Today in Rejection

I am still a fan of the incessant Nigerian letters extolling money through the web. A pale echo of this arrived in my inbox today:


Hi Matt,
You seem like a very productive and dedicated writer. I saw your listing on Writers Net. I’m interested in the possibility of becoming your literary agent. Please e-mail me at hotliteraryagent@yahoo.com and let me know what book-length projects you have in progress.

I’m looking forward to hearing from you!

Sincerely,
Michele Glance Rooney

A quick search at Google produced this piece as the first hit and the agency web site as the second hit. I wondered how quickly it will be before I begin to outsource the rejection inherent in being a writer and just pay to keep the quantity up? I don’t believe Michele Glance Rooney is scamming authors, but merely serving as a logical result of there being too much work written and not not enough people to read it all.

Many writers I know have given up literary agents in general because agents can’t seem to sell their work. Many of these same writers also do not send out their short stories, etc. to literary journals because they don’t get published. Their work might get published, but tends to be published when an editor asks if them if they have work. In my own case, this tends to happen because in Seattle and Portland there are reading series, and lit magazines, and the two things becomes very closely linked. And yet, I have never been able to get a story in The Crab Creek Review.

One begins to wonder, who is published in literary journals? I like this web site of contributor comments at TriQuarterly. Hey! Jana Harris. Otherwise — who? Furthermore, when I click on the hyperlinked name and the link just returns their name again, taunting me.

When was the last time you read TriQuarterly?

There is a cycle of rejection here — you are rejected by lit agents until one takes you on. You are rejected by editors until one takes you on. You are rejected by bookstores until one stocks your book. You are rejected by readers who bypass your “coming of age novel” for a copy of the The Sex Deck, which isn’t even a book.

The cycle must be broken.

Here at Maude Newton, there is a similiar query about the lack of paperback rights selling for a highly lauded first novel.

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