Wednesday, April 4, 2012


Status: Back from my lovely vacation in Arizona, where I had a wonderful time visiting with my dearest cousin. The lobster sunburn on my back has mostly stopped hurting. I'm not even suffering from jet lag. I'll call this one a vacation win.

Number of queries sent: 27
Number of form rejections: 14
Number of detailed rejections: 1
Number of requests for additional materials: 1

Okay. So I'm not going to focus on the request for additional materials. Just to sum that up, I did my aforementioned happy dance, immediately mass texted half of my contact list, and then double checked that the file with my manuscript (it was a full request, by the way) was formatted properly. Off it went.

At the moment, I'm actually more interested in the detailed rejection. As you can see, I had to add a category to my little running tally, because someone took the time to actually tell me why she was rejecting me. First of all, that agent absolutely rocks my socks for doing that. She perhaps would've rocked my socks more if she'd requested a partial, but.....

Anyway. I read somewhere on the internet (probably an agent or author blog) that these kinds of rejections are, and I quote, "fucking gold." At the time, I'd never received such a thing, so I could only agree in theory. Now I can say, wholeheartedly, that this kind of detailed rejection is, in fact, fucking gold. After I got the email, I allowed myself to wallow in sadness for about 3 minutes. Then I reread the email a couple of times. And then I really, really thought about what she had to say. And you know what? I agree completely.

So back to the drawing board. I'm probably going to rewrite a large portion (if not nearly all) of my query. At the very least, the entire beginning needs to change. I need to include more/different information, and I need to change the tone. My beloved husband has agreed to help, which is also fucking gold. Arguing with him over something I've written (or something he's rewritten to help me) is more helpful to my writing than anything else I've ever done. That includes my BA in Creative Writing.

For all you writers out there, have you received these kinds of detailed rejections? Did you find them helpful, or not so much? What has been the most helpful thing for your writing? (You're allowed to answer that you didn't need any outside help or influence, and were born a perfect writer, but you'd better present one hell of a case, or I might not believe you!)


  1. Love this! And, yes, FUCKING GOLD! I received a few helpful on rejections on my first MS, and not only did they help shape my manuscript, but also me as a writer.Yay for good rejections!

  2. They are well and truly gold. I've only gotten the one, and it was at a sit-down with an agent at a conference, but it changed my MS immensely and for the better. (Run-on sentence much?)

    Like Julie said, Yay for good rejections!