Wednesday, 4 June 2008

A not so POISONED letter

Received my first rejection for my childrens book 'The Poisoned Apple' and I am officially declaring it the BEST rejection I have ever had. Apologies to all those editors of small press mags/anthos who have provided critiques and helped me improve as a writer.

After a wee while (translate that as years) of sending out my horror novels and my first childrens book and getting form rejections, I finally got an outstanding personal rejection and it is from one of the top UK agencies. I quote:

You have a quirky style of writing, it is fast-paced, funny and I love the opening line. But for us to consider taking your novel on, it would have to be more in region of 60-70,000 words in length as this is what publishers expect.

The last part - 60,000 words - bothers me. I was aiming for an early Lemony Snicket length book and I know there are a lot of books out there that are around the 20-25,000 mark for children, but perhaps the times they are achanging. Then again, maybe I can change them back - :)

I'll send it out to a few more agencies - probably every single one in the book - and then if I get nowhere I will consider merging the as yet unwritten book 2 with book 1. Who knows?

I am telling you, I so have butterflies in my stomach that they read as far as the opening line... At last, a query letter that works.

7 comments:

Natalie L. Sin said...

Woot!

Catherine J Gardner said...

I know!

J.C. Tabler said...

Congrats on such a good rejection!

K.C. Shaw said...

That's great news! You should definitely keep that agency on your "query again" list for other projects! Congrats and good luck!

Wendy Withers said...

I can only hope the next rejection letters I get are as good as that one. I just finished a new short story, so it's time for them to start rolling in again. The worst rejection letter I ever received was from a big U.S. newspaper, and it looked something like this:

can not use. sory.

r.k.

(Initials and horrible mistakes have been changed to protect the innocent.)

Mary said...

What a fabulous rejection!!! :)

I’ve wrestled with whether or not to increase the word count of the YA novel I’ve been submitting (for some time). It is shorter than the norm, but the length feels right for the story.

Catherine J Gardner said...

I worry sometimes that by increasing length you are merely padding the novel, which is detrimental to the story. I'm going to go with - 'If you haven't got anything new to say then don't say it.'