Wednesday, August 8, 2018

I know I can...I know I can... by Cathy Ace

Rejection is part of the publishing process. Tell us your most memorable rejections—whether it be from queries, agents, editors, or reviewers. Anything from your funniest to your most devastating (and how you recovered), and anything in between.

When I began to write short stories I didn’t plan on taking things further. Then I decided to try my hand at a novel, and wrote the first few chapters, plus a detailed outline. At least I THINK that’s what I sent to an agent (who really should remain nameless). Whatever it was I sent, it must have been pretty shoddy, but I received the polite reply below on April 14th 2009.

“Dear Cathy: Thank you for sending me your manuscript.  I enjoyed reading it.
While your pages are interesting and well-written, after careful consideration, I feel that your project is not right for my list at the current time. 
I wish you the best in finding the right agent who can successfully champion your project.”

It’s the only rejection email/letter I have (other than one which says, basically, “Thanks, but no thanks, I’m retiring”…I have always chosen to believe that receipt of my manuscript was not a factor that contributed to that decision).

I then received the following email on April 23rd 2009, from a local writer who had organized an event which I attended:

“Thank you very much for participating in last night’s event. I think we gave the audience a good combination of hearing our words, and learning a bit of what we do as writers.  
I heard great comments from many of the audience members (too bad there weren’t more) I know that you will be getting positive word of mouth about your books, which I hope will result in a bump in sales for you.”

My first novel, published in 2012
At the event I met a traditionally published author who put me in touch with his publisher, who read my self-published collections of short stories and novellas, and then – in May 2010, they asked me to submit a manuscript for a novel. I did so in December 2010, and in May 2011 they said YES! The book came out in March 2012.

The moral? I have no idea – but I got one “NO” and a whole lot of “YES”, so I’m happy about that. 

Advice? Keep writing. Keep believing – but also keep learning and striving to improve. 

That’s today’s PSA done! 

I'd be honoured if you'd consider reading my work - you can find out about it and me here: 


Paul D. Marks said...

The famous, or infamous "I feel that your project is not right for my list at the current time." I think we've all gotten that one, Cathy. But seems you got less than many of us :-) . Very cool that your work got picked up so quickly.

Lyda McPherson said...

The theme of this week's blog topic seems to be, "Who can tell? Just keep writing." I'm good with that. Cathy, thank you for adding your voice to the conversation.

Cathy Ace said...

Thanks Paul and Lyda - I honestly think that "right place, right time" comes into play...but that you have to be putting yourself and your work into as many "places" as possible for that "luck" to occur

Unknown said...

I have enjoyed everyone I have read

Cathy Ace said...

Thanks Cheryl - and I love the little Wales/Canada flag you have as your icon :-)

Alice Fitzpatrick said...

My favourite rejection was "the minute I came across references to God and the bible, you lost me." My book opens with a funeral! I think it's darn near impossible to write a British traditional mystery in a small town without a church or vicar eventually making an appearance.