I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. The writing/editing/publishing community offers some many incredible opportunities for aspiring writers. Coming up on June 29 is Pitch to Publication, where you have the potential to win 1 month of editing from a professional editor, partner with them to then market your manuscript to interested agents, and then move forward potentially to the publication round. You can find all of the submission information at Samantha Fountain’s blog and opportunities to submit begin June 29 at 8am CST (9am EST for all of my East-Coasters and 6am PST for all of my West-Coasters).
Make sure to review the editors’ bios at Samantha’s blog and be able to commit the time to editing in the time-frames allotted if you are selected (failure to comply with the specified deadlines leads to disqualification). More info can also be found at WriterPitch.
Anyone who has ever queried knows that rejection is part of the bargain. Aspiring writers have the phenomenal (really, when you think of it, it is pretty awesome) opportunity to cold-submit their manuscripts to agents with the knowledge that their e-mail will be read (or skimmed, depending on query quality and fit) and that they will receive a response at some point, however formulaic it might be. The cordiality and professionalism agents use to approach and delve through their slush pile is admirable. All of these considerations, though, may not assuage the instinctive hurt that a form rejection sitting in your inbox will evoke. I put so much into my manuscript, and they said it isn’t good enough? Initiate identity crisis / professional crisis / imposter syndrome / all of the above.
The bare fact is that rejection is inevitably going to be a consistent and repetitive experience for any writer seeking an agent, despite a manuscript of the highest quality, editing, and originality. Agents consider not just quality, but also genre fit, marketability, and their existing client list (among many, many other aspects of the publishing world that I am sure I have little knowledge of). So, how do you stay motivated and confident when only rejections seem to be streaming into your inbox?
2) Get feedback to make your manuscript even better (or to assure yourself that it is as finely polished as a High Tea Set). Have you seen the detailed workshop offered by From Pitch to Published? Amazing opportunity, if you have a little saved to put towards your writer’s life. Sign-up by July 15th for the next online workshop, which starts on Sept. 1.
3) Read interviews with published authors, who can tell you just how many times they were rejected before they were published. Writer’s Digest has a great archive of author interviews (I know, I really do love their site).