28 June 2008

rejection #15: Perigee-art

le sigh...

perigee-art.com didn't like my stories for their current fiction contest. I think I've run my course with them. Still love to read 'em, but I think I'm done submitting there. They've evolved and so has my stuff.

Now I'm full bore on the novel, which should be going out to TOR in August. Hopefully I won't write anymore about TOR up here on this blog.

05 May 2008

rejection #14: Ethan Ellenburg

the silent rejection...

rejection #13: Plainsmart

Dear Author,

Thank you for your query.

The project you have offered is not suitable for our Agency at this
point. We apologize for responding with a form e-mail, but doing so
enables us to respond quickly so that your work may be submitted
elsewhere without delay.

Yours sincerely,

Submissions Coordinator
PlainSmart Publishing Agency

at least their message was Bcced.

22 April 2008

rejection #12: writecorner press

when it rains, it pours?

I didn't receive a rejection so much as a list of winners for this poetry contest...in which my name wasn't printed.

They invited me to enter their fiction contest, which bears a deadline of 30 April. I think I might enter...I have a story laying around that I need to touch-up that might be a great candidate.

rejection #11: Lyon's Literary

Thanks for writing, but this project isn't right for me. Best wishes for success.

Jonathan Lyons
Lyons Literary LLC

I guess people just aren't interested in publishing a book about an American's Peace Corps experience in Ukraine. I'm getting pretty discouraged about this project....


13 April 2008

rejection # 10: Firebrand

Dear Lawrence Lawson,

Thank you for sharing your work with us. Unfortunately, it is not a good match for Firebrand and we will not be able to offer you representation (for Midnight Quit of Starlight).

I hope you excuse this form letter, but it is really only representative of our lack of time and not a lack of respect for your work. Please understand that there are many reasons why we must turn down potential clients. We look for material that immediately grabs our attentions and emotions, and that we believe will do well in the current publishing and bookselling market. But sometimes we even pass on well written, marketable projects simply because it is out of our realm of expertise and would be better represented by another agent with different taste or experience.

Thank you again for sharing your submission with us and we wish you the best of luck in your search for the right agent.


Firebrand Literary

09 April 2008

rejection # 9: Lyons Literary

this was definitely the swiftest rejection i've received for my novel. under twelve hours. guess he really didn't like it.

Thanks for writing, but this isn't for me.

from Lyons Literary.

08 April 2008

rejection # 8: Liza Dawson Associates

this one was a mass email to about 35 different authors. nice one, liza.

Dear Author,

I'm sorry for this impersonal response but I wanted to get back to you
quickly. Unfortunately, I don't think I'm the ideal champion of your
manuscript. I'm not entirely convinced I'd be able to secure its
publication. Though I'm passing, I'm sure other agents will feel
differently and will know exactly to whom your work should go. Good
luck and thank you for thinking of me.

With best wishes,

am i the only one is this crazy world who thinks a book on Ukraine is not only relevant but marketable? maybe not everyone keeps up on Eastern European news.

rejection # 7: Penguin

Dear Mr. Lawson:

Thank you for submitting your proposal for Midnight Quit of Starlight to Ace and Roc Books at Penguin Group (USA). We always appreciate being given the opportunity to read new manuscripts, but in the current crowded market, we are afraid that this does not seem like a book that we could publish successfully.

We wish you the best of luck with other publishers, and thank you again for thinking of Penguin Group (USA).

Regrets and best wishes,

The Editors

Ace and Roc Books

Penguin Group (USA)


31 March 2008

rejection #6: human traffick essay contest

unfortunately, i think this one was political.

oh well...it's a good essay i might shop elsewhere.

btw: www.lawrencelawson.net is live (and almost finished).

19 March 2008

rejection #5: Zyzzyva

onward indeed.

17 March 2008

rejection #4: Coe Review

"Thank you for your submission but our fiction deadline for our Spring
2008 edition has already passed. If you would like to resubmit your
works anytime after December 1, 2008 we would appreciate it. Readings
begin in January and the final deadline is February 15, for the 2009
fiction edition. We will not keep your submission until next December
and encourage you to resubmit anytime after then. For more information
please consult our website at http://public.coe.edu/coereview/. If you
have any more questions please email us back. Thank you again and we
hope to hear from you soon."

at least now I know the date their deadline falls upon. until now, despite my sleuthing, i had not been able to disinter that gem from the earth.


13 March 2008

one down, one up

well, i'll say this: getting a rejection (or, in this case, assuming one) inspires me to turn around and put my work back out there.

i just submitted a (much improved) proposal to the Ace/Roc Sci-Fi & Fantasy imprint (under Penguin). they also received the first ten pages of my novel (the prologue, basically).

the turn-around there is three months, which is my goal to finish the novel to get it ready to send out, in whole form, to TOR (if Ace/Roc rejects it).

if you're interested, here's my query:

Ace/Roc Science Fiction & Fantasy
Penguin Group USA
375 Hudson Street
New York, NY 10014

Dear Editors,

My 160,000 word novel, The Aria of Davin Ford: Midnight Quit of Starlight, is a supernatural fantasy epic reminiscent of the works of George R. R. Martin coupled with the presence of alternate realities suggestive of the works of Stephen King.

Works of fantasy are popular and profitable, showcased by the success of several quality series (Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy, Martin’s A Song of Fire and Ice series, and King’s The Dark Tower septet to name a few). Midnight Quit of Starlight follows in the tradition of these masterpieces, but, like them, it forges its own way.

Davin Ford has reappeared in Ashorne, and, in its wake, the phantasmagoric fortress has brought a long-forgotten malice to the world. Battling walking falcons, telekinetic demons, and the wicked dreams of children, a network of brave women and men must discover the secrets of Davin Ford before its lord, the regal skeleton known as Raed, adds Ashorne to his growing collection of ensnared worlds.

Among those fighting against Raed is a pregnant, abused woman who will do anything to save her mute child; a forgotten princess who, risking her own life, seeks to unshackle her homeland from an evil that will devour it; and an aged vampire hunter turned sea captain who earns a job he can't refuse. The battle storms through the landscapes of an alternate California, modern Ukraine, ancient Rome, and parallel worlds that might have been if history had been different. Midnight Quit of Starlight ends with the siege of Davin Ford and a demand for answers that cannot be given.

Filled with mutant, mythical beasts; daylight vampires; sentient zombies; a nexus of alternate worlds; and a cast of memorable characters, this novel will test the will of its heroes and villains and lead both down paths where the terms ‘enemy’ and ‘friend’ are irrelevant.

Midnight Quit of Starlight should fit in well alongside your other titles, such as Butcher’s Codex Alera and Kurtz’s Deryni Chronicles, though Midnight Quit of Starlight is a unique story.

My short fiction has appeared at perigee-art.com where my supernatural stories have twice won awards in the e-magazine’s fiction contests. My non-fiction has appeared in Worldview magazine and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. Midnight Quit of Starlight is the first novel in an epic series.

As stated in your guidelines, I’ve included the first ten pages of my novel. I thank you for considering Midnight Quit of Starlight.

Warm Regards,
Lawrence Lawson

rejection #3: Donald Maass Agents

i'm just going to call this one. they respond within three weeks...if they like your stuff.

it's been four weeks.

i know that my proposal was terrible.

new goal: write a better proposal.

this is hard.

12 March 2008


have a short piece i'm thinking of submitting to McSweeney's. it's not as funny as i had hoped it'd be. it needs some more work. it's about jesus, blogging during the rapture. we'll see.

also, sending another piece in to zyzzyva.

hope you're having a good day.

10 March 2008

Rejection 2: McSweeney's

"Hi Lawrence -

Thanks for the look, but I’m afraid we’re not going to use this one.


Short and sweet.


08 March 2008

grief, distracted

sending a new, short (uber short) story off to zyzzyva


here's a tiny excerpt.

"Sit," Mariah’s mother says, pointing to a fir bench. The wood is polished, and I can see my face reflected back at me. I am haggard. I have been through hell and have not yet stepped out. When I left Iran, I had felt the weight of my soldierly life slip like a mantle from my shoulders. I had felt the dusty glares look away and my scarred carbine fall into the earth forever. I know now that I had only been pretending to feel anything at all.

thanks to CP and KH for helpful comments.

here's to wishing....

06 March 2008


this week as been intense here at MIIS

haven't been writing as much as i wish i could, but i'm still plugging away at rewrites.

got the one headed toward zyzzyva (within a week) and the other toward perigee before the end of the month.

also, next week is spring break, so here's my game plan:

finish my g-d fantasy novel.

finish it as far as i can take it.

can i do it?


still waiting to hear back from McSweeney's. Maybe that's good?

03 March 2008

my domain

purchased a domain today: www.lawrencelawson.net

it won't be up for a few weeks (once my friend finishes designing me a sleek site). i'll use it to showcase my work and look professional for the people whom i query about my work.

in other news, i submitted five senryu poems to McSweeney's quarterly. you should try your hand at them too--they're fun!

02 March 2008

as one leads...

...the other follows.

i sent of a flash-fiction piece to McSweeney's today, for consideration on their web-site.

we'll see how it goes.

29 February 2008

turned in...

sent in my human trafficking essay. winners announced the second week in march.

opened my Writer's Market account. some say it might be a waste of cash, but I don't go to movies--so I have some extra cash for this. getting serious here...

querying zyzzyva this weekend with a short story.

my friend CP got a rejection from McSweeney's--which is cool because it was quick, personal, and promising. way to go CP. check out his blog.

also, I started a parallel site: successes of a writer.

that's all for today.

28 February 2008

knockin' on harper's door

in harper's magazine (one of my favorite magazines) there is a readings section.

in that readings section, harper's published already published work.

you send your manuscript to harper's (readings@harpers[dot]org), you tell them which rights you are selling, and you tell them where it's already been published.

just so happens, i have several manuscripts already published at worldview and perigee

so i sent them in. can't hurt, eh? and it might add to my rejection list.

unfortunately, due to the volume of submissions they receive, i won't find out formally if my work was rejected.

the silence will have to do.

27 February 2008

chuggin' along

if i'm not working for stuff for the MA (and gosh is there a lot of stuff due soon), i'm working on my writing projects. here's what's currently on the docket.

Truthful Education and Sustainable Solutions:How We Can Combat Human Trafficking - an essay on my experience combating human traffic in Ukraine. this will be submitted to a MIIS wide Rev. William Coffin essay contest. There's a cash prize involved (some of which, if i'm lucky enough to win, i'll be routing to Ukraine into several different projects that seek to stem human trafficking via education.

grief, distracted - a horrible (for now) short story being submitted eventually to hazelst for their "steal from the best" contest. thanks to Casey P. for his honest comments. we'll see what i can do with his wise words.

'daycare' - working on for perigee's annual fiction contest. i took 1st and, before that, 2nd a few years ago. we'll see if i can three-peat.

that's all for now. i'm working on it.

26 February 2008

poetry sent out

piggybacking on last night's query letter submittal:

i sent off four different poems to two different poetry contests:

the robert frost festival



could more rejections be on the way? one can only hope.

25 February 2008

rejection 1: greenburger literary agents

this is not my first rejection in my lifetime (Lord no), but it is my first rejection for a book length proposal.

i am not discouraged; i am invigorated.

"Dear Lawrence,
I'm getting back to you about your proposed book, When A Lobster Whistles in the Mountains, which I found informative and well-written. If I knew of a publisher who could or would take on this book, I'd sign you up in a minute. Unfortunately, this book will be hard to put on their radar screens. It seems to be of interest primarily to Peace Corps volunteers, an inspirational and admirable group, but not large. Also, it takes place mostly in the Ukraine, which doesn't help us for an American audience. I am sorry that I can't be of help, especially because of the unusual way that you came to me. You might try some small publishers yourself and perhaps get some of the chapters published in journals. A stronger publishing history might work. Often, books are picked up when they've had a cover story in a magazine.
I wish you the best, and say hello to Karen. If you decide to try another project, please feel free to contact me again.
All best,

fourteen hours after receiving this letter, i submitted a new query to another agent.

never give up; never surrender.