Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Ah, the memories...

When I was cleaning my office this past week, I found a rejection from agent Meg Ruley at the Jane Rotrosen Agency dated 2/19/02. Form rejection. Dated about four months before I signed on with the brilliant and wonderful agent I have now.

People say you know you're getting close when you start getting personalized rejections instead of form ones. Well, that's a lie. Of the 130 plus rejections in my file drawer, they are almost all form rejections, even right up to the time I signed with my current agent. Form rejections simply signify that your stuff wasn't right for the agency. File it, then move on.

Okay, in honor of being rejected, I decided to go thru my file. Whoee. There's a lot of rejections in there. Here's a quote from my favorite, which *was* personalized. I'd gotten a previous form rejection from this agent, and I'd submitted my new project to her. As you can see from below, personalized isn't always better:

"Dear Stephanie,

Thank you for submitting a query for SECRETS IN ASH. I do remember your other projects, MYSTIC WATERS and GREEN JEOPARDY. They were rejected because I felt that although you show promise, you have not matured enough as a writer and have yet to master some important aspects of the craft. If you are serious about your career as a writer, you should continue to attend writer's conferences and workshops, become a member of a critique group, and perhaps work with a freelance fiction editor."

Translation: your work sucks and I don't want you to darken my doorstep again, so I'm giving you a personalized rejection so you really understand how bad you are and stop harrassing me.

See? Rejection letters are easy to translate if you'd just open your mind.


At 3:11 PM, Blogger Trish Milburn said...

Yeoch! That had to sting.


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