Friday, December 18, 2009

More rejections past

This one was labeled "Oh my gosh - please send chocolate," and was once again behind a locked post. Originally posted 8/24/06


I seriously got the worst rejection letter EVER today, from a very well-respected agent. If I didn't have 200+ of them to my name, it would probably cause me to quit.

I don't think she got my writing. AT all. One picture book she looked at, which has come close at a couple of houses and has been under consideration at Sterling for some time, caused her to say - "I found it very confusing." (Note from Lisa: This went on to sell and is coming out in Fall 2010. It's called LITTLE CHIMP'S BIG DAY)

As for the free verse novel, she said - "It seems to go on and on with sadness and loss and it is probably all emphasized by the free verse you've written. This might be an interesting novel if you decided to tackle full fiction and really develop plot and character." Okay, I may need to work on character, that's something I've thought about, but there is plot there! (Note from Lisa: This went on to sell and is my novel called I HEART YOU, YOU HAUNT ME which is now in its eighth printing).

I need to just let it roll off my back because obviously we are not a good match. I just feel like the whole letter is negative, and I understand she's trying to be helpful, but wow.

(Note from Lisa: Does this give you hope? I hope so. It even reminds me how subjective this business is. What one person hates, another may love. So much of it is just about personal taste.)


  1. It does give hope. Thank you.

    And, y'know, I understand why blogging about rejection is a no-no from an agent/editor standpoint, but sometimes, you just need to rant and not feel so alone.

  2. It really does help, Lisa, for those of us filing those rejection letters.

    Congratulations on your work coming out!

  3. This is an awesome story! Thanks for sharing :)

  4. Thank you for sharing, Lisa. I take rejections as good news, as they mean I'm closer than before to achieving my goal. :)

  5. Karen, I agree, sometimes you DO need to rant. That's why it's good to have trusted writer friends to e-mail (or an account at Livejournal to lock posts). Publicly, we just shouldn't do it.

    Catherine, do you have 200 yet? If not, keep going! :)

    Emery - I'm glad you liked it.

    Nathalie - that is EXACTLY the right attitude!!

  6. Thanks for sharing this, Lisa. It does give hope to those of us still feeling frustration as we search for the right match. :)

  7. Gulp.

    Those rejections are sure hard to swallow.

    Thank you for your honesty, though. SOMETHING good has to come from it!

  8. Most helpful indeed. Thank you so much for sharing that road to publication example.
    Here is a stunning rejection story: Someone posted a copy of letter written by a major museum to a young Andy Warhol telling him they weren't interested in the picture he had tried to give the museum. Not only that, Warhol was asked to come get the picture as soon as possible because it was in the way.