Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Three Minute Rejection


This was sent in from an anonymous writer:

"Over the past six years, I guess I've been pretty lucky to have had ten of my stories published--ten was my goal when I started. I thought, if I can get ten, then I must really know something about fiction.

Well, I was right and wrong. I've also accumulated over one hundred rejection slips, emails, and return-to-sender submissions (so many journals curiously went under when I submitted). And I've got at least as many unpublished, and unpublishable stories. And a few terrible novels. That being said, I think I've gotten pretty good at knowing what is my good work and what would embarrass anyone with a conscience.

So, I've been sending queries to agents for a novel I don't think would embarrass anyone. And just today, after careful research and carefully following the guidelines, I sent an email to the agent Jonathon Lyons. Three minutes later, while writing another email, I saw I had a response. I thought it was just an auto-response from the website. Wrong. "Thanks, but this isn't for me."

Three minutes. And I've waited up to a year to get rejected."

Guess the old Lyon knows what he's after (red meat?), but it's never quite the work that we are hawking. Oh well, hang in there, writer; we've all been where you are standing, rejected more quickly than you can boil an egg.  

Eventually, you will find the exact right secret agent for your work.

3 comments:

anonymiss said...

I heard from him in ten days: "Thanks for writing, but this isn't for me." I'm going to guess he gave it the same amount of thought as the three minute rejection, but was just on vacation when my e-mail came in.

The Insect Cabinet said...

I agree, W, R, it's just a matter of finding the exact right agent... pity they have to be so secret. I keep teling myself it's the market, not my work.

The Insect Cabinet said...

...alternatively it could be my spelling: 'telling', yes that's it, by George I think I've got it now.