From the Archives…

November 22, 2011


Over on the Facebook page, Elaina asked: “Have you ever gotten a rejection letter?”

Elaina, yes, indeed, I have received a few rejection letters in my day — and that’s true for many authors, including Sylvia Plath and Jack Kerouac. Read this piece for some of those (pretty harsh) rejection letters.

Way back when in 1993, at the time I was shopping Tully around to agents, I received a fairly nice rejection from the first agent I submitted it to. She considered it, but passed, and then I sent it to a second agent. This second agent sent it back (this was before now, when lots of agents just send things back with form letters) with a note saying, basically, “I read through part one, and that was enough for me. I’m passing on it, and before you send it out to any more people, I suggest you might want to take a course and learn how
to write, and then revise your book accordingly and resubmit. Just not to me.”

Ouch.

Happily, all’s well that ends well, since the third agent I sent it to signed up for it and then sold it to St. Martin’s Press, who then put it out into the world and into your hands. I was actually pretty lucky when it comes to the publishing business — nowadays writers have to face dozens, hundreds of rejections before they might see their book published.

Have a happy Thanksgiving, everyone!


4 Responses to “From the Archives…”

  1. Julia says:

    OMG! Paullina, that is so harsh. Tully remains my favourite of yours’ and I still have the autograph copy. Jessica is trying, or was trying to get a childrens book published. Just a simple little picture book for Christmas time. She’s put it on hold until she gets back from her year’s internship with Disney.

  2. jyotika says:

    is there any new book coming up soon . cnt wait to read your books.

  3. Patricia says:

    Well, all I can say is THANK YOU St. Martin’s Press. Without them there may not have been a Tully as we now and love it!

  4. Emma says:

    Holy moley!! I can not believe that response you recieved! That book is incredible! So heart wrenching but wonderfully beautiful. When I read it I feel like I am watching all of those characters play out their lives. We are all so lucky you never gave up and you knew what absolute Gems you had (have!) x