EVERY WEEK, REJECTION LETTERS FROM MY PAST. BECAUSE THE HURT GOES AWAY AFTER A COUPLE OF DECADES.

THIS WEEK IN REJECTION!

This Week in Rejection!: A Literary Agent

So, at the tender age of eighteen — and a college freshman — I approached my first literary agent. I had no idea what I was doing.

My first semester at Yale, I was fortunate enough to get into a creative writing seminar/workshop taught by a visiting novelist. For reasons that escape me (for I did not deserve it), she saw some sort of promise in my early work and — upon learning that I had a novel I’d written in high school — recommended I contact her agent.

Oh, that poor agent…

The novelist in question was known for true-to-life, realistic literary fiction, and I had written my version of the same in her class. But my novel, well…

When I called her agent (as instructed), I somehow managed not to mention that my novel was, er, not really in his wheelhouse:

 

Agent rejection

 

 

So. I pitched an “occult fantasy novel” to a guy who repped literary fiction. Let that be your first lesson, kids: Know who you’re pitching to!

If you can’t read his handwriting, it says: “Dear Mr. Lyga, I’m sorry, but this is not my cup of tea. Good luck with it.” Kinder than I deserved, most likely, given that the novel in question was A) not in his area, and B) a steaming pile of, well, something not well-written.

Please note: Agent’s name redacted to protect the innocent. My novel’s title redacted to protect the guilty.

(But hey — check out that awesome dot-matrix print-out! How cool is that? Some of you are having nostalgia flashbacks right about now…)

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