I’ve had to process my latest rejection for a few days. The request was loaded with enthusiasm on the agent’s part (she ended up requesting a full manuscript and then later three chapters of two other novels)and lots of hope on mine. I was disappointed. Really disappointed. I’m approaching the bottom of my agent list, and the anxiety is starting to build. But, all that said, this rejection was right.
This agent told me she was torn, that my writing was strong and my voice well developed. She just wasn’t in love, which she needed to be to represent my work. She has no doubt I have a writing career ahead of me and asked me to be in touch in the future. One line in particular has stuck with me (and don’t tell me you don’t memorize your agent letters like a love-sick middle schooler too!): “Please, please don’t be discouraged. I meant it when I said your writing is strong.”
I immediately emailed those faithful friends who never seem to tire of my emails (A request! A rejection! Another request! One more rejection!). Thank you, those of you who read here. Your support through this very slow, unglamorous process has kept me going. My agented friend reminded me I need someone who loves my work, not someone who just thinks she can sell it. She’s right. That’s exactly what the rejection said, really.
I sent a thank you to the agent, weird as that sounds. She is professional, prompt, and incredibly kind. I’m thankful she took the time to read and respond in a way she didn’t have to. She’s extended me hope in a place where hope stretches thin. Someday I’ll be in touch. I have to believe it.
Frankie Diane Mallis says
Hi Caroline! Sorry to hear about the rejection but that is a very encouraging line from the agent, just keep pushing and you’ll get there!!!
I’m following now since you must clearly have excellent taste in books, but I haven’t yet read George’s Henry VIII yet. Have you? I’ve looked at it and it looks amazing, but I somehow never got to it.
Caroline Starr Rose says
It’s even better than Memoirs of Cleopatra, if you can believe it. Join me for the Clear-Off-Your-Shelves Challenge and pick it up(and Jane Austen, too)!
I’ve been reading reviews about a book called Cleopatra’s Daughter by an author whose name I think is Moran. Looks like something worth reading.
I let a phone call interrupt my writing, and now look at me. Back at blogging. Better get back to work.
I hear you, Caroline. I’ve been told my writing is strong and then rejected, too.
I was told in journalism school years ago that a writer needs to develop a thick skin, and you do, but it’s still painful when an agent likes, but doesn’t love, your work.
Hang in there. It only takes one “yes”.
Oh, it’s frustrating to come that close. It does sound hopeful though and it’s very possible that she’ll love the next thing you write. I had a couple of near misses before I finally found an agent who loved my work. It sounds like you are so close. Hang in there.
Amalia T. says
I dream of that kind of a rejection. I think I’ll probably celebrate it by going out to dinner! Keep on keeping on– I’ve heard often that the trick to getting published is simply not giving up, and out-stubborning the competition! It sounds like you’re doing fabulously, even if you don’t feel like you’re getting there fast enough. I’m wishing you all the best!
Caroline Starr Rose says
Thanks, all. I really appreciate it.
Kathryn Fitzmaurice says
I’ve received many of these rejections, too. Most writers have. Each one takes time to get over. And when you find the agent you fit with, the one who gets you, you’ll know it was meant to be!
You have to take what you can from it. Someone who knows what they’re talking about believes you have a future and that your writing is strong. That’s pretty awesome.
Chocolate and booze will get you through the rest!
As hard as I’m sure that was, I think that’s loads better than any of the form rejections I’ve gotten. I just want a chance for someone to read my manuscript and not just my query.
I got one, from an agent who requested the first 10 pages along with a query, that felt half-form rejection and half-not and that gave me a little bit of hope.
Yaya' s Changing World says
As one who has not yet tried to find an agent, I must say, you are an impressive step ahead. Keep writing. I’m enjoying it and it sounds as if many others are, as well. At this point in your writing career, I would have to say that the question is no longer “If” you will get published, but “When.” My only hope is that when you do, I will be among those who learns of it.