STATUS: Doing great. Getting tons of reading done because it’s so slow in New York. Everyone is out for vaca already or soon will be with the long weekend. I love the sound of that. Looonnnnggg weekend.
What song is playing on the iPod right now? SHORT SKIRT LONG JACKET by Cake
Note to self: I only indulge in polite rants on this blog. Oh to be snarky for just a brief minute.
So, here’s what I want to rant about. I know I’ve said this before but it bears repeating.
Publishing is, first and foremost, a business.
And people who forget that astound me.
Recently I received a chastisement email from the parent of a young writer who sent me a query and was rejected.
Folks, let me repeat. Publishing is, first and foremost, a business. We read queries with only business in mind—regardless of race, gender, age, or religion.
Either it’s a professionally done query that piques our interest or it’s not. All other factors are moot—even if you are under the age of 18. Heck, even if you are under the age of 16 (and I have received queries from aspiring writers as young as 12). If it’s a well done query, we’ll give it a serious read. We have even asked to see sample pages on numerous occasions because we were impressed with the query letter.
I have yet to take on a really young person (and just as a reminder, if I were to, the parent or guardian would need to be involved), but I’m certainly open to it if the story is right. Age is certainly not a barrier.
But if the query is not well-written or professional, we’ll reject it (with our standard but nice rejection letter)—regardless of the writer’s age because publishing is a business. I’ll try not to repeat that yet again in this blog entry.
To receive an email from an angry parent accusing me of willfully dashing his or her child’s writing dream with my rejection strikes me as wrong on so many levels, I’m not sure where to begin ranting.
So I won’t. I’ll just leave it at that.
Or the one thing I will say is that the parent is not treating the child as a writing professional that he or she is aspiring to be.
And as all writers know, rejection is part of the biz. A badge of honor on this journey to publication.