Author Update No. 10: The Positive Rejection?

Capital Grounds, Montpellier, VT - my favorite writing spot.

Capital Grounds, Montpellier, VT - my favorite writing spot.

Dear Readers,

Turns out there is such a thing as a positive rejection. Of course, no one likes being rejected, myself included. But I got my first one and am thankful this agent read and responded to my work.

After reading the first 100 pages, he said, “You write well, but I feel the memoir loses immediacy when you go back over your childhood. You move to your past rather than your own divorce and concern for your own children. While not diminishing your experience in any way, it reads like many memoirs where divorce has been thrust upon the children who suffer the most. It reads a little like something that should be shared within the family more than universally (OUCH!) Also, it seemed a little familiar and that will be an issue with publishers.

While I understand what your objective is about threading lessons learned through the narrative, I wasn't convinced it works.”

He was absolutely right! As written, the story doesn’t get back to the crux until page 127. So I am reorganizing the book. I still believe my story should be shared more universally and plan to send it back to him, as well as other agents of course, when I am done. I have taken his input as another point along my journey of publishing and am learning from it. After all, we are all here at Earth School. Right?

In the meantime, I am submitting some of the chapters to literary journals for consideration.

This is the agent who I met last February. His enthusiasm back then was inspiring to me. And now, like comments from my read and critique group that would send me back into the pages, his insights will make the work so much better.

Thank you Damian.

Very kindly yours,
Holly McNeill