Monday, December 06, 2004

Submission Discusions

This thread is for discussion of submissions. Questions, problems, the joy the hair pulling situations, anything we need to discuss.

4 comments:

Shawn said...

I'll start this discussion on a positive note.

We hear all sorts of horror stories about rejection after rejection, complaints about no feedback, no info given as to why we're rejected--the list goes on and on. We're left wondering what publishers really want, and if they exist simply to reject us out of hand. We're told good writing counts, all the while our good writing keeps gettig rejected.

I have read that when we are lucky enough to get personal comments from agents and editors to consider the words as gold from heaven. That's hard to do when those words, however encouraging, are accompanied by yet another rejection.

Having been rejected more times than I care to admit (I refuse to total the number until I've sold my first best seller,) I can honestly say rejection does get easier. This is, I think, a result of experience with the industy mingled with a smidgen of resignation.

Something that has come as a result of these experiences is a true appreciation for those times an agent, editor or publisher takes the time to write personal comments on a cold form letter.

The more I delve into the industry, writing sites, critique groups, submission sites, etc., the more I realize how many people there are out there submitting work. As I attend conference, research publications for short stories and novels, read agent/editor interviews and such, the more I am coming to realize that these professionals are not exagerating when they quote numbers ranging in the thousands for yearly submissions.

We, as writers, beg for any tiny clues that can give us more direction in the publishing world, yet, all too often, ignore what is right beneath our noses. We seem to think that anything less than a six figure, five book contract is no big deal.

That first rejection hurts, though, not always the worst. I find it interesting how we don't take to heart the positive as well as we do the rejection.

I suggest that the next time a rejection comes that says 'this wasn't for us,' take that for what it probably is, a bad fit. Scribbled notes that are barely legible like 'this writing wasn't compelling enough' ask yourself if it's true. If the answer is no, move on to the next submission. And lastly, but surely not least, when a comment is scribbled on a form letter, however illegible, even if you have to put your glasses on to make out the letter, if the words are 'this was good' take that to heart like you have nothing else.

Shawn said...

I'll start this discussion on a positive note.

We hear all sorts of horror stories about rejection after rejection, complaints about no feedback, no info given as to why we're rejected--the list goes on and on. We're left wondering what publishers really want, and if they exist simply to reject us out of hand. We're told good writing counts, all the while our good writing keeps gettig rejected.

I have read that when we are lucky enough to get personal comments from agents and editors to consider the words as gold from heaven. That's hard to do when those words, however encouraging, are accompanied by yet another rejection.

Having been rejected more times than I care to admit (I refuse to total the number until I've sold my first best seller,) I can honestly say rejection does get easier. This is, I think, a result of experience with the industy mingled with a smidgen of resignation.

Something that has come as a result of these experiences is a true appreciation for those times an agent, editor or publisher takes the time to write personal comments on a cold form letter.

The more I delve into the industry, writing sites, critique groups, submission sites, etc., the more I realize how many people there are out there submitting work. As I attend conference, research publications for short stories and novels, read agent/editor interviews and such, the more I am coming to realize that these professionals are not exagerating when they quote numbers ranging in the thousands for yearly submissions.

We, as writers, beg for any tiny clues that can give us more direction in the publishing world, yet, all too often, ignore what is right beneath our noses. We seem to think that anything less than a six figure, five book contract is no big deal.

That first rejection hurts, though, not always the worst. I find it interesting how we don't take to heart the positive as well as we do the rejection.

I suggest that the next time a rejection comes that says 'this wasn't for us,' take that for what it probably is, a bad fit. Scribbled notes that are barely legible like 'this writing wasn't compelling enough' ask yourself if it's true. If the answer is no, move on to the next submission. And lastly, but surely not least, when a comment is scribbled on a form letter, however illegible, even if you have to put your glasses on to make out the letter, if the words are 'this was good' take that to heart like you have nothing else.

Shawn said...

HI

Lauren said...

Thanks for posting, Shawn.

From my own experiences, the more rejections received the less emotionally devastating. Now I'm obsessive compulsive about sending pieces out.