The Politics of Rejection

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

I’m writing this post while watching live coverage of the New Hampshire primary returns, and as this bizarre passion play unfolds on my television screen I’m struck by how relevant it is to this week’s topic of rejection. We writers moan about how we’re cursed with near-constant rejection, and it’s true: even the most successful writers receive dozens, even hundreds, of “we regret to inform yous” for every accepted submission…


Embracing Rejection

One of Jennifer S. Brown's rejection slips for a short story
Tuesday, February 9, 2016

We’re such romantics over here at the Deb Ball that we thought “Valentine’s Day” and our mind immediately went to “rejection.” That’s the life of a debut novelist. Look, we experience rejection our entire lives. Not a person alive hasn’t been rejected in some way. For example, in 4th grade, I had to wear a headgear. Twenty-four hours a day. And to make it easy to use, my mother took…


Resources for Rejection

Monday, February 8, 2016

Here is the simple truth: unless you write only for yourself, and have no interest in seeking publication in any form, you will experience rejection. In the life of a writer there are infinite opportunities for someone to not choose your work. You can be rejected by institutions that offer grants, fellowships, conferences, and MFA programs. Publications such as literary magazines and newspapers can say sorry, not the right fit….


Writers, Jealousy and Generosity

Monday, January 11, 2016

Okay, lets just get this out in the open. I am a jealous person. I don’t want to be a jealous person. I consider it one of my worst traits. I try to keep my envy in check, but occasionally it gets the best of me. A couple of years ago I was feeling a bit lost. My year-long novel workshop had ended, and I missed the structure and comfort…


Just Keep Swimming…

Thursday, December 17, 2015

The time I almost quit writing was while multiple editors were falling in love with my latest draft. I just didn’t know it. I’d sent the revision to my agent before boarding a plane. The subject read: I LIKED MY LIFE, take 1,683. An exaggeration? Yes. It was the writer’s version of a “feels like” forecast. En route to my ski trip, I considered the possibility that landing kick ass representation was as close to…


The Dream-Come-True Part

Thursday, November 12, 2015

The sales cycle for I LIKED MY LIFE went like this: edit, send to a handful of publishers, collect rejections, err, I mean feedback, repeat. We were on round three of this daunting process when I sent my agent—the amazing Elizabeth Winick Rubinstein—my latest revision. I no longer obsessed about when I’d hear back, exactly who’d be pitched, etc. I’d come to peace with my always-the-bridesmaid-never-the-bride lot as a writer….


On Not Selling a Book

Rejection Just Ahead Green Road Sign with Dramatic Storm Clouds and Sky.
Tuesday, November 10, 2015

This week we’re talking about being on submission and selling our books. I’ve discussed being on submission before. And I think my fellow Debs will have plenty to say on selling books. So I’m going to talk about not selling a book. We constantly hear of famous books that didn’t sell. Gone With the Wind was rejected thirty-eight times before it was published. Yet the fact is they are famous…


The Only Guarantee in Writing Is Rejection

Friday, February 27, 2015

I started my writing career batting a thousand. The first story I ever submitted won a local writing contest. $500!!! It was the most money I ever earned from a short story. The second short story I ever submitted came in second place in a writing contest for a national magazine. $300!!! I was on fire! I scoffed at all these rumors of rejection. “Bah!” I said to the writing…


Rejection Equals Writer Fuel

Thursday, February 26, 2015

I’ve shared here on the DebBall before my sad, terrible, no good tale of soul-shattering rejection. As writers, we’ve all faced our share of rejections — and the bad news is, just having a book out in the world doesn’t mean the end of it. Nope, you’ll still get countless rejections every time you go on sub, other people’s books will hit best-of or bestseller lists while yours languishes, you’ll…


Rejection is Hard: Escapism Helps

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

This writing journey is a painful one and not for the faint of heart. As writers, there are a lot of things stacked against us. We spend hours alone with our thoughts and 95% of the feedback we get is rejection–often generic. As a result, self-doubt and writing go hand in hand, like besties embarking on a long, dark journey. Every writer has their low points and it’s important to find…