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Queries and Agents => Literary Agents => Topic started by: dana on January 24, 2011, 12:04:05 PM

Title: A ONE SENTENCE REJECT
Post by: dana on January 24, 2011, 12:04:05 PM
It is now my philosophy that  ONCE YOU GIVE UP ALL HOPE, the life of an unpublished, unwanted, writer can get pretty %$#@&  funny. :rolf:

This was sent this morning by Caitlin Blasdell, and "no", I don't care if agents DO have google alerts for when their names are mentioned.   She would no doubt enjoy seeing her name in print, just like I would.

"THANKS FOR THE LOOK"

Yep.  That was it.  I'm glad she had the compassion to hit the SEND button.  :wag:

Kinda sounds as if my query pissed her off.  :rant:
Title: Re: A ONE SENTENCE REJECT
Post by: Tabris on January 24, 2011, 12:07:11 PM
I never minded the one-sentence rejects. Why waste the agent's time? After reading twenty form rejections, you pretty much know what they're going to say anyhow. It means "No." With or without the fancy verbiage, it means "no." So why not keep it to four words?

I always would prefer "This sucks" to a non-response.  :wag:

PS: No matter how tempting, do NOT reply to that with "You're welcome!"
Title: Re: A ONE SENTENCE REJECT
Post by: dana on January 24, 2011, 12:17:33 PM
OOoooh....I came thisclose  to sending  "THANKS FOR LOOKING".   I honestly did and only stopped because it wouldn't have mattered.
Title: Re: A ONE SENTENCE REJECT
Post by: MaryL on January 24, 2011, 12:23:44 PM
Dana. I received several that said nothing but, "No." It's not personal. Hang in there!  :up:
Title: Re: A ONE SENTENCE REJECT
Post by: HorsebackWriter on January 24, 2011, 04:18:14 PM
I can hear you're discouraged, and I'm sorry about the rejection, truly (been there, myself, so I understand) but to be honest, I don't think she was pissed. She just wasn't interested.

Best thing to do, to retain sanity, is to move on.

I'd say it was actually kind of her to give you a few words, in lieu of form rejection verbiage. It doesn't seem like much when our hopes are so high, but when you weigh it against all the queries she gets, and the new trend of "no response means no", she's giving you something, when she could've given you nothing.

Either way, no matter how it's said, no is no.

Keep sailing that query out there! It's all very subjective.

In case it helps, think of it like this -- say you aren't interested in brussel sprouts. Someone queries you with brussel sprouts -- does it matter if they're steamed, glazed, salted, topped with pink icing? If they're not your thing, they're not your thing. You wouldn't want to be made to eat them, if you didn't want them.

Like taste, it's subjective. The next agent might LOVE brussel sprouts, and your kind, exactly! : ) 

Em
Title: Re: A ONE SENTENCE REJECT
Post by: Duff on January 24, 2011, 04:32:42 PM
OMG, MaryL. I'm getting used to rejection, but when I get the "no", I may spit out my coffee. And it worked out for you, so that's heartening.

Dana, that's her form rejection. It definitely wasn't personal. Onward!
Title: Re: A ONE SENTENCE REJECT
Post by: bodwen on January 24, 2011, 04:52:20 PM
Brussel sprouts are my husband's least favorite vegetable.  When we were young I thought they were his favorite, since I saw that filled out in magazine quiz.  So I decided to surprise him for dinner.  Turns out he got the magazine from a friend, he hates brussel sprouts with a passion.  Oh, well.

Years later I discovered that brussel sprouts are absolutely divine when sliced in half then sauteed with onions.  So I started fixing single portions of them for myself, usually when he was at work, so he wouldn't think I was doing it to be annoying.  

One day I fixed them in the microwave and forgot about them, until my husband came into the office holding the bowl.  "Excuse me.  Are these brussel sprouts that you've left in the microwave?"

"Yes," I said.

"They're not half bad." He devoured another forkful of them before walking away.
Title: Re: A ONE SENTENCE REJECT
Post by: Aiala on January 24, 2011, 05:04:03 PM
Brussels sprouts are absolutely fabulous, although 97% of them are overcooked into evil-smelling mush spheres. But even then, they're better than supercilious one-word form rejections.  :)

~A~


Title: Re: A ONE SENTENCE REJECT
Post by: bodwen on January 24, 2011, 05:11:53 PM
Yep.  Queries are a lot like vegetables: People get put off when 97% of the ones they've had have been badly prepared.
Title: Re: A ONE SENTENCE REJECT
Post by: MaryL on January 24, 2011, 05:24:27 PM
 :rolf: :rolf: :rolf: :rolf: :rolf: :rolf:
Title: Re: A ONE SENTENCE REJECT
Post by: Magic_Seeker on January 24, 2011, 06:10:55 PM
:rof2:  If I cook that brussel sprout, it won't be edible, no matter how hard I try.  Le sigh.

Hugs, Dana.  :hug:  I'd rather have any version of "no" than silence, though.
Title: Re: A ONE SENTENCE REJECT
Post by: dana on January 24, 2011, 09:04:47 PM
You've all helped me immensely.  I wunder if bad speling counts? 
Title: Re: A ONE SENTENCE REJECT
Post by: Kimmy on January 24, 2011, 09:14:17 PM
I got a few more words than you did from her. "This is not for me but thanks for the look." That, to me, was a great response! Compared to silence, which I hate, a no is a no no matter how they word it. So take it as a rejection and move on. Its all you can do. ANd be glad she at least responded! The nonresponders leave a lot of questions in my mind - did they even get the query? Was it lost in cyberspace? Did someone accidentally delete it before someone could read it? To me, any response is better than nothing. Keep plugging away!
Title: Re: A ONE SENTENCE REJECT
Post by: lexcade on January 24, 2011, 10:52:14 PM
 got the same one from her, Dana. and i was a little miffed when i read it...
Title: Re: A ONE SENTENCE REJECT
Post by: Jim W on January 25, 2011, 12:33:01 PM
The first one line rejection got me too...

Then I started to realize how many don't bother to reply at all.   :sad:  Tabris is right.  The agent is just saving time by skipping the sugar coating, and I much prefer any reply to silence.  You never know if your mail (snail or electronic) got there when you get no response. 

I haven't got the one word rejection yet.  Guess I have something to look forward to.  :wink:
Title: Re: A ONE SENTENCE REJECT
Post by: dana on January 25, 2011, 01:12:14 PM
If I'm any proof of the enjoyment to be derived from rejections, then Jim...you really have a lot of fun in your future. :ninja:
Title: Re: A ONE SENTENCE REJECT
Post by: vcanfield on January 25, 2011, 03:18:53 PM
Dana,

Don't let it get you down. This days I'm thrilled if they even bother answering. It means no more to me if they say, "your obviously a talented writer, but ______________" then if they say "no for me". Because in the end it all means the same--move on partner, we're not buying what your selling. At least she didn't say, "you suck, keep your day job". Supposedly Fred Astaire's first screen test ended with the words "Can't act. Can't sing. Balding. Can dance a little." It's all subjective. Keep plugging away. Karma to you.

Title: Re: A ONE SENTENCE REJECT
Post by: Jim W on January 26, 2011, 02:48:04 PM
Quote
If I'm any proof of the enjoyment to be derived from rejections, then Jim...you really have a lot of fun in your future.

Nah.  I don't get any real enjoyment out of rejections, especially if they aren't my own.  (And I don't particularly like my own, either.)  But I always try to look for a bright side.  Humor is a way to deal with the potholes on the road of writing.  Agents don't mean anything personal with a short rejection.  All they're saying is that they aren't interested. 

And I'm gonna say this because Mary's too humble and nice to say it herself.  (Don't bonk me on the head, Mary, I've got a lumpy enough head!)  Yes, Mary's received one word rejections.  But she's also going to be published soon.  Guess who's getting the last laugh there?

Keep your chin up, Dana.  There will be better days.
Title: Re: A ONE SENTENCE REJECT
Post by: dana on January 26, 2011, 06:43:56 PM
"Chins up" is more like it.  meh
Title: Re: A ONE SENTENCE REJECT
Post by: Jim W on January 27, 2011, 12:13:16 AM
Quote
"Chins up" is more like it.

You said it, not me.  :)

Of course, I no longer have a chin or chins.  I keep mine safely hidden under a writing beard.  I only trim it on the first day of a first draft.  Most of the time, I look like someone the Viking chieftain kicked off the raid because the other pillagers might be frightened.   It eats combs for breakfast.  So when someone tells me to keep my chin up, I always say:

Do I look like I have a chin?

"Keep your chin up" is kind of a stupid saying when you think about it.  It leaves out whole classes of people.  What do people with cleft chins say?  "Which side?"  The multichinned have to ask, "Which one?"

Oh, I think I need to go to bed.  This is what happens to me when I write late at night.  I get weird.  I'm working my way through some old Roger Zelazny novels.  I think we'd all be better served if I hauled my carcass off to bed and read them. :read: