I've been compiling a list of people in the great big publishing world who rejected my novel along the way during the past 15 years of my trying like a dog to get it published. In the end, despite all the snarkiness I have proffered on this blog since June 2007 (hiatus notwithstanding), I probably should thank them. At the very least, I've been meaning to count them. There were professionals who offered good advice, professionals who said the project wasn't ready and I should keep working on it (which turned out to be true) and even the fine clueless folks who scratched their head at my efforts and simply stepped aside while I continued on my long march to publication, now scheduled for November 2014.
I am grateful to the first 50+ rejecting agents/editors/contest judges.* Also hats off to their unnamed hired-hands, assistants and slaves who rejected the book in their names so they didn't have to waste time doing it themselves. Seriously, you are all now part of my story, and maybe I wouldn't have ever gotten here if you hadn't encouraged me, pissed me off, blew me off, or said a sincerely kind word to me:
Agents: Joe Veltre, Charlotte Sheedy, Marly Rusoff, Danielle Chiotti, Bill Contardi, Andrea Barzvi, Elisa Petrini, Priscilla Gillman, Tim Seldes, Ira Silverberg, Susan Ginsburg, Kate Garrick, Julie Barer, Emily Stewart, Mitchell Waters, David Vigliano, Secret Agent Man, Geri Thoma, Douglas Stewart, Christy Fletcher, Kimberly Whalen, Joy Harris, Jill Grinberg, Emma Swinney, Heide Lange, Leigh Ann Elisio, Xanthe Tabor, Amy Williams, Alexia Paul, Kim Witherspoon, Lily Oei, Betsy Nolen, Warren Frazer, Molly Kleinman, Emma Perry, Emily Fletcher, Deanna Handel, Daria Finch, Jane Dystel, Wendy Sherman, Sarah Chalfant, Gail Hochman, Elizabeth Schneiderman, Dan Lazar, Sarah Crowe, Laurie Liss, Michelle Tessler, Erin Hosier, Francis Goldin, Sam Stoloff, Elizabeth Winick, Jenny Bent, Jennifer Jackson*These are the ones I could find quickly. There are more rejections than this, lady and germs; so I will keep looking and add to the list.
The novel didn't make it to as many publishing houses given the problem I had with agents (see above), but here are some editors who rejected it:
Editors: Paul Elie, Anton Meuller, Becky Saletan, Regan Arthur, Julia Serebrinsky, Beth Adams, Kathy Pories, Daisy Hutton, Ami McConnell, Chuck Adams, Lauren Wein, Tin House Books, McSweeney Books, AWP contest (x5), Softskull books, Tuscany Press, Counterpoint press, (there are three more specific editors, but I can't find the rejections....will keep looking)Finally, here's to the few kind souls who took the book on for a while, tried to hold my hand or make me see how to fix it, passed it to someone else with all good intentions, or generally tried really hard not to reject the book, inevitable though it was in the end.
Non-rejectors*: Diane Bartoli, Bill Clegg, Leigh Feldman, Kirsten Magnes, Claudia Ballard, Henry Williams, Nan Talese, Ginger Barber.*Three of these good-hearted people actually tried to get the book published.
Thank you all for your consideration and for the occasion of this blog, which has kept me in great company and I have been told offers hope to others.*
*Though seriously if you can do something other than write fiction (anything else!)--it's a dying art!--step away quickly and do not look back.