Search on SLJ.com ....
Subscribe to SLJ
Bowllan's Blog
Inside Bowllan's Blog

Everyday People: SUBMISSION DOES NOT MEAN SURRENDER by David Slater

Author, David Michael Slater has advice for those wannabee authors – like me.  For the full text please visit David’s Rejections Everyday People: SUBMISSION DOES NOT MEAN SURRENDER by David Slaterwebsite and click  "700 Words on Rejection." 

SUBMISSION DOES NOT MEAN SURRENDER by David Michael Slater 

Dear Writer, thank you for your submission. We’re sorry to say…

Dear Writer, thank you for your submission. We’re sorry to say…

Dear Writer, thank you for your submission. We’re sorry to say…

I’ve seriously considered changing my name to ‘Writer.’ A personalized letter is so much more promising. And for a while I titled every work I wrote, "Your Submission," if only to delay the inevitable for one more intern-produced, low-tonered, crookedly xeroxed line. Sleeping with my head in my mailbox for six months at a stretch demanded nothing less.

I guess I started collecting rejection letters because I couldn’t think of any better way to organize a record of those to whom I’d submitted. When they filled the first binder, I thought it was amusing, in a Wow-this’ll-be-great-to-show-off-as-a-lesson-in-perserverence-when-I’m-themost- famous-author-in-the-world kind of way. When the second reached maximum capacity, I might have begun to doubt exactly what the lesson would turn out to be. Now the third binder is in danger of exploding rain forests worth of phrases like "doesn’t meet our current needs," "only the opinion of one house," "others may feel differently," and "would encourage you to submit elsewhere." And that inspiring, "Sorry, I want to publish books that matter," one too.

At a school visit recently a kid asked me why I keep "all those restraining orders," a sad, but perhaps uncannily intuitive slip-of-the-tongue. First I eyeballed him a while to make sure he didn’t know more about me than was legally comfortable. When I determined he was cool, I said I lugged them around hoping to induce a hernia and file for Workman’s Comp. Which got a snort out of the teacher grading a forty-foot stack of papers. Which is worth something.

It’s funny how, for a while, one’s quaint little notions of "write and wrong" demand following the "rules," or "Rule," really:

ABSOLUTELY NO SIMULTANEOUS SUBMISSIONS!

David Michael Slater teaches middle school in Portland, Oregon, where he lives with his wife and son. David writes for children, teens, and adults. Forthcoming in 2008 is the launch of a young adult series, SACRED BOOKS, with volume 1, THE BOOK OF NONSENSE; an adult novel, SELFLESS; a collection of literary fiction, THE BOOK OF LETTERS; and a wordless picture book, THE BORED BOOK. A new set of six picture books is scheduled for 2009. More information about the author and his work can be found at www.davidmichaelslater.comSlaterBig Everyday People: SUBMISSION DOES NOT MEAN SURRENDER by David Slater

Permission to copy and disseminate this article will be provided upon request to the author.

More books from David Michael Slater.

BOOK OF NONSENSE

CHEESE LOUISE!

FLOUR GIRL

MISSY SWISS

NED LOSES HIS HEAD

SHARPEST TOOL IN THE SHED

THE RING BEAR

JACQUES & SPOCK

7 ATE 9

Comments

  1. Sari says:

    Hilarious. This author is getting quite a lot of attention just now. There is talk on other blogs about religious groups seeking to ban the Sacred Books Series. Anyone know details? Anyone have an advanced reader?

  2. Amy Bowllan says:

    Sari,

    thanks for this and will look into it.

    Amy