Monday, February 28, 2011

Thinking About the Future of This Blog

Here's a serious comment from a reader: "Showing us more (and more) rejection slips has been done to death, w/r...This site has lost all energy. It's so polite and placid." Is this dude right? Have I lost my edge? It's confusing because I started the blog to make myself feel better and then I continued it because people said it made them feel better. But maybe my time is run out. Certainly, I am no longer the only one posting rejections on the world wide web. And I think it's true that when I'm revising my novel, I lose a little bit of steam to fuel the blog. It's a good question for discussion. Is it time to pack it in? What you guys honestly think, and not just all the positive answers that are meant to be nice to me because you are nice mice? I'm looking for objective opinions.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Ye Old Elusive Spark & Chase



Writes the Editor to the Agent whilst Rejecting the Author's Work:
"Sorry you’ve had to chase on this, and I’m also sorry to say that it’s not going to be one for us. The writing, for me, just didn’t seem to have the elusive spark."
(Why do they speak to each other this way?)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Literary Magazine Contacts Me

Imagine my surprise to get an actual personalized email from a very fine literary magazine, which has, I want you to know, rejected me once a long time ago.  Did the editor ask to see my finest craft or assign me a nice edgy column to write and/or cheeky story? No. He wanted me to publicize the following:
Hello: I'm writing with BOMB Magazine to tell you about our Fiction Contest, judged by Rivka Galchen. I'm thinking Literary Rejections on Display readers might be into it—the winner receives 500$ and their story gets published in our upcoming literary supplement. I'm hoping you make a blog post or tweet about it, so that we have a chance of getting some stories from your readers. The deadline is April 16, and full guidelines are here. Also, there's a Facebook Page. Best, Sam
So have at it, mice. Make all the LROD kingdom proud.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Send Me Your Rejections

Some of the mice are grumbling at the quality of the rejections lately. Things are getting snooze-y around LROD lately, I'm told. My sense of excitement has been called into questions! Perhaps it's a fair criticism: I've been googling for rejections a lot and relying on the kindness of strangers to send me material. You can help a third-gendered blogger out and save the quality of this blog. Send me some of your best (or worst) rejections. I know you've thought about it, but probably never felt like putting the ham sandwich aside to actually sift through the data/papers in your computer/drawers to find evidence that publishing sucks. So, now's your chance. Put the sandwich down, and please, I'm begging you, send me a jpeg of your most prized rejection. Send to: writerrejected [at] aol [dot] com. Thank you. --The Management

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

What's So New About Ohio

This rejection is just in from an LROD reader:
Dear Author: We are sorry these poems did not work out for New Ohio Review, but please consider submitting other poems to our contest (deadline March 10) -- the entry fee includes a one-year subscription. See our guidelines. Best Wishes, The Editors
Says the recipient of this rejection: "I submitted fiction. Not poetry." Because the electronic submission do-hickey listed this writer's submission as fiction, there is some question about the error. Like, did someone press the wrong button? Or did no one really read the work? 

Monday, February 21, 2011

Standard Rejection From Standard Magazines

These were the days when they held your story manuscript for you to come pick up. Paper was a lot more valuable in those days, or maybe it was because typing was difficult, and you couldn't just press "print" on your computer. Anyway, too bad about "Beneath the Ashes." I do believe Robert Silverberg probably published the story somewhere. If it's the same guy, who is a prolific science fiction writer. He would have been 14 when he sent this out.  Not sure. Maybe one of you sci-fi mice can enlighten us.

Friday, February 18, 2011

A Picture of My Novel

For this current revision, I am using color-coded index cards as a road map to figure out how to tie my narrative together. This is a very helpful way to visualize the novel as a whole; I highly recommend it.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Impersonal Agent

This person went to my alma mater.  Do you think it got me anywhere with her? It did not.  This is not my rejection, though.  I got this one off the Interwebs.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Gender Dysphoria, For Realz!

So, let's just say you get that novel published. Ever wonder what the odds are of getting it reviewed, or for getting a phone call from editors at the New Yorker, Atlantic Monthly, or the Times Literary Review asking you to write an article in their esteemed pages? It appears to be much more likely to happen if you are a man.  (Third-gendered persons like myself were not included in the study).  Very interesting article with stunning graphic data; you should def check it out.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Your Spec Manuscript, Mr. Spock

I don't actually think that Spock is in Deep Space Nine, but you get the idea.  Don't come around here again without your WGA-registered agent.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Ready For Your Manuscript

Every place probably has a pile of rejections just like this. It offers a different perspective, doesn't it?

Friday, February 11, 2011

The New Yorker Admires You

Hold the presses! There's been a change in the old gaurd. New New Yorker Rejection language has been spotted in the field. A loyal LROD mouse sent this in:
Thank you for giving us the opportunity to consider your work. Much as we admire it, we regret that we are unable to carry it in the magazine. Warmest regards, The Editors

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Take That Picture Down!

A variation on the theme. Seems like overkill to me. And, I don't know, is the daughter of the President a private citizen?  I guess so.  But, come on, Osso Bucco is just saying.  (Delicious by the way. Have you ever eaten there?)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Well, That's Real, Real Nice...Sort Of

I'm getting into these music rejections. They feel related to my own rejections, but distant enough to give me some perspective. For instance (and I paraphrase): "It was real nice. It fell short on melody. It ain't going to lead to a breakthrough. I pass." What can you do? (Rewrite the music, I guess.)  Me? I'm rewriting the novel again.  I had an actual breakthrough last week about the nature of the story I'm writing; how it's one story in the end, not two.  That's always good to know. Oy. It only took a decade and change to pull it back together into one story.  Oh well, at least I'm breathing, and God gave me something to say and the computer on which to say it. That inspires a little gratitude.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Golden Age of the Blue Copy

This is a fun piece of history. Remember the smudgy blue copy under the formal typed page that you kept for your files? Remember when editors told you optimistically to try MacMillan or Random House, as if you might just pick up the phone and say, "Hello, Random House, have I got a book for you!"

Monday, February 7, 2011

Double Neg Pretentious: Not Without Merit

This irritating rejection says it formally:  "While your proposal is not without merit, we are forced to give serious consideration to the realities of the publishing marketplace when deciding which writers to represent.  In order to maintain the quality of service our clients deserve, we must regrettably decline to take on some authors from time to time."

Friday, February 4, 2011

Rejection from the Age of Sweeping Change

It's a hard era to get things sweeping, isn't it? Especially change.  Anyway, the big O's peeps sent that money right back without cashing or depositing. Ever read any of Obama's  books? Wonder if he ever got any literary rejections. Doubtful. He's a good writer. Anyway, he certainly seems to be well-read in fiction and history. A good model for the rest of us.  He's also big on forming his own messaging based on that of past winning presidents. Hope it works for his re-election.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Do Not Send Anything Else....Please

Not exactly literary, but don't you wish you wrote greeting cards instead of novels? A nice form rejection with a mean final exclamation: "Please do not send any further designs!" I guess that's pretty clear

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

That'll Make Your Blood Run Cold

Here's one sent in anonymously. Simple, but probably true: "Sorry, we do not publish first drafts." (Zing, beyotch!)