Thursday, January 06, 2011

Barnes County Rejections

An agonizing thing it is to put your hard work out into the world with the great likelihood that it will be rejected. While I've grown used to this (though it is still difficult) with my short fiction, I somehow expected something different with a novel. It is not even a novel--it's just a query letter. Maybe I could believe that it is the letter itself that failed, not the work, not the plot and characters. Of course, agents can be just as callous as literary journals. The "impersonal note" above (it's a rejection; let's not mince words) was sent to me by Barer Literary.

The rejection above came from Ellen Levine at Trident Media Group, the representative of both Daniel Woodrell and Marilynne Robinson. I thought she'd be responsive to the rural setting and the grit in the novel, but I doubt that my letter made it past some intern or assistant.

I know that my lack of a signficant publishing history hurts me. It's one thing to take on a debut novelist, but one without even some success publishing short fiction is a greater risk. I know. I don't think it's important to list the few things I had published in the college's annual lit journal when I was an undergrand. And I didn't include the one, more recent, piece of journalism published in a trade journal. I think these things are more distracting than anything.

So, I need to just buck up and send it out again.

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