in!" I'm pretty sure that's the only attention anyone paid to it (including me, the damn writer!) but I'm okay with that. That chapter is gone now anyway...


  1. Congratulations! As rejections go, that's pretty great. I dub thee "Lady Writer in Veritas."

  2. That is a really good rejection - yay for you! And you made me laugh so much with this post (um, you were going for funny, right?). It's great that you know you're not ready, so many of us don't.

    Good luck with revisions! I feel your pain.

  3. Funny, when I got my first agent rejection I had the exact same reaction - "Hooray! I'm a real writer now!" :)
    You know, from any complimentary rejection, I cut and paste the feel-good part into a word doc, so that I can look at them when I'm feeling blah. I've found it's a good resource.

  4. Yup! You are a true writer now! Congrats!

    I have had a similar experience lately, just been wondering if I want to blog about it or not. We will see... but hey, at least we all know that we truly are in the writing world now!

    Keep going!!

  5. @Elizabeth - Hehe, thanks!!

    @VB - I'm glad I made you laugh :P And yes I am tempted to leap ahead and get on with this querying thing, but I know it'll bite me in the arse if I start before I'm ready. ;)

    @Charlotte - that's a great idea!

    @Jenni, I wasn't sure if I should blog about this either, but figured it would be okay if I didn't mention names...of my work or of the agent or agency. :)

  6. Trisha, that's a great rejection. I was wondering how you know you're not ready. Is you manucript finished? Why not make a few more cheeky submissions. They get easier.

  7. Hehe, well I figured I wasn't ready with this one since...I haven't even got through an entire revision of it yet. :O ;)

  8. Congrats! That is a very positive rejection. Keep writing and when you are ready, submit. Good luck.

  9. Yaaayy rejection! Congrats! :P

  10. Lots of positives, and thansk for blogging about it, good to know what's going on out there.
    Moody Writing

  11. @Linda - thank you! :D

    @Michael - YAY Rejection Party!! hehe

    @mood - I hemmed and hawed about whether to post about it, for a while - but in the end decided it couldn't hurt. :)

  12. I'm with you, I'm so not ready to query, either. But you're obviously going in the right direction if you got an agent's attention. Keep at it!

  13. Congrats on your first rejection :D And a kind rejection makes a HUUUGE difference between hitting rock bottom and landing on a pile of fluff.

  14. @Lori - Yeah, somehow I doubt I'd be so cheer if it had been a brutally horrible one :P

    @Gina - Yay, let's get ready together! :D Are you in revisions too?

  15. Stopping by to say hi to a fellow A-Zer! Hope you had as much fun as I did.

    You have a good attitude about rejection. No one likes it, but we all get it.

  16. Congrats! You can now join pretty much all the great writers in creating a revenge list. Ok, not really. I'm sure the agent is wonderful and very nice. But it's always also nice to imagine saying "I got rejected X amount of times before my book became a multi-million dollar best-seller and changed the world and all that jazz." So HA ;)

  17. @Bob - hi, thanks for stopping by! :D I did have a lot of fun with it, but still not sad it's over. hehe

    @Bess - thanks! LOL. Considering I wasn't event trying to query this time, I don't feel too bad about the rejection. When I actually get serious about it & have all my hopes pinned on it, I guess it'll be a different story. :P

  18. Big and gigantic *HUGS* to you.
    You have a dedicated cheerleader here, and I'm not going anywhere anytime soon.

  19. Thanks Akoss :D And right back at ya!! :)


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