A published author sent in this amaaaaazing rejection for a novel that eventually got rewritten and published. Check out the last line of the first paragraph below: "If only you'd bloody well write something people would want to read." WTF?
[Title of Novel] is very well written, moving, funny, distressing, provoking, and so very, very dark you’d want to top yourself. [Name of Protagonist] has a great voice, though she also seems extraordinarily perceptive and articulate for a [young aged person]. And how does she know what’s going on with [Name of Different Character] [Details of Specific Situation and Page Numbers]? The difficulty with first-person narration is the narrator can’t be everywhere at once. Yet despite all these compliments, I don’t think I could sell this one either. It’s not fair, is it (but what is)? A good writer, which you are, with a good story and a good voice to tell it in, should be able to find a publisher – but I can’t think who I’d approach. I could say it falls between the stalls of literary and commercial fiction, but that would be a cop-out. I suggest you try other agents – publishing is a totally subjective business, and I’ve been wrong before – and don’t lose heart. If only you’d bloody well write something that people would want to read without resort to the bottle or the noose!
I’m sorry, really. A second time.
All the best, [Name of Agent Withheld]
Thank you, fine published author, for sending this rejection in and giving us all a little hope and good cheer for 2008! We all really want to read your book.