Saturday, April 19, 2008

He Could Eliminate the Wait

In the current “Horn Book Magazine,” Jack Gantos (of Joey Pigza and Rotten Ralph fame) has an article about submitting picture books to three famous Boston children’s editors when he was a creative writing student in the 1970’s: “ . . . you could just call them on the phone and they would invite you over and you could show them your story and illustrations and receive an excellent critique of the material followed by a firm rejection directly to your face—all within an hour. What made it exciting wasn’t the taste of blood in your mouth from the multitude of rejections, but that you could so easily gain access to the editors and they would take the time to page through your dummy book and point our defects of character development and plotting, uneven or dull endings—all sorts of teaching points . . . .”

Hmm- m, a one hour rejection? I wish! Waiting is the WORST part of being a writer.

Gantos, Jack. “As I Was Crossing Boston Common,” HORN BOOK MAGAZINE, March/April, 2008. pp.194-6.


  1. Hard to imagine a one hour rejection. Then we would have to rename our blog.

  2. Frankly, I prefer waiting months on end for a snail mail reply over receiving an email rejection within an hour of submitting my manuscript electronically. With the former, at least a girl can dream...for a few months anyway.

  3. But if you get a quick response, you can send the manuscript out again faster. These days a whole year can be wasted on two unsuccessful submissions. Ugh.

  4. Speaking of waiting.... I have had a manuscript out with an editor for over one year!! Of course the mss has been revised since I sent it to her so if she even wanted it, it's different. But I vote for an hour rejection.
    Time to move on!

  5. I'm with Janice on this one. I like to dream...

    Sitting across from thanks!