I Was Rejected by M.T. Anderson


I’m getting ready to move in three weeks, and part of the task of packing is cleaning out my office. After 18 years of writing, I have drawers full of stories in folders, which I am going through and scaling down. One writer friend asked why I’d throw anything out, that I should save the multiple version of the stories and the rejection letters to donate to a university or someplace that documents writers’ works. She has a point. I mean, what if I do become famous one day and students want to study how my brain works? (Good luck with that! My husband still doesn’t know!). So with that in mind, I am only recycling some stuff, like stories that never really worked, or that I know I’ll never revisit. I also am tossing out the form rejection letters, but keeping the personal ones, and ones from publisher that don’t exist anymore. So I was going through my folders and in the The Night the Sheep Wouldn’t Jump folder there’s a rejection letter from my writer friend’s agent, Andrea Cascardi, who in a past life was the Editorial Director of Hyperion Books in 1994. But here’s the cool thing – there’s a rejection from M.T. Anderson! He’s the author of one of my favorite books, Feed. One of his comments was “While the subject has its charm (and I am an insomniac!), we felt that some of the particulars of the telling could have been fresher.” Good advice indeed. So I looked up M.T.’s website and sent him an email thanking him for his rejection letter. (He’s got a really cool website, by the way.) So, I can say I’ve been rejected by one of the best in my business! And I have proof… and his signature!


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