Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Nicest Ever

Says this anonymous reject: "This agent had passed on a nonfiction project I was ghostwriting for someone else. When it came time to shop my novel, I thought I'd take advantage of my foot having been ever so slightly in his door. As it turns out, it was the nicest rejection letter I could have hoped for."

Begin forwarded message:
From: "Submissions"

Subject: RE: Agent query from Bob Krim associate

Dear Writer,

It’s so nice to hear from you and to get a chance to read your novel. Ike and I thank you for the opportunity to consider it. There is much to admire in your work. It’s an incredibly intriguing premise to base a novel on an 17th century English folk song. We both loved how you follow the poem's lyrics but also make colorful embellishments of your own. The descriptions of life at the Barnard estate, spring festivals in Lancashire County, and background history developed for each main character are all rich and add important substance to the novel. Unfortunately, however, I’m sorry to say that [TITLE OF BOOK] did not garner the unanimous support we require when taking on a new client. We are forced to be particularly cautious about representation given the intense competition in today’s marketplace, and there were concerns that there was a bit more “tell” than “show” here in the novel. Additionally, while characters based on a folk song are potentially fascinating, we did not connect with them quite as much as we would have liked.

Fiction is such a tough sell these days and we must be incredibly selective about the few projects we take on, but do know that opinions differ greatly in this industry. We could certainly imagine another agent being quite enthusiastic about this. We wish you the very best of luck and hope to see your name on a bookshelf soon.

Kind regards,

Katherine L. Flynn
Editorial Manager
Kneerim & Williams
at Fish and Richardson PC
225 Franklin Street
Boston, MA 02110

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well, that's very nice.