Posts Tagged ‘rejection letters’

Dispatch from the trenches…

Monday, August 11th, 2008

Writers often refer to the years they spend slogging away in the slush pile, looking for a book deal, as “The Trench” or “The Trenches”.  And as they wade around in the muck of that slush, they try to find rules, codes, tricks that others have used to help them get out.  I know I did!  I wanted, desperately, to believe that it was like the Secret Garden. That there was a  key somewhere.  And that if I just talked to enough people, and wasted enough time on the internet, someone would give me that key.

So far as I can tell, there are just no rules.  No tricks. No magical key to the kingdom.

So far as I can tell, the only rule is to  write and write and write, and when you despair– rant (and drink if you are so inclined) and then write some more.  Increasingly I think the biggest thing that distinguishes published authors from unpublished authors is persistence.  Or lunacy, depending on how you look at it.

Here is a letter people might enjoy seeing, a letter from my own trench. A  rejection letter for Up and Down the Scratchy Mountains.  From the VERY SAME EDITOR who who ended up acquiring it!  (And please don’t email RH and try to send Lisa a manuscript after seeing this, since she is long gone and it won’t work)

So there’s at least one rule– once you’ve been rejected, don’t send the book back to the same editor– that isn’t always true!