Thursday, July 5, 2007

Excuses, Excuses

Rejecting parties who got it all wrong:
  • James Joyce, Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man: "It is not possible to get hold of an intelligent audience in wartime." And: "...a good work but it won't pay."
  • John Knowles, A Separate Peace: "...embarrassingly overwrought...strikes me as much overdone, and even pretentious...I feel rather hopeless about this having a future."
  • Herman Melville, Moby Dick: "It is very long, rather old-fashioned, and in our opinion not deserving."
  • Pearl Buck, The Good Earth: "Regret the American public is not interested in anything on China."
  • Emily Dickinson, Untitled (Poetry Manuscript): "The rhymes are all wrong."

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

As an editor in the industry, I feel compelled to comment. I hope you realize that, while you may not agree with some of the rejections you receive, and some of them probably are utter shit, that a lot of the time when someone is saying something vague or giving you extensive compliments and still rejecting, that it is because they are just not interested. Maybe they think, with a little attention from an editor, your work would sell -- but they might not be interested enough to be married to the project. They are also working with stacks upon stacks of submissions that continue to roll in, day after day. Enough so that they HAVE to have help from assistants and interns, who may not right the most descriptive decline but who are at least getting an answer to you.

I certainly hope you haven't blacklisted yourself with this blog. It's a tricky industry and while you may see this as a place to air your frustrations about being rejected, it is also incredibly unprofessional to be posting the things you do. Especially since you do not black out the names of the people you are corresponding with.

Anonymous said...

geez, here I am admitting to being an editor and I have a blatant typo in my comment. I think I need a copyeditor. That should read "who may not write the most descriptive decline" in the above comment. Yikes!

writer, (w)resting said...

How can it hurt honest, level-headed, sensitive editors to see the effects of their words? I'd say this site has a two-fold benefit: airing the frustration that has been felt at one time or another by nearly every writer breathing, and calling for some accountability from a lot of people who wield their power heedlessly.

And, hello? I realize that being an editor can truly drain the joy out of life sometimes, Anon, but how about a sense of perspective and/or humor?

A Different Anonymous said...

Your write, Writer,(W)resting! :-)Those editors sure are grim when it comes to having a good ha. (Does Writer, Rejected mind that you kind of ripped off the name? Is that plagiarism or anything?)

Writer, Rejected said...

I take the name "Writer(W)resting" as a tribute and thank you both for speaking up on behalf of the blog.

Anonymous said...

Well, A Separate Peace is embarrassingly overwrought, isn't it?

Anonymous said...

"Well, A Separate Peace is embarrassingly overwrought, isn't it?"

Yes--Unless you are a 10th-grader, which is why ASP will never go out of print and stop making gobs of money. (In case you missed the point.)

AJ said...

I read that book in the 8th grade. Hated it then.

Anonymous said...

Oh, my. Better not upset those editors by airing your grief. Or else you'll be blacklisted!

Jesus. Why don't people grow up? And why is the publishing industry so terribly old-fashioned? And why can't editors spell? Christ.

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