Wednesday, August 6, 2014

IWSG - Positive Rejections

Today is another installation of The Insecure Writer's Support Group, which posts on the first Wednesday of every month and is run by our Ninja Captain Alex Cavanaugh. This is a place where writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds.

The awesome co-hosts today are Sarah Foster, Joylene Nowell Butler, Lily Eva, and Rhonda Albom! Please stop by and thank them for helping today.

Today I'd like to talk about positive rejections.

Say, what?

Yes. I received a positive rejection from an agent last week for my novella, Silent Beauty. Because I'm a little bit crazy, I queried two agents for my novella. Just two. Yes, that makes no sense and yeah, probably not my best idea. It was a "on a whim" thing. One is a new agent, the other is my dream agent. I didn't expect much. After six weeks passed, I sent a little nudge on Twitter to see what date the agent had responded through. She was very kind and my query had been missed! I sent it again and she gave me a personal response instead of a form rejection. (The other agent I know it backlogged and I'm patient.)

The agent mentioned how much she loved Silent Beauty's pitch and premise, also the writing was very strong. But she wasn't looking for novellas at the time. She said if I ever decided to strengthen the novella with a longer word count to query her again. So, it's a yes and a no. But mostly a no.

I’m actually really excited about this rejection! I didn’t just see the “No”. I see that my novella has a great premise and pitch and strong writing. That makes it a very positive experience for me. :) I know I’m on the right track. I don’t know if I’m going to lengthen my novella or find another place for it, but I do know the writing is strong and that makes me very happy.

Have you ever had a rejection that wasn’t completely a no? I know most rejections I’ve received are a form, but I do appreciate this agent sending a personal response. Have faith to everyone in the query trenches! Keep putting yourself out there!

14 comments:

  1. Sounds like a good one to me, too. Maybe it would be a smart move to expand your novella into a novel?

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  2. As far as rejections go, that's a pretty good one!

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  3. I think that's one the nicest rejection letters I've ever heard of. Most are form and sting a bit. The fact that she complimented your writing, as well as your premise and pitch is amazing. I think I would hang on to her positive words and hold on to them close to your heart Krista.

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  4. Yep, I've had quite a few positive rejections! It's nice to be told you're a good writer, but after hearing "nice writing, not for me" and "you're talented but I can't represent this project" too many times, it can get a tad frustrating! Still, you can definitely take away something positive from the experience. :)

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  5. Dang rights you should be excited. I'm excited for you. Let us know what happens, okay!!!

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  6. That's great! You've got the talent, now you just need the right venue. :) Best of luck finding a home for your novella.

    Loni

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  7. She said no to the length, not your manuscript - that is a positive rejection. And it gives you direction. Keep trying with it or make it a full novel.
    I don't think I got too many rejections for my first manuscript that were more than form letters though.

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  8. I'm glad you were able to find the good in the "no". Being a writer can be very tough sometimes.

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  9. That's a great rejection! (Feels a little odd saying that! *LOL*) A lot of agents and publishers don't take novellas, but to even take the time to comment like that is really good. :)

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  10. Awesome. Those little gems are priceless.

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  11. Positive rejections like the ones you received are good, because they're proof that you put your work out there and they're proof that people liked what you wrote. I've received positive rejections from literary magazines who encouraged me to submit other stories; those always made me feel better.

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  12. I agree with Alex. What a great rejection, and personal too. Don't give up now.

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  13. Yes! I remember my first almost yes rejection. (It was a novella too! Darn those novellas!) It's always good to hear positive things, it lets you know you're heading in the right direction. :)

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  14. Awesome! Positive rejections are a real thing! Love your attitude and glad you shared this. :)

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