Wednesday, October 7, 2009

My 1st Rejection Letter!

Last week I sent a handful of query letters to agents. I did what I read to do, research different agencies to find out what they specialize in. Some only deal in poetry, fiction, and whatnot. So, I did my legwork. I even found an article in Writer's Digest of agents looking for new writers. I composed my letter, double checked I got the agents name spelled correctly (and more importantly, made sure it wasn't addressed to the wrong agent), then hit send.
I know the opening of the letter was risky. Hey, I'm a fisherman, I take risks. The letter started with No Shit! There I was staring at the bow of a 1000 foot cruise ship heading right for me. If I don't get out of here, like now, this thing will crush me like a bug on a windshield.
I thought I would start with an excerpt of my book. This is the story of when I almost got ran over by a huge cruise ship. Technically, commercial fishing vessels have the right away. However, in reality, I have a 28 foot fiberglass boat. If I had exercised my right, I don't think I would be here right now. Obviously, I did make it through that day, but you'll have to read the book to find out the rest of the story.
Anyway, this week I got my first rejection letter. I'm actually quite excited about it. For one, I heard back! From what I understand, in most cases, that's not the case. And secondly, it was positive. The gal said that while it sounds like I have an interesting story, its just not what she is currently looking for. So, that's good news, right? I mean, it could have said countless other things like: it is poorly written, or the story is junk, or whatever. So, I'm happy about it.
I just met with a different women who may be doing some editing for me and giving me feedback. She has a sample of my work and I'll be hearing back from her next week. I'm also working on my proposal. So, the ball is still rolling in the right direction. Everything is taking a little longer than I would like it to. That's the hard part as I am not a patient person. I got my father's patience, but I only got half. This is a good lesson in patience.
And there you have it, the haps for the week.
Attached is a picture of me and Josh from 1997 aboard the Triton. The Triton is a 70' boat that was built in about 1945 for the USCG. It now tenders on the Copper River Flats and Prince William Sound. We are celebrating sunshine with an adult beverage and you can see gill netters waiting to deliver in the background.


picaxe79 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
picaxe79 said...

I know your Father and half of his Patients = Zero! LOL Good Luck with the letters and keep up the positive attiude!

"We cannot direct the wind but we can adjust the sails." ~Author Unknown

Love ya,

Tele said...

Jen, congrats on getting a response! Seems like a pile of rejection letters is a pretty unavoidable part of the process - putting some time in on not-so-great boats before you earn a place on a highliners, right? Good on you for submitting, maintaining a good attitude (because attitude makes the difference!) and continuing to go for it.

Tele said...

Also, I'm envious of your Fisher Poets experience! Have been a long-distance fan for years, but have never made it to the event yet. Maybe next winter...