Midweek Notes from a Practicing Writer

Three quick updates from my desk.

  1. Another rejection came this week for the one short story that I have in circulation at the moment. And I sent the same piece out to one more venue. As I reported to my accountability partner yesterday, that brings us to 13 rejections, with responses awaited from 11 venues. (I’m sharing those stats publicly in part in response to this tweet.)
  2. Speaking of submissions: We’re nearing the six-month mark since I sent my picture-book manuscript to an amazing publisher that will, actually, consider unagented submissions (and yes, they warned up front that they “aim to reply within six months”). At the moment I’m feeling as though this one place is a kind of lifeline for the project. As much as I like to tout my Taurean stubbornness (see 1., above), I feel as though I may be running out of steam when it comes to placing it. (Maybe this is also why Allison K. Williams’s advice to “Clear Your Decks,” which I shared last Friday, resonated so strongly with me.)
  3. That sense of running out of steam—yes, well, I suspect that the same depletion is why I’m clinging to Jami Attenberg’s reassurance that we will all write again (even if I, for one, have nothing to add to the ongoing social-media proclamations of 2022 projects and goals-already-in-progress).
an open spiral notebook with a pen resting on a blank page, plus a text label that reads, "Midweek Notes."

13 thoughts on “Midweek Notes from a Practicing Writer

  1. Erika,
    My middle-grade novel in verse took 11 years from conception to publication. My Ethel Rosenberg bio in verse took 6. But my latest YA historical novel in verse, Camp Nordland, was sold by proposal within months. Stick with it, even maybe consider Mary Kole’s upcoming program on picture books via Jane Friedman or the Picture Book Intensive semester at the Vermont College of Fine Arts.

    1. Erika Dreifus says:

      Yes, Barbara, I have *just* seen the announcement in PW about your Camp Nordland deal! Mazal tov!

  2. I really appreciate you sharing your rejections with us…takes some of the sting out for me and, I bet, for others.

    1. Erika Dreifus says:

      Thank you!

  3. Zeeva Bukai says:

    Erika, I appreciate you sharing your rejections with us and also the “sense of running out of steam,” something I am grappling with and trying not to lose heart. It’s comforting to know that I am in such good company.

    1. Erika Dreifus says:

      Your comment is comforting, Zeeva–I hope that we’re both in a happier place with regard to our writing soon!

  4. Jean F says:

    Regrettably, rejection is the more likely outcome for literary submissions than acceptance. Each publication or publisher has only so much space. Each editor has their own taste. While rejection is never pleasant, it should not come as a surprise nor as an indictment of one’s work.
    Some authors on Twitter have posted their intention of getting 100 rejections annually. That means they are making a prolific number of submissions – and that’s what it takes to be accepted.

    1. Erika Dreifus says:

      Yup. Well aware! Just finding it a little more discouraging right now, for some reason.

      1. Jean F says:

        I understand and sympathize. Some days a “no” hits harder than others. We have to remember the answer will be “yes” someday soon.

    2. I am comforted by these words of Margaret Atwood regarding rejection:
      https://twitter.com/batwood/status/851620943898312704

      1. Erika Dreifus says:

        That’s a great quotation–thanks for sharing it. (It’s from Barbara Kingsolver, btw, shared by someone with the surname Atwood.)

  5. Sipra Roy says:

    Hi Erica,
    Wish you Happy New Year : Let 2022.
    bring us new hopes and prospects.
    Thanks a lot for the writing tips, Information about job market for writers ,and. Midweek notes…… etc.

    1. Erika Dreifus says:

      Thank you, Sipra, and Happy New Year to you, too!

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