You probably only get accepted if you're already famous. I wonder if famous writers submit their work to Narrative using this plebian online method. Probably the really famous have their agents send the story by gilded messenger pigeon. (Do agents of the very famous still represent short stories? In the old days, they did.) Forgive these musings because, really, what's the diff to me and you?
Thursday, September 30, 2010
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
It's more painful when they think you are a good writer. This is a rejection from an editor to an agent, ultimately passed back to the author and posted online. Some people don't want to see the rejections as they roll in. I can never decide.
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Monday, September 27, 2010
Thursday, September 23, 2010
"Young Adult, my patooty, Bub; you simply don't have the availability to take on any new clients at this time, but you did have availability to share my materials with several of your colleagues? (Read: the guy you pay $15/hour to come in on Saturdays and read three pages, didn't like it.") Instead, micies, I submit for your philosophical consideration the above absurdity. What if your dentist rejected you? What then?
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Amelia Sauter protected the name of the review by blacking it out but not her own name. Interesting strategy: a non-anonymous blog. Why didn't I think of that? Just kidding. Anyway, she's interesting for other reasons, like she owns a martini bar and is a musician. ]Me, I've got a super-duper boring day job and only one vague talent with words. It's always been my only charm (except I can cook with a modicum of creativity), so my non-anonymous blog would have been really dumb. I have to say that this blog has been great fun and a huge comfort. I love all the mice, cynical and innocent, and have actually come over the past 4 years to feel much less personally trodden upon by big-footed publishing. That in itself is something of a miracle. And, anyway, who am I, or was I, to think my message is the one that should get mass-produced? Is there even room in this celebrity-worshipping mess for another message, especially a simple one? Jonathan Franzen would probably answer in the affirmative, but most of us aren't him. Thank goodness. I'm still holding a grudge for Oprah from 2001, though according to sources, all appears to be forgiven.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Monday, September 20, 2010
Agent 99 after delivering the new-to-her information that my novel had been seen by a few other editors a while back. She seemed unhappy with the news, but I described to her the previous plot line (so very different from current) and the fact that it had gone out under a different title, and I got this note back: "No worries -- it does sound very different, and I don’t think it will be a problem." Things in publishing have heated up, so she needs some more time to read the newest revision; she hasn't gotten to it yet. You know, micicles, I'm going to have to stop reporting her every word on this blog. It's starting to feel a little uncool because she doesn't know about it, and I'm developing a relationship with her. I can tell you that I do not relish telling her about this blog, but will probably have to at some point feel like I must. Or maybe I will need to close it down before long, assuming it has had its day and run its course. Any opinions about how to handle this?
Friday, September 17, 2010
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Monday, September 13, 2010
Saturday, September 11, 2010
Agent 99 on Friday. So now I have to broach the topic of my novel's history. Agent 99 didn't ask about it, which is unusual, but I think her enthusiasm for the project and our working together on edits have preempted the normal line of questioning. I wrote to told her about this sorry incident about 14 months ago, and mentioned that a few other editors have seen much older versions of the novel, and a few who had seen my short story collection were interested in seeing the novel. But I also told her that I thought she should go out fresh and ride her luck, since my own has been rather tepid. I said maybe just let me know who you're sending it out to and I'll let you know if I have a history there. Of course, that would be too sparing, right? She wrote back and thanked me for the information and asked me to send her a list of editors who have seen the novel, or requested to see it. This is tricky business, which in part makes me wish the novel were a virgin, but it's not. I'm just going to be honest with her, send her the list of those who have previously seen and rejected an older version of the novel and short story collection. That harkens back about a decade; maybe all those people have moved on to more lucrative careers, like driving taxis and washing windows. I'll let you know what happens next.
Thursday, September 9, 2010
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
this tidbit from writer Judson Merrill who really lets 'em have it. My fave is this:
Congratulations on not accepting my story. In a way, I’m jealous. I bet it’s satisfying to grind out a man’s carefully kindled dignity. Your communiqué, however, did leave me with a few concerns. You write, “We hope you will submit again in the future.” Many thanks! Since the story I submitted is my strongest, I will certainly send it again in the future. In fact, just this morning I found an embarrassing use of “than” when I meant “then.” In case that error is the reason you initially passed on the story, please find the corrected version attached. The future is now! Look forward to hearing from you, Judson
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Friday, September 3, 2010
99 yesterday. While we were talking, I actually had a brainstorm (such a dumb word that people use in my employment activities every day) and figured out how to fix one of the major narrative problems caused by a recent revisions. It's all such a delicate tapestry, isn't it? Pull one thread to tight and suddenly there's a big run in the middle of your plot. Anyway, we decided to ignore all the other (committee) comments and try to get at the underlying issue. So, I have one more (quick, I think) revision involving the rebuilding of some lost tension in the first part of the novel. So, I'm back at it. I did ask Agent 99 if she's thought about where she's going to send the manuscript and she said she had; she'd even spoken to a few editors about it. Looks like it's actually going out this fall, laddies and germs. Aren't we lucky ducks?