Tuesday 9 October 2012

Good RJ, Bad RJ

Since having sent off the first 30 pages of my manuscript, plus synopsis, to literary agents, I have got used to the idea of being rejected.  I'm not saying that it's a nice feeling, but the more rejections you receive, the more you learn to just shrug your shoulders and move on to the next agent.  After all, it's their loss, right?

So, on 4th October 2012 I received an e-mail from an agent.

Dear Rebeccah,

Thank you for giving [...] Agency a chance to consider your work.

Unfortunately this is not right for us. We are replying as soon as possible to give you the best chance of finding the right agent. We specialise in commercial fiction tailor made for the mass market and therefore we have to be confident of substantial sales quantities before taking on a new project.

We receive over 300 manuscripts a week and can only take on a handful of new writers every year. The result is that we have to be incredibly selective, so please do not be too disheartened. Another agent may well feel differently.

We wish you the very best of luck.

Best wishes,

I don't mind getting the rejections, as it is a normal part of being a writer, but I do get frustrated by their reasoning for not accepting it.  I understand that they receive a lot of manuscripts and that they can't take them all on; I don't have a problem with that.  But I have written a piece of commercial fiction.  I made sure that I wrote a piece of commercial fiction to give me more of a chance of getting published.

On 8th October 2012 I received another RJ, and even though they didn't want me, the response felt personal and they were helpful, which is a first for my pile of rejections.

Dear Rebeccah

Thank you for your recent letter and the material which we have now looked at.  As a small agency we only take on very, very few of the many writers who approach us each year and, having considered your work, we do not feel we can effectively represent you. However, your writing is fantastic for someone so young, and we really encourage you to keep writing, because it will only get better.
In the meantime, there are lots of ways you can engage with other young authors and practise your skills. There’s a great organisation called The Young Writers Society which has lots of information about getting published and honing your craft – and they publish a magazine where you can showcase your stories. Find their website here: http://www.youngwriterssociety.com/.

We would also like to take this opportunity to wish you success with another agent or publisher.

With all best wishes,

Obviously, I'm a bit upset at being rejected, but at the same time it's definitely an ego boost to be told that my writing is 'fantastic'.  I just wish that I was fantastic enough for them to take me on.  Ah well, on to the next one.

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