Pub Rants

Thanks For The Rejection

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STATUS: Greetings from Downtown Atlanta! Yes, I’m here for RWA (and for those of you who don’t know the acronym, it means Romance Writers of America). The national conference is this week.

What song is playing on the iPod right now? I promise to turn on the radio or something for this trip.

Today I had a great reminder of why I’m always polite in my query rejection letters—especially for partials.

I walked up to the airport taxi queue to grab a cab to my hotel (The Marriott Marquis) and I noticed four lovely ladies with large suitcases—a certain sign of arriving RWA members. I took a chance and introduced myself so as to share the cab and the fare. One lady enthusiastically shook my hand and mentioned that I had rejected her son’s partial just a month or so ago and she wanted to thank me.

Well, people don’t usually thank me for rejecting them so I was a little nervous at first.

She was completely sincere and even more fun? I remembered the partial because I had held on to it for several weeks and did two reads on it. Sharp writing but I felt that it leaned toward horror—and more so for what I do.

Ends up I actually mentioned that in the response letter I sent and consequently, her son had been targeting more horror agents and getting a positive response.

So even though I didn’t take on the project, I made a difference in a writer’s life and that made me feel kind of good.

And no, I won’t be providing comments on all partials received and read. That would be an overwhelming amount of work. Just the occasional partial that catches my eye but isn’t quite right for me.

Off to the fabulous 10th Anniversary party of The Knight Agency. Deidre is my best agent pal and I wanted to be here to support this wonderful occasion.

I can’t wait to celebrate my own—in 2012. Sheesh that sounds an eon away.

5 Responses

  1. Anonymous said:

    You wrote a brief but kind note on my rejection, and you have no idea how I appreciated it. I took it to heart and made the changes, and am so much happier with my ms now. Thank you for taking the time.

  2. Nicki Greenwood said:

    That’s so great, that you helped point an author in the right direction. Sometimes the nudge is just what we need! Have a great time at Nationals – wish I was there!

  3. girl on books said:

    It really IS so helpful when an agent makes a specific comment in their rejection. You have NO idea! Even if the comment is just something specifically ‘wrong’ with the manuscript. It gives the writer some direction to consider. I’ve had three personal rejection letters and I value each of them tremendously.