Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanks for the Slush--Truly!

By Raelene Gorlinsky

It’s the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday. In reading various blogs by agents, editors, authors, I see myriad people who love writing and reading, love the publishing industry and being part of it, and are talking about that today. I feel the same way. What I said here last Thanksgiving is still true:

“So I say thank you to all the authors in the world. Thank you for entertaining me, enlightening me, making me laugh or cry or sigh. Thank you for showing me places I will never be able to visit myself, introducing me to people - real or imaginary - whom I wish I could really meet and know. Thank you for building fantastic worlds I sooo wish were real. Thank you for all the heroes to drool over, and their heroines I envy.”

This year I want to extend that thanks a little. Thank you to all the writers who are brave enough to submit their work to a publisher for judgment. It takes courage and commitment, and a thick skin. As you hear from any reputable publisher, only a miniscule percentage of submissions are actually good enough to accept, so a writer needs to be able to handle rejection. But every editor lives for the excitement of finding that unexpected jewel in the slush pile. The story by an unknown name, with an unremarkable title and perhaps an uninspiring cover letter—but then you read the story, and it blows you away! It may not be perfect (let’s be realistic, no story is) but you can see the greatness there. You know you have the editorial skill and the connection to the story to help the author polish this gem and make every facet sparkle.

So I am thankful not only for the stories I’ve loved and read, but for the stories I’ll have a chance to read in future, in hopes that I will find another jewel. So submit something to us now!

3 comments:

jan springer said...

Happy Thanksgiving, Raelene and thanks for taking a chance on me and accepting me into EC all those years ago. :-)

Sending you warm hugs,

jan

ECPI Editors said...

You're welcome, Jan! A perfect example of what gems can unexpectedly turn up. Twenty stories at EC and counting!

Raelene

Windlegend said...

"...a writer needs to be able to handle rejection."

That's how we learn. You fail; you try again. You don't give up the first time someone says, "Not what we're looking for."

I had dozens upon dozens of rejections before my first novel was published. Since then, I've published over 70 novels...about half of them with Jasmine/Jade...and out of all those, I've had three rejections by one publisher that were snapped up by another.

You write. You learn. You face rejection and you learn from your mistakes. You don't sit in a corner and pout even if that's what your Muse tells you to do.

I am grateful for Tina and Patty and Raelene and Mary and Jayne. Writers make your day? Ladies, you make ours.