We need to view rejections like red lights—a temporary stop on our journey to publishing a book. Sometimes, we need to find another way to continue our journey.
When I’ve really got my hopes up, rejection hurts. The DFW Writers’ Workshop claps for rejections because they know that writer has finished a manuscript and had the courage to send it out. And sometimes I celebrate rejections with my favorite dessert, a hot fudge sundae, before I get back to writing the best book I can.
Recently, I just got stopped by the biggest deterrent of all. My publishing company--which had sent me a contract, edited my manuscript, and sent me a copy of my cover—went out of business. Now that’s red light with a capital R. (I had an extra large hot fudge sundae, by the way.)
Did I decide I wasn’t fated to be published? Did I quit writing? No. The next day I examined my options and sent a query letter to the best one.
But I haven’t pinned all my hopes on that one book. As a productive writer, I have several manuscripts that have made the rounds and I’m working on others. In response to a positive rejection by a Harlequin editor who suggested I submit to a different Harlequin line, I’m polishing a trilogy I’ve been working on. I will submit it with a copy of the editors’ positive comments.
And the sequel to my ill-fated novel is about to be critiqued by a published author (a nice benefit offered by the local chapter of my romance writer’s organization). I’ll use that author’s comments to revise my sequel before entering the prestigious Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart Contest. Since I’m not published, I am now eligible for the contest. How’s that for a silver lining?
As I’ve written several novels (that have garnered several rejections), I am also exploring self-publishing, where being able to put out my collection of books in a short time is a decided advantage. Of course, if I go that route, I will hire an editor to help me fine-tune the story and a cover artist to make it look as professional as possible. A good package is very important to help sell a book.
In the end, though, what can rejections teach you? You can get praise for your writing that uplifts your spirits, even though the editor is ultimately rejecting you. Sometimes you receive good feedback about what editors don’t like and then know not to send that type of story to them. If you get a scathing rejection, you may realize how your story needs revising so it will get better results next time.
What else can you gain from rejection? A fighting spirit. Don’t get even, get mad. Show the editors of the publishing world that you can do better, that you are a force to be reckoned with, and that you have what it takes to entertain a reader. So forge ahead and let red light rejections be damned. Nothing can stop a hardworking, determined writer who keeps at it from achieving that dream.
--Carolyn Williamson, DFWWW Member since 1977
photo credit: Thomas Hawk via photopin cc
Brenna will also be quoted in an article in a small Woman's Magazine - (Western North Carolina Woman's Magazine) which hit stands in North Carolina last Friday. She is speaking at the University of Nevada - Las Vegas this Wednesday.
Carmen Goldthwaite is teaching Narrative Nonfiction: The Proposal at SMU beginning Feb 2nd.
Go the distance in narrative nonfiction with this class that helps you create the selling tool -- a book proposal --for your memoir, biography, history, anthology or travelogue. In this intensive, the first classes will concentrate on story ideas and early chapters, including research skills. Next, in a distance learning phase, you will develop the skeleton of the book, the outline. The third phase will be classroom learning about the business component of the proposal: marketing, platform and polishing. The intended product -- a complete and ready proposal (first three chapters, explicit outline, marketing and platform plans and statements) qualifies for eligibility to apply to the SMU Writer's Seminar in New York. THIS TIME ONLY, NO PREREQUISITES.
Dates: February 2 - April 26, 2012
Meets: Thursday from 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM (SKIP 3/15), 12 Sessions
Instructor: Carmen Goldthwaite
Notes: Skip date 3/15 Publish Your Nonfiction Book by Shaarlene Martin and Anthony Flacco, Writers Digest Books, 2009 AND Writing for Story by Jon Franklin
Carolyn Williamson announced the North Texas Romance Writers are having writers conference Friday March 30th to Sunday April 1st. The cost is $150. For more info visit Texas Two Step Conference.
Alley Pat Hauldren announced the National Space Society of North Texas is having a poetry contest.
Don't forget to register for the conference, DFW Writers' Conference. Keynote speaker is James Rollins. Twenty-one agents and editors attending!
Larry Enmon was asked to speak at the Dallas Romance Writers Conference. He will be sharing his expertise on weapons.
A.Lee Martinez presented the French version of Gil’s All Fright Diner. He also received the Advanced Readers copy of this upcoming book, Emperor Mollusk Vs. the Sinister Brain. www.aleemartinez.com/
Del Cain has a book signing this Saturday, Sept 10th in Fort Worth at the Barnes & Noble on University Dr from 1:00 to 3:00. He will be signing copies of his two non-fiction books, Lawmen of the Old West: The Good Guys and Lawmen of the Old West: The Bad Guys. www.del-cain.blogspot.com/
Harry Hall has a book signing Sept 17th in Irving at Crystals Pizza from 3:30 to 5:30. He will be signing copies of his book Help! People are Staring at Me.
Russell Connor confirmed the 2nd episode of Workshop is now available at www.conmanproduction.wordpress.com . Not only does it star Russell and Nik Holman as a couple of scumbag writers, David Whiteman and Alex Martinez also make special appearances. Check it out!
Candace Havens is teaching two (highly recommended) online courses. Fast Draft & Revision Hell starts Sept 25th and her Six-week Comprehensive class begins on Sept 15th. For more details, check out www.candacehavens.com
Carolyn Williamson announced we now have the 2012 Writers Market books. You may check them out for one week.
Our 1st Vice-President, Carolyn Williamson, gave brief synopses of the recent additions to our library. If you’re interested in checking out a book, locate the card (alphabetized by author), fill it out, and file the card in back behind the Zs. You may keep the book for three weeks, after that it’ll cost you.
Harry Hall (also a member of World Champions Edge which focuses on coaching public speakers) will be the race announcer next week, Aug 24th for the Daylight to Darkness 5 Mile run in Dallas.
Harry is having a book signing on Sept 17th in Irving at Crystals Pizza! He’ll have drawings and prizes, and also copies of his book Help! People are Staring at Me.
Kyle White brought in a copy of the Sept/Oct issue of the Writers Journal. His article Blog Your Way to a Non-Fiction Book Deal is blurbed on the front! The issue hits the stands August 23rd. www.writersjournal.com
Our Treasurer, Paul Lamarre, announced the 2011 Glenn Bavousett award was granted to Harry Hall. His expenses to the Mayborn conference were reimbursed. Harry applied in advance, attended the conference and shared his experience with the Workshop. Congratulations Harry!
It was a change of the guard at the January 5 meeting of the Workshop (well, almost, two members of the former Board ran for re-election) as a new Board of Directors was seated. They are:
Donna Lasko, President
Carolyn Williamson, 1st Vice President
Kate Cornell, 2nd Vice President
Paul Lamarre, Treasurer
Kyle White, Secretary
Ron Soule, Director
David Whiteman, Director
Former President Stephen Manning presented outgoing President Russell Connor with a plaque to commemorate his two years of service. Russell gave gift cards to the 2010 Board in recognition of their service; and to Harry Hall for opening the building each week, Eric Dixon for consistently volunteering to monitor a read-and-critique session, and to Chris Moore for serving on the 2009 Board.
In other news, Kate Cornell advised that she now handles the social networking for DFWWW. People can stay current about Workshop events on Twitter, or our Facebook fan page. Rosemary Clement Moore announced the release of her Young Adult novel The Splendor Falls on January 11 in paperback. Larry Enmon cautioned that only five spots remain for agent assistant volunteers. Interested members should see him to sign up now. Jeff Posey warned that the 2011 DFW Writers' Conference is fast approaching and people should register today before it's too late. Finally, please keep member Michelle O'neal in your thoughts as she fights a life threatening medical condition.
In the news, A. Lee Martinez received payment for the movie option of his recent novel Divine Misfortune. Rosemary Clement-Moore displayed the paperback edition of her Young Adult book, The Splendor Falls, with its stylish new cover. Her copies arrived during a special time (happy birthday, Rosemary), and the book is scheduled to be in bookstores on January 11.
In other news, Jeri Burbage reminded everyone the election for the 2011 Board of Directors will be held on Wednesday, January 5. To be eligible to vote, members must have paid their 2010-2011 fiscal year dues and have attended at least three of the five business meetings prior to the election. Carolyn Williamson again advised that overdue library books need to be returned before year's end. Larry Enmon issued a second call for volunteers to assist the agents and editors during the 2011 DFW Writers' Conference.
In the biggest news of the night, outgoing President Russell Connor announced his engagement to Abbie Faroukhtakin. Their wedding date will be announced later.
In less exciting news, Carolyn Williamson reminded everyone to return any outstanding library books before the year's end. On the conference front, chairperson Jeff Posey advised that volunteers are needed for the upcoming 2011 DFW Writers' Conference. If members are interested in being an agent assistant, they should speak to Larry Enmon. To help with the registration desk see Stephen Manning. He says a large number of volunteers will be needed.
Finally, Secretary Kyle White reminded everyone about the recent change in the Workshop's fiscal year, and that any member who hasn't already done so needs to renew their 2010 - 2011 fiscal year dues before December 31. After that, members who do not renew will not be allowed to participate in the weekly read-and-critique sessions until their dues are paid.
Historian Stephen Manning summarized this momentous achievement by providing some interesting trivia.
- Of the 300-plus novels displayed in the Trophy Room, what is the most commonly used word in a book's title? Texas (no one was surprised).
- The second most commonly used word in a title? Blood (now that surprised everyone a
- The third most commonly used word in a title? Gun (notice a trend?).
- There have been an average of 11.6 titles published per year by DFWWW members since 1985.
- The best year was 1996 when 22 titles were published (all comprised of only two genres: Westerns and horror).
- The second best year was 2005 when 20 titles were published (notable because of the large number of first-time novelists).
- From 1985 until 2000, the Workshop produced mainly Westerns, mysteries and horror novels.
- After 2000, there was an explosion of all genres, with nonfiction works becoming more prominent.
In the news, Kenneth Ingle displayed the audio version of his novel, Saragosa Prime, released by Books in Motion. Carolyn Williamson announced the additional of two new reference books for the Workshop's library.
In official news, President Russell Connor reminded members that next Wednesday nominations open for the 2011 Board of Directors. Secretary Kyle White, who will serve as the election coordinator, advised members on the requirements to run for the Board. Basically, members must have paid their 2010-2011 dues and have attended at least three of the five monthly business meetings prior to the election.
In official news, Russell Connor reminded members of the proposed amendments to the By-laws, with the vote to be held during the July business meeting. The proposals are posted on the bulletin board for all to review.
In other news, literary agent Sara Megibow requested a partial of Carolyn William's manuscript, Love on the Run. Rosemary Clement-Moore sold the Portuguese rights to her Maggie Quinn: Girl vs. Evil series of Young Adult novels. Additionally, Rosemary will speak this Saturday, June 19, during a meeting of the North Texas chapter of the Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators in Arlington.
Finally, Stephen Manning announced that the 2011 DFW Writers' Conference has gone international with the registration of an attendee from the country of England. Everyone is excited by how the conference's reputation has grown in only three years of existence.
In the news, Mike McMullen displayed the cover for his upcoming nonfiction work, I, Superhero. Carolyn Williamson has an article in the May issue of Heart to Heart, the North Texas Romance writers newsletter. Crystalwizard's poem "Porker" was published in a magazine titled Pig in a Poke. Rosemary Clement-Moore has a book signing this Saturday, May 22 at the Hurst Barnes & Noble at 2 p.m. for the paperback release of her Young Adult novel Highway to Hell.
Speaking of books, Carolyn reminds all Workshop members they may check out the reference books for three weeks. After that, there is a twenty-five cents fine for each week the books are overdue. There are several books outstanding and members will be contacted soon if they don't return them.