Allow me to introduce Karen Gibson, long-time friend and fellow writer from back in the WeBook days. I had the pleasure of watching her novel, Chasing SANE grow from a first few tentative sentences to a fully realized, and now published, novel.
She joins us today as a guest blogger with a topic near and dear to the hearts of all of us. Karen?
The Pickle I’m In
Does this sound familiar? You have drafted, rewritten and had the next great American novel edited. You have spent days coming up with a witty, well-written synopsis. You have chosen 101 publishers to send your work to and emailed what you could and snail mailed the rest. After weeks of waiting, the rejections come pouring in; those publishers who bothered to open your queries and respond, of course. Some are uber-polite and gently rebuke you saying, “We appreciate your query, but are only accepting children’s stories at this time”. However, most respond with, “We are not accepting any non-represented works at this time”.
But of course, you chide yourself. As with anyone peddling their craft, I need an agent to knock on doors for me. What WAS I thinking? Back to that list and out goes some tweaked paragraphs to literary agents. Cutting back on the enthusiasm of before, only fifty agents are chosen. Yes, fifty lucky agents will get the chance to represent the next great American novel. Slowly, the rejection letters trickle in. One email or letter after the other states, “We are not representing new or unpublished authors at this time”.
But…I sent…so…I need…but, they won’t…what? The publisher isn’t taking unrepresented work and the agents won’t represent you unless you have been published. I see. So, basically a new writer cannot be published or represented? Is this really the case or is this the standard response to queries from unknown/unpublished writers? Is there a writer’s DaVinci code to getting represented or published?
Like the pickle on the deli plate beside the pastrami on rye, we are often overlooked. We know how tasty we are. We know we compliment that special world of deli sandwiches. Maybe someone will notice us and decide to bite in and see just how juicy we are. Until then, we will have to find a way to make that pickle on the side hard to pass up. Such is the plight of the unpublished writer.
If you want to read more of Karen’s work, check out her blog at: http://karensmithgibson.org/