May 6, 2012
Best Rejection Stories
Last week, Tricia forwarded an Almost-Email. A Big House editor had some positive things to say about my submission. He loved the writing, the atmosphere, the whole premise of the story. He'd sat on the MS for a while mulling it over before finally deciding to pass. The parts he loved the most were the ones I'd tackled in revisions. I was still stressed over those bits, wondering if they went too far or gave a false start to the tone of the story. Learning that this editor had a favorable response was a huge relief.
This was very exciting to both Tricia and me because it proved - at least as far as one reader was concerned - that our gut instincts about the weak areas in the MS were correct. In a weird way, this rejection was a huge boost to my writerly confidence.
I asked a few other writers if they'd had similar experiences. Here's what Jolene Perry had to say:
I'd queried Victoria Marini with a YA paranormal called Insight. She read the beginning twice, and said that she couldn't put her finger on it, but it still didn't work. HOWEVER, she'd be happy to read anything else I had.
When I completed my first YA contemporary, I sent it to her and immediately got a request for a full (she doesn't rep much contemp, if any). She kept my manuscript for a full eight weeks and when she got back to me it was still a no, but her letter totally propelled me forward. She said she saw huge growth in my writing and loved the voice. She said she knew it would find a home somewhere, and that after reading it, she sat on the manuscript for three weeks, unsure of what to do.
For me, deep in the query trenches, I first saw the light at the end of the tunnel. I still keep her letter. I wrote her when I did sign to thank her, and she wrote back right away.
It was the first time that I truly understood that placing a manuscript with an agent or an editor is all about right person, right place, AND the right time (once your MS is truly ready).
Do you have a best rejection story - one that really helped you along the writing road? Share it in the comments!