Rejection Never Tasted So Good

I received another rejection e-mail yesterday, my fifth in total, but this one was a little different from the others. It contained feedback, words of encouragement, a glimmer of hope in the dark world of the querying wannabe author. What was even better was that it came from one of the biggest literary agents in the U.K. I won’t name names but this agency carries some clout in the world of publishing.

The agent thanked me for my submission and stated she admired the ambitious premise and quality of my writing. Unfortunately, she wasn’t completely drawn in by the opening chapters. So it was a no, but possibly the best no I have ever had in my life. The word quality was there. From someone whose job it is to assess and analyse hundreds of manuscripts a week. She had actually read my work and liked it.

Prior to receiving her e-mail I had been a bit down in the dumps. As days went, this was turning into a pretty rubbish one. Nothing serious, just minor irritations that I won’t bore you with. The e-mail was manna from heaven and I gratefully gobbled down its content like a hungry Israelite wandering around in the wilderness. It re-energised me and provided the kick up the backside I sorely needed.

The key word in her e-mail was ‘quality.’ I was beginning to doubt myself and my writing. Despite the daily encouragement I receive on the blog, the dreaded voice was back telling me I wasn’t good enough, I was wasting my time. It was also constructive. Do I have to work on the opening chapters in order to draw prospective agents into the story? Do away with the prologue?

It truly was a ‘glass half full’ moment. The blog has just passed 9000 followers and there are still a host of other agents to query. Once my editor has completed her work, I can also begin to directly query smaller, independent publishing houses. Then there are the other projects I’m planning to start work on soon which I hope to talk about in a post later this week.

I can’t give up and I won’t give up. Too much has been put into the project in order to chuck in the towel now. There are, no doubt, further rejections ahead but this one was different, one I will forever cherish. A very step, but a step nonetheless, in the right direction. I’ll keep stumbling down the path. Who knows where it will take me but I sincerely hope you all stick around for the ride.

What’s the best piece of constructive feedback you’ve ever received?

43 thoughts on “Rejection Never Tasted So Good

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  1. I can’t answer your question, Stephen, but I can say that you’ve got some nerve feeling down about your writing.

    I mean -what does that say about US, your 9000 followers? Are you accusing us of bad taste?!

    So, cancel any future pity parties you were planning and get that thing published!

    Liked by 6 people

  2. This is BRILLIANT Stephen. A nugget of pure gold. Hang onto it. Maybe yes, you could wirk on those first three chapters. Think how to draw people in a bit more? Is there any mileage in that? Sometimes it takes inly minor changes to make all the difference. Keep going, and good luck with it.

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  3. Great post. I, too will continue to stumble, (maybe even waddle like a toddler) to finish writing this book and begin the same process of submission to literary agents. But knowing rejection happens, doesn’t mean I should give up. I can’t give up on myself, because I am the biggest cheerleader for myself when others turn me down.
    I enjoy these post about your publishing process. You inspire me to keep going.

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  4. Rejection is so hard! This is one of the parts I’m most dreading about finishing my book…but I’m glad that this response gave you a glimmer of hope. Hold onto that feeling and keep moving forward! I know I am just one of the many others here who will be waiting in line when that book is finally here.

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  5. Those are the “good” rejections. The glimmers of hope and words of encouragement you need to keep going. After my first round, I took another look at my book and am making adjustments and will be going at them again. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself doing the same. Feedback is a great rejection letter and take note of all their advice and keep going! Just think how amazing it will feel to have your book sitting in a bookshop or when you’re doing book signings! You’re doing great 🙂

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  6. I’d tried for years to get a short story published. Sent it to Galaxy, Omni, Amazing, all the big SciFi magazines at the time. suffice it to say I got enough rejection slips to paper a wall. I sent it to a little periodical that I’m not even sure exists anymore called “Riverside Quarterly.” Just so you know, they paid in contributor copies. They didn’t pick it up, but I got it back with notes from the editor on what he’d have done differently to make it a better story. The feedback was greatly appreciated, and I’m eternally grateful.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. this is wonderful and I am committed to sticking it out for the whole ride – I just hope you don’t get so busy that you won’t have time for your blog – selfish of me, I know, but I do enjoy it so much. I am confident of seeing your books in book stores in the very near future. Please don’t lose faith – we have faith in you!

    I haven’t been on here much. My hubby is still in hospital, but things are looking up. A specialist from the big city was in to see him and is trying a new approach which has gleaned a slight improvement, so I am cautiously optimistic that he will be home again soon.

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