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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Dorothy Allison Autograph

When my first book was published, I naively wrote away to a bunch of famous writers, whom I admired, asking them to blurb my book. I was pretty dumb and didn't know you had to be some one's friend, writing student, or lover to get a few words for the back of your book.
Here is a rejection from Dorothy Allison in 1996. It says: "Dear Writer, Rejected: Everyone is right--I don't read manuscripts for quotes anymore. Had to stop it cold the month I got more than a hundred. But I wish you well, and I'm glad you found your voice. Hope [name of publishing company] treats you good, and we get a chance to talk sometime." For years after I received this note, I saw Allison's name on what seemed like the back of EVERYONE'S book. But whatever. A girl has to have boundaries. I thought it was nice that she bothered to write back and send me her autograph.
On the other hand, so much for the solidarity of the sisterhood and lending a hand to the little-guy.


Anonymous said...

You have to love a letter that starts, "Everyone is right." Perhaps we should start our submission letters exactly like that - "Everyone is right. I should be published." It's hard to disagree with that.

Writer, Rejected said...

Everyone is right: You have a great idea there! (As you can see, I've already adopted it.) Thanks for posting.

Anonymous said...

Even better, we can start writing back to our rejectors with "Everyone is right: you're a jerk." Thanks for your blog. It's nice to read someone else's rejections for a change.

Anonymous said...

I am enjoying this, just going through this little trove. Did you ever get a blurb? I didn't, not once, though all my editors and I tried and you say it all depends on um...connections.