Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

My friend, Christine, did a post titled "The Good, The Bad, and the Not-so Ugly" and so I thought I'd follow up with one of my own.

First of all, let's get the Bad and the Ugly out of the way. This weekend I got my worst rejection letter so far in the history of my rejections. This email came from the Triangulation End of the Rainbow Anthology editor.

Here's what he said:
Thanks for sending this our way but we're going to pass. At its core, this is a plot that's been told many times, and this treatment doesn't do anything new with it. As an additional note, it's generally considered bad form to include a story synopsis in your cover letter.

If you have anything else that fits our theme, we'd be
happy to take a look at it.

Bill Moran
Triangulation Editor

What? Who knew a colorblind girl searching at the end of a rainbow had been done before, and many times. And secondly, they didn't specify what to put in the cover letter. Who knew that a blurb would be so damning. Did anyone else know about this or was it just me?

Now the good. I finished my short story for the Pill Hill Shadows and Light anthology and sent it to my critique partners.

And, I made an awesome pot of potato and leek soup courtesy of All Here's the link if you want to try it. (Add an extra potato, though to thicken it up. I did).

Overall, not a bad weekend, just a sore spot on Saturday. I submitted my story to Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and we'll see what they think of it.


Unknown said...

Don't sweat it. It's all part of the journey. I still think your story sounds fabulous and would love to read your work.
Keep your chin up. :)
My blog

Tracy Loewer said...

Bah, some people just seem to feel the need to go that extra mile to make you feel lousy. I say, the best revenge is success. (Or, um, probably someone else said it first...but today it's me!) Keep at it!

Mary Gray said...

Oh my goodness! I can't believe that rejection letter! I thought synopses were typical.

Angie said...

Ah, sorry about the rejection. :( Those are never fun. Just remember, it's only one person's opinion. As for short story cover letters, I would say a synopsis is neither here nor there. It's not usually necessary, but not "bad form" either. (To be honest, I usually don't read the cover letters until after I've read the submission.) Just send the story out again right away! Back in the saddle and all that. Good luck.

Sandy Hyatt-James said...


Don't get upset. You just carry on as you are doing. I once had an agent say that my characters are wooden. Ouch that stung like hell! Then, about the same story, another agent said she liked the characters but not my narrative style. Get my drift?

Sandy Hyatt-James

Aubrie said...

Thank you for all the encouragement! I'm feeling much better about it!

And I followed Angie's advice and sent it on to someone else right away.

Cherie Reich said...

They could have at least said things differently in the rejection letter. I have heard conflicting views on a synopsis for cover letters. Some places say to include them. Others don't. I wish the writing world would all agree on one form of such things and make it easier on us writers, but of course, they can't do that. *rolls eyes*

It's a good story, though. Someone else will pick it up. :)

BK Mattingly said...

Ouch! That must have stung. I have never in my life heard of a color-blind girl searching for the end of the rainbow and it sounds excellent to me :) I probably will need another beta reader if you are interested. I'd be more than willing to read anything you'd want me to as well :) Have a great day!

sanjeet said...

I can't believe that rejection letter! I thought synopses were typical.

Work from home India

Lisa Rusczyk said...

That sounds like a harsh rejection to me. Is there any point in bashing a writer's plot then saying the way they submitted is bad form? I was thinking about submitting to them, but now I don't want to. I know a lot of publishers say they hate writers asking for feedback then complaining about the feedback they get, but there is such a thing as tact and general human kindness. Sorry you had to get that one. I've had ones like that too - one made me feel like the dumbest, most worthless human being, having nothing to do with the writing or anything. I remember I had queried an agent about a few different projects over a couple of years and the last time I queried I was told something very rude. I think he thought I was querying the same project over and over, and I wasn't, but the level of mean was uncalled for even if I had been. Gets me worked up again just thinking about it!

Hope you enjoyed your stew, and good luck with Pill Hill Press. I've submitted to them twice with no luck, but they are very nice in their rejections so I'll probably submit to them again.

Anonymous said...

There's a home for your novel -- you'll find it one.

Aubrie said...

Thanks Bethany, Lisa, and LZ! Your comments really cheered me up!

Anonymous said...

I dunno, seems to me criticizing anyone else's manners is worse "form" than anything else . . . saying that in a rejection letter, really REALLY bad form, in my opinion!