Monday, November 8, 2010

Famous Rejections

One of the lessons I'm trying to teach my editing students now is that editors have rejected a lot of well-known and popular authors and what that means for them.

In my class, students read several novels and partial chapters of novels that may be bestsellers or award-winners (Pulitzer, National Book Award, etc.). Many of the students are quick to criticize and dismiss before they learn to their amazement that they have rejected a manuscript written by an author who pulls in multi-million dollar advances and sells millions of books. Likewise they may dislike a book that has won the Pulitzer. (I personally find a lot of award-winning books difficult to read. They're generally not "fun" reads. Think Cormac McCarthy's The Road, for example, not a light, pleasant read).

As long as editors are guided by their personal preferences--we're all human, after all--even good books will be rejected, because we don't like the same things. Fortunately, persistent authors can find the right readers/editors for their books, as the stories on this website tell:

Moral of the story: Keep writing, keep hoping, keep revising, keep submitting, and keep your day job.

Happy writing to you all.

No comments: