Sunday, December 7, 2008


Rejection is a concept writers must get well acquainted with. When you pour so much of yourself and so much time and energy into a piece of writing, it can be devastating to be told it just isn't good enough. Over all the years I've been part of writing groups (all of my adult life and then some!) this one lesson has been commonly taught. But it's important to remember that rejection from one publisher or agent doesn't mean your work is rubbish. It may mean that, but what it probably means is "your work isn't right for me at this time".

As with the music industry and performing arts, it takes both talent and tenacity to make it big as an author. Naturally there needs to be a filtering process between backyard-Benny and the big-screen (or in my case the big press) or else production and publishing houses would not be perceived as producers of high quality material. This would drastically affect sales. Furthermore, at any one time there are far more actors, singers, writers (etc.) than there are funds and places/projects to produce their work and build their careers.

Today I received another rejection letter. This is from one of the major literary agents in Australia, which will remain un-named. The agent in question turned around my submission in an impressive amount of time (just over one month). Her cover letter suggested that she did read my synopsis and at least part of the first chapter. Her reason for rejecting Talon was because it didn't excite her. Understandably one's personal taste has to come into the equation and an agent would hardly be able to do their job properly if they didn't first enjoy and love the work of their authors.

So where does this leave me? First of all, I was hardly expecting anything other than a rejection, so it hasn't been much of a blow. And secondly, I do think my novel is exciting and I am committed to seeing it published when it is ready. There is always going to be that tiny voice in the back of my mind saying nasty things like, "it will never be ready" or "it's not good enough" but all I can do is keep on improving it and continue learning.

For now, I have my work cut out for me. I am working through a series of edits done by Stephen Thompson ( which are absolutely excellent. I highly recommend Stephen's services over at esstee media.

Editing is something I enjoy, but it is time consuming and uses a different kind of creativity to writing. But that's a topic for another blog.

1 comment:

Satima Flavell said...

Commiserations. We all know what rejection feels like. If you believe in your work, do whatever edits you think necessary and send it out again!