Literary Liaisons

A blog about writing and all things story…

Rejection Letters

My granddaughter and I went to see the movie The Help last week. It’s good. Go. But yesterday a friend of mine mentioned that the author of The Help, Kathryn Stockett was published and became such a huge success because she‘knew somebody’ in the business. I said who cares, and
that in this book publishing world you almost have to ‘know somebody’ to get published, or you have to have a darned good story. The Help is darned good story, and based on her 60 rejection letters before getting an agent, I’d say she didn’t know anybody too influential. I’d say she did it the way the rest of us are doing it; one word, one sentence, one edit, one rewrite, one bout of tears, one sleepless night, and one rejection letter at a time.

So if you’re feeling like maybe your stick-to-it-ness (yes I make up words when it suits me) is really just crazy in disguise, read her MoreMagazine interview.

I love this excerpt:

By rejection number 45, I was truly neurotic. It was all I could think about—revising the book, making it better, getting an agent, getting it published. I insisted on rewriting the last chapter an hour before I was due at the hospital to give birth to my daughter. I would not go to the hospital until I’d typed The End. I was still poring over my research in my hospital room when the nurse looked at me like I wasn’t human and said in a New Jersey accent,“Put the book down, you nut job—you’re crowning.”

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One comment on “Rejection Letters

  1. Stephen Hayes
    September 9, 2011

    I read The Help and enjoyed it. Just finished Mudbound by Hillary Jordan which is also a good book, very well written. As for 45 rejections–I think I've been rejected more than that already. But as they say, hope springs eternal.

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