|Rejection Happens||| Print ||
|Written by Christine Redding|
|Saturday, 01 October 2011 13:50|
At TZPP we see a lot of submissions that simply are not good enough. Many get rejected at first reading, and these articles will tell you why. They will also tell you how to look at your own writing with a more professional eye, and so improve your manuscript's chances of success.
Here is a word about how to look at responses and rejections.
They come in several levels. A writer might get only one of them--probably the first or second but possibly the fifth--or move by degrees through the process.
The first is simple and direct, and probably a form letter generated from a first reading by a preliminary reader: No thanks. This terse response tells you that your submitted work was simply not up to even basic professional standards. It tells you to take a good hard look at how well you followed the submission guidelines and at the quality of your writing. If you find it terse, even insulting, consider how the publisher feels about being offered things that are not made as shiny as possible. Remember, professionalism is courtesy. With this rejection letter in hand, you are standing on the stoop, by the letter-slot, and the door is locked.
The second is a little more personal: We can't use this at this time, but feel free to show us more of your work in the future. This one comes from a senior reader or a junior editor, and tells you that we see something we like in your writing and really do want to see more of what you can do as you develop as a writer. You have been buzzed into the building.
The third is more directly about your work: We are interested in this work and would like to see more. Please send the full manuscript. This one comes from an editor who is considering accepting your work, conditionally. It means your sample has made it up the chain of readers to an editor's attention. There might be some general suggestions as to how you might revise to improve your work. It may still lead to rejection but you are in the door and have a seat in the outer office.
The fourth response is a variation on the third: We have considered your work and like it, but there are a few problems we would like you to address. This letter also is from the editor who has some concerns about some specific issues, not the least of which is how well you take critique and what you do with it. This may be a response to a sample or a full manuscript. This still is not an acceptance, but you have made it to the inner office, to a sit-down with a senior editor.
The most encouraging response is The Contract. Congratulations! You have an offer of publication, and an editor, and you are on your way down the hall to the Legal Department.
The journey has just begun.
|Last Updated on Tuesday, 29 November 2011 08:29|