• V.P Colombo

Please reject me!

When reading or listening to successful authors, there is one occurring phrase which keeps coming up :" Be persistent, after twenty, fifty rejection letters I finally got published."

Let me walk you through the process. You spend months, years to write a book, and when you think the time is right, you start looking for a publisher. You soon find out that they don't take any unsolicited manuscripts unless submitted by an agent. And agents only represent someone who has already published or has some kind of visibility. It's a big help for a first time writer, isn't it ?

Then you're looking at opportunities given by big houses, monthly or weekly submissions. There are many guidelines, in which genre they are interested ( it seems like nobody wants to hear about short stories, so it is still not for everyone), the first few chapters with a breakdown of all the story, the first hundred pages, a synopsis ( separate sometimes, which leads me to think that if the pitch is not catchy enough, the rest won't even be considered ). All of this in a special format, word document, double spaced...and the most important do not send hard copies, only electronic submissions will be considered.

Remember what it feels to read on real paper and not on a computer. From my experience, I know that I completely lose interest, whatever the quality of the text is, if it is on a screen. But I reckon it is much easier to scroll down and quickly scan, on a device, although you might miss some important, juicy or interesting parts of the text.

So you comply to what is asked and finally press the send button. If you are lucky you will receive an automatic generated email confirming that your work has been received, but not always. The worse part of the process is that dreaded sentence : "If we haven't contacted you within three months, consider we don't want to pursue your manuscript". No rejection letter, nothing ! Just cold silence.

I would be thrilled to receive a rejection letter, I am not even asking for feedback, just for acknowledgement. That would mean that what I worked for, the feelings I put on the table, opening my gut, sharing what is deeply within me, has been read and had not been lost in the endless void of the virtual world. To me, it feels liken high form of despise. I am craving to collect a list of No's with my name on it, proving that I am a human being whose toil's existence has been recognised. I am dying to look at an envelop with this hopeful fear. I want to be rejected not ignored, as I think it is an important part of being an author.

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