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Thursday, June 28, 2012

This Just In From Your Friend and Mine

Dear Writers, Rejected:

I had promised a number of years ago that if I ever placed a short story collection, your readers would be the first to know. I am delighted to report that I am able to fulfill that pledge. My collection, Scouting for the Reaper, has won this year's Hudson Prize and will be published by Black Lawrence Press. Your readers will be amused to know that my total rejection count for creative work now includes slightly more 25,000 rejection letters. I have published slightly more than 200 stories. Mathematics is not my strong suit, so I'll leave it to you to calculate my placement percentage. I thank you for all of your kind words and support over the years.

 Jacob M. Appel

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Folded in Half and Shoved in SASE

A little flippant? Or simply to-the-point? It's hard to say. I can't tell if it's cute or irritating. Both, I guess. Certainly, the sign off is a bit much, but what do I know. People have their own style. "Pax!" What's the Latin word for "Give me a break, Dude."

Friday, June 22, 2012

Words to Live By

"...don’t get bitter about rejections, ever. Transform whatever bad feelings you might have into useful feelings; you should never feel ashamed about a rejection."--Sheila Heti (author of How Should A Person Be?)
A-novel-a-year novelist Sheila Heti offers the above advice here, which is sound.  She has the kind of career I always wanted to have, but alas, I'm more the book-every-decade-or-longer type of writer. Oh well, hope in the end it's worth all the time it takes.  She also has a super cute hair do.  Just saying.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Flat Out Familiar

I went to Amazon today to check on a book I ordered and this was the message from Amazon's CEO was waiting for me on my home page:
Dear Customers, 
 "Did I cry over some of these rejections? Absolutely. Did I feel inadequate, untalented, hurt? Yes. Did I doubt my ability to craft a story that readers could fall in love with? You bet."
That's Jessica Park, who hit road block after road block trying to get her book Flat-Out Love in front of readers. You can read her incredible blog post on IndieReader (also picked up by HuffPo) detailing her perseverance and how she finally succeeded by doing it herself with Kindle Direct Publishing. It's heartwarming and tells a powerful story about what KDP makes possible.
Hmm....congratulations to her, right?

Monday, June 18, 2012

Puritanical Rejection

As few words as possible, pilgrim; it's cold in these parts:
Dear Writer: Though your work has been declined by our editors, we thank you for allowing us to consider it. Sincerely, The Editors of The Massachusetts Review

Monday, June 11, 2012

Why Is Waiting Always the Answer?

My spouse and the friend who edited my book of short stories years ago convinced me not to let my agent read the novel yet. The argument: "You are so close to nailing this thing, why waste a non-perfect read on him." I am eager to get this ball rolling (after 15 years of false rolls), but I took the manuscript back and asked Secret Agent Man to hold up on reading. I figure, these are my peeps, closest to my work, but with more perspective than I have, so I'm going with their advice.  It's always a hard question: when to give a manuscript out to read and when to hold it back? I am impatient and always send stuff out too early.  Not this time, though. I'm not going to let myself get in the way. In good news, though, three readers (including spouse and friend/editor) have started reading the new first-person version and they think it's just what the novel needed. Phew!  That's my news for today.  What's happening with you mice?  Any advice about timing and when to send something out?

Friday, June 8, 2012

Social Media, Social Media, Social Media

But will it save you from literary rejection? This article at Business2Community has some words on the matter and a very tenuous (IMHO) association.  But check it out anyway and then forget it, but have a nice weekend.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Happy Anniversary LROD

Two days ago was my 1,500th post and tomorrow is the 5-year anniversary of this blog. Perhaps it's a good time to take a moment and review.
  • For those of you who don't know, I started this blog by posting a backlog of my very own rejections and went for a good long time until I ran out.
  • Then I posted some rejections that came along in real-time.
  • Then you all started sending me your rejections which has been interesting.
  • Then we started a bunch of conversations about the state of publishing which has declined greatly these past 5 years.
  • During this time I have published a bunch of things, but not another book, which is disappointing. I have also revised my novel many times and had a few agents interested who ultimately walked away.
  • My family has gone crazy over my public writing about being disinherited and about them in essence.
  • A bunch of publishers got excited about the disinheritance book proposal, but ultimately walked away.
  • A small press is potentially interested in a book of my published essays, but they have not gotten back to me with an answer, and plus my family will FREAK out if it gets published, so there's that.
  • I finally put my family way on the outside of my life.  In fact, they can go for a flying fuck if they would like to; I'm done.
  • Just last month I took my "third-person omniscient" point of view and turned it into first-person weird" point of view which has revolutionized the novel, now so many years in the making it's embarrassing to give it a number in public.  (Related to the above bullet? probably) 
  • Will the novel get published now?  I don't know.  Secret Agent Man is giving it a read (new to him), as are a few other trusted readers.  So cross your fingers for me, peeps.
Oh, and happy anniversary to you too. You mice make this blog worth writing and reading.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Thank You Very Much!

Dear Writer: I am very sorry to inform you that our judge did not select your story for this year’s fiction award at Washington Square. I do, however, want to thank you very much for submitting, and hope you will think of us in the future. Best, Lizzie Harris Washington Square Awards Editor

Monday, June 4, 2012

Read the Winner, Loser; Subscription is Free

Is the subscription really free or did you have to pay money to enter the contest? Just wondering; I've done it a million times myself:
Thank you for submitting "Title of your Work" to The Willow Springs Fiction Prize. Unfortunately, your story was not selected as this year's winner. We do hope you enjoy the chosen story, which will be featured in Willow Springs issue 70. As a contest entrant, your subscription to the magazine will begin with this issue. We wish you the best of luck in placing your story elsewhere. Sincerely, The Editors, Willow Springs