Tuesday, 17 May 2011

I was turned down by

yet another agent.
My precious manuscript has now been very positively rejected by one publisher. It was not for them but they thought I should try elsewhere and even suggested where I should look.
It was rejected by an agent who actually said my writing "has merits" but it was not for her. Now would she say that and thus encourage me to bother her fellow agents if she did not mean it? I hope not. It would be unfair to her fellow agents.
I tried another agency because a very elderly acquaintance has been with them for years. He thought they "might" be prepared to contemplate taking on an Australian. Hmmm....apparently not.
I have it with one more agent now. Today I must find time to put together another carefully crafted letter to another agent. No, I am not going to give up.
I am not going to give up for a very good reason. An adult who grew up not reading children's books, apart from some "classics" read the entire thing. It was a totally new experience for her. Her father had a vast second-hand book business. He considered himself a literary academic. He did not encourage his children to read many children's books. They were given "the classics" instead. She has read vast quantities of what is usually considered to be literature. I think curiosity drove her to ask me if she could see what I had written. I did not think she would actually read the entire thing so I let her have the first three chapters. She asked to see the rest and then told me, "I enjoyed it."
I think that meant more to me than others who have enthused over the first three chapters. They all know at least something about children's books. She knew nothing and her own reading choices are normally very different. They tend to be literary and academic. My writing is neither. Does that suggest there is something I am doing right? I hope so.
But, I am worried. The story I have written is set in Australia and France. The problem is that I have "reversed" the usually accepted flow. The children should, I suspect, migrate from France to Australia rather than from Australia to France. I cannot help that. It is based on something that actually happened. I have to paddle against the tide with nothing more than my paws.
It is time to once again dip a paw into the cold, rough waters of the Sea of Agents and hope to catch one.

9 comments:

astrid said...

Don't give up! And don't think that what felt good plot-wise when you were writing should be reversed.Examine it afresh -yes- but if you believe then leave it! I went to my first writers' conference last year and came back distraught by the commercial forces at work and and assertion by English agents that short stories never sell. I have had many rejections for my collection but continue to publish individual pieces in good magazines. I am not giving up now! I once read that determination is almost a greater quality than talent with writing and am beginning to see that this is true. Best wishes, catherine

Vanessa Gebbie said...

cat - please can you email me - I may have an idea - long shot, but who is to say? Vanessa

vgebbie
at
gmail
dot
etc

Vanessa Gebbie said...

And definitely don't give up. I was informed delightfully, years back, that women over 50 aren't taken seriously by the publishing world. And no one wants to publish short stories, especially 'literary' ones.
Three books later, the fourth on the way. How do I blow a raspberry on here?

catdownunder said...

Thanks for the good wishes Catherine.
Vanessa, thankyou. I have e-mailed you.

Donna Hosie said...

Do not give up.

Fiona Faith Maddock said...

Don't give up. I have similarly worded rejections. I think the 'not for me' angle is to let you down gently. Remember you can ePublish as long as you are confident that you have edited up to the standard which the industry demands. I am meeting up with more and more authors who are finding success - and revenue - and not only that but immediate revenue - by epublishing. I am very tempted and if I have no joy after the substantial rewrite I am doing, then that's the route I shall go.

Karen @ Scobberlotch said...

Never, never give up. If you like your story and are getting bits of encouragement, you know you have something. For me, I sent out countless queries before anything happened. There were times I felt as you did and now I'm glad I shored up for another day. This is a universal experience for any writer. Know that you are now passing through that pivotal stage where others fear to tread in your writing career. This is where the masses turn back, but few press on.
(BTW - hopping over to your fine blog from Musing of a Penniless Writer) :)

Caroline said...

I echo the sentiments. You will find your agent, I am sure of that. Glasgow is behind you!

catdownunder said...

Hello Karen, nice to virtually meet you! Thankyou.
No Faith, I am not going there. If it is good enough someone else can publish it. I do not have the skills for that.
Thanks Caroline!