The Longest Reply

Writer waiting for an e-mail reply, biblical painting by William Blake

In My Inbox

Today, in my e-mail inbox I received another form rejection. That in itself is nothing out of the ordinary, for I get these things all the time. But what set this particular reply apart from all the other replies is that it took the agent, two years and three months to return the e-mail. I’m sure in the overall scheme of things this is no record, but for my particular literary endeavors it is definitely a major milestone, for I have never had to wait so long for a rejection.

A Glimmer of Hope

And then from all the information conveyed to me by this agent, who I will allow to remain anonymous, there was this little glimmer of hope.

“Regarding your submission, while there’s much to like, I’m afraid I’m not connecting enough emotionally to your characters, which ultimately means I’m not connecting enough with the content of your story. “

This in itself wouldn’t be so bad except for the fact that it was obviously part of a form letter. A few original words would have been greatly appreciated, but I guess it just wasn’t going to happen on this day. Maybe this agent would have been better off, if he had sent no reply at all. After all that seems to be the current form of saying no.

 

Solidarity And Larsson

 

Reflections on Water
Reflections on Water

Reg Keeland, who goes by the pen name of Steven T. Murray, has a blog that is entitled “Stieg Larsson’s English Translator“.  Larsson is pretty big right now, especially with the American release of the Hollywood version of “Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” scheduled for the near future. However, only a small bit of Larsson’s fame has been directed towards the busy translator, who is also capable of translating German, Danish and Norwegian into English. Still, Steven Murray manages to keep busy with his translation work and his blog is always a good source of information on Scandinavian writers, who are doing book tours in America.

Lately, a different type of story appeared on Murray’s blog. It was a link to a website publication of a Swedish Organization called Solidarity and an article detailing Larsson’s past and his political activities around the world. The writer, Hakan Blomqvist, was a good friend of Stieg Larsson and knew the writer well. The article makes for an interesting exploration of Larsson’s background.

“Dear Lucky Agent” Writing Contest

For anyone who has an unpublished manuscript for a novel lying around the house, Chuck Sambuchino & Co. over at “Guide To Literary Agents” are currently running a contest. Writers have until January 23rd to submit the first 150-200 words of the manuscript, which should fall under the category of  “literary fiction”. At least three entries will be selected by the judge,  Lindsey Clemons of the Larsen-Pomada Agency in San Francisco. These entrants will be requested to send the first ten pages of their completed manuscript. The contest opens today and runs until the 23rd of January. Announcements will be made within three weeks of the last day of the contest.

Guide To Literary Agents

Four-Red-Chairs

is a fun site primarily geared to prospective novelists. They provide numerous interesting articles and interviews with both writers and agent, plus they run frequent “Dear Lucky Agent”  Contests. A lucky agent contest involves the submission of short writing sample that is judged by a prominent literary agent. Each contest is usually centered around a particular genre of writing and winning writers usually receive a partial reading or critique. Other sites that often run similar contests are QueryTracker and Nathan Bransford’s blog.  Though with Nathan, it remains to be seen if he will still sponsor such contests now that he is no longer a literary agent.

And for all of those entering the contest, best of luck.

Night Lights in Montreal

And Now the Winners

NASA photograph
SN 1006 Supernova Remnant Image Credit: NASA, ESA, Zolt Levay (STScI)

Congratulations to the winners at the St. Martin Press New Adult Pitch and First Paragraph Contest. They have announced three grand winners, who will receive a free  book  called, TEMPTED by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast and a free reading (the best part of the prize) by a select few of the editors over at the rock steady St. Martin’s Press.

But guess what ten other lucky recipients get a partial reading by the very same editors. Not bad for a contest that had only about three hundred entries (that’s almost a 4% success rate). Good luck to everyone  especially the three grand winners, who are (According to the St. Martin’s blog) Elissa Hoole, M. P. Morehead and Kristan Hoffman. You can go directly to the blog and check out the results yourself.

But what impressed me most were some of the titles that the editors selected. Here are just a few  that caught my eye. ZOMBIE PROOF FENCE, A MAD  WICKED FOLLY, PARTY LIKE IT’S 1899, VINNIE’S DINER,  THE DHARMA BUM BUSINESS and TWENTY-SOMEWHERE. Good luck to all entrants, who made it pass the first stage and I have a sneakin’

Cover from the novel, Tempted
Tempted, a novel by by P.C. & Kristin Cast

feelin’ we’ll be seeing some of these titles at the bookstore in the near future.

And oh yeah, here’s a copy of the bestseller novel, Tempted. On closer examination it does not appear to be a vampire story, perhaps fiction noire might be a better term. But anywhere that’s the state of affairs on this day after Black Friday and two days after Thanksgiving. So long for now, yours truly Everett Autumn.