My rejection score – and an exciting new writing project

Rejection score

If you recall I sent out “Song of the Nightingale” to 13 literary agents just after Christmas, and I have sent another 4 since.

Rejection score to-date = 6.

Without naming names, the reasons are:

  • “I am sorry to say that this is not the kind of book we are looking for at the moment.”
  • “I don’t feel confident of finding a publisher”
  • “I’m afraid I didn’t feel strongly enough about the sample material to want to take things further, but thank you for the chance.”
  • “We have considered your proposal carefully and I am sorry to say that it is not going to be one for us, though your writing stands out from the many we receive.” They then went on to recommend editorial agencies and that I join a writing group – I think (hope) this is just standard blurb as I have had it professionally reviewed and I have been a member of a writing group for years.
  •  “Many thanks for sending us this proposal, which I read with interest. I considered it carefully but I’m afraid on balance it just doesn’t quite grab my imagination in the way that it must for me to offer to represent you. So I must follow my instinct and pass on this occasion. I’m really sorry to be so disappointing, but thanks for thinking of us. Of course this is a totally subjective judgement, so do try other agents and I wish you every success.” I liked this one and it felt personal, even though it might not actually be.
  • “Many thanks for sending me your submission, which I read with interest. I’m afraid to say, however, that I didn’t feel passionately enough to offer you representation. Our business is subjective by nature and another agent may well feel differently. I wish you the best of luck with that. I do think your writing is promising so I’d be happy to consider whatever you write next.” Again, this felt personal and did say they think my writing is promising.


None of the reasons were because they thought it was a load of rubbish (would they say if they thought it was?) and some had something positive to say.

I know this process can take months and years so I am not disheartened.

I will send out to more literary agents if/when I get more rejections.

I have also sent the first few pages to a competition – no harm in trying!

And, I have just booked to go to a “Getting Published Day” in London run by Jericho Writers. I went a few years ago and it was interesting. I have paid for a 1-2-1 with an agent where they give feedback on your letter, synopsis and 1st 50 pages.

Exciting new writing project

I retire in September 2020 (21 months to go) and as I love walking I thought that as soon as I stop work I would take myself to Europe and do a combined train/walking trip.  I have 6 weeks in mind but I am not sure where that came from. One of the reasons I love walking is because that is when I do my best writing (or is it merely “promising”?) so I thought, I’ll be able to start a new novel, possibly using some of the scenes I go through or people I meet. Then, thought I, why don’t I actually write about my own experiences as a travelogue. Maybe someone might like to read a light-hearted book about a 66 year old biddy wandering aimlessly around Europe?

So, I have just bought myself a very snazzy notebook and I am just going to write down what planning I do, hints and tips on booking trains & accommodation, then during the tour I will write about the places and people and see, the funny and awful things that happen  and on my return I will write a book. I am thinking of calling it “An old biddy’s Grand Tour” – or something similar.

I am also going to see if a publisher is interested – so will be working on a proposal over the next few weeks/months. More chances of rejections – yay!

I am extremely excited. I need to finish novel number 3 before then – but I am now counting the weeks before I retire and can set off on my adventure.


One thought on “My rejection score – and an exciting new writing project

  1. The trouble with having an agent, Marilyn, is if you don’t get a good one, they can really slow you down. There are lots of good publishers out there who take unsolicited work. And don’t ever doubt that your writing is excellent. You have an amazing and beautiful style. Love the travelling biddy idea!!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s