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Wednesday, October 12, 2011


I was wondering what would happen if some of the writers of classic masterpieces were submitting their brilliant manuscripts to agents and publishers today? Perhaps the would receive rejection letters like these.

TO: Herman Melville
RE: Your manuscript titled "Moby Dick"
Dear Mr. Melville:
   While we'd like to publish every manuscript we receive, I'm afraid we have to reject yours. I'd like to offer a few tips which might help on your next submission.
   First, what kind of name is Ishmael? Readers want a name they can either identify with or dream about. Robert, Nathanial or even John, but Ishmael? Not for us.
   What about the name of the whale? Dick? Really? That's a porn word, Mr. Melville. I don't think our readers would accept that at all. In fact you might find your book in the "banned book" pile before anyone even opened it. Junk the title and come up with something more appropriate.
    When you've fixed those two things, and cut it down to 220 pages, please feel free to resubmit. By then we should have time to actually read your manuscript.

TO: John Steinbeck
RE: Your manuscript titled: The Pearl
Dear Mr. Steinbeck:
      We are very sorry to reject your manuscript, but the theme is hackneyed. So the kid finds a big valuable pearl. Big deal. Hey, people win the lottery every day. Can't you come up with something more original? If you do, please submit it to us. We'd love to read your next work.

TO: John Steinbeck
RE: Your manuscript titled: Of Mice and Men
Dear Mr. Steinbeck:
      Thanks for submitting your next manuscript and we are sorry but we have to reject it. A guy who kills bunny rabbits with his bare hands? Yuck! Please. Readers will be repulsed. Then he murders a beautiful woman but doesn't get nabbed by the police? Where's the hunky detective here, Mr. Steinbeck? Where is the shoot out, the blood and gore? Your simple justice left us cold. You had a great opportunity for a book/movie deal with this one but without the fireworks, we're afraid your manuscript simply fizzled for us. Try again.

PS Were George and Lenny gay, by any chance?

TO: Margaret Mitchell
RE: Your manuscript titled: Gone With the Wind
Dear Ms. Mitchell:
Interesting romance but have to reject your manuscript for the reasons listed here. Where is the erotic scene with Ashley? After Melanie bites the dust, we expected Scarlett to get it on with Ashley. What happened? And all that war stuff...come on, who cares? All those injured soldiers and none of them having sex with anyone? The war really interfered with the plot. We wanted a more explicit scene with Rhett Butler, too. In fact, several explicit scenes would have been an improvement over that old, worn-out, schlepping her up to the bedroom deal. And it's long. If you cut out the war stuff, you might be able to get a deal at another romance publisher. Good luck with that.

TO: Vladimir Nabokov
RE:  Your manuscript titled: Lolita
Dear Mr. Nabokov:
Is this supposed to be a romance or just porn? Because it doesn't make it as either. While we love the effort you put into this, the dirty old man is passe. Now if the old guy was a woman instead and Lolita was Lou, a young hunk, you'd have something. Can't buck the trend, Mr. Nabokov, cougar stories are hot. Older men lusting after young women is out. But older women lusting after young men is in. Please rework your manuscript and resubmit.

TO: J.D. Salinger
RE: Your manuscript titled: Catcher in the Rye
Dear Mr. Salinger:
Hey, what happened? We thought you were submitting a salacious baseball tell-all bio not some gunky teen book. You know what's missing? Drugs, sex in the backseat of a car, at least a blow job in the bathroom? Nothing like that here. Sorry we have to reject this, Mr. Salinger. Add some heat and resubmit and we'll see if we can wade through your book again.

TO: Jane Austen
RE: Your manuscript titled: Pride and Prejudice
Dear Ms. Austen:
While we found your manuscript beautifully written, we were disappointed to find that prejudice didn't involve any racial, religious or sexual orientation hatred. Hey, simple uptown vs. downtown romance difficulties bored us to tears. Haven't you ever seen West Side Story? They did it better than you. All that subtle stuff will blow right by our readers. Now if you'd like to make Mr. Darcy black or Jane Bennett Jewish, we're all ears. Please rework your manuscript to have real prejudice and resubmit.

A little about the book:
Now and Forever 1, a Love Story is about Callie's Richards, a young woman who's known tragedy, and her journey back to a fulfilling life. After losing the love of her life, she meets Mac Caldwell, a handsome dean at Kensington State University. Can they build a life together after facing hardship and loss? You'll cheer with her triumphs and empathize with her setbacks when you read this emotional story.
 Review from The Pen & Muse:
"Joachim brings in the romance we all know and love. A romance where love conquers all and can withstand just about anything. I loved Mac and Callie’s story about their hardship and their courage to continue. I loved the interaction between Callie and Mac’s son. From start to finish you are rooting for these characters and don’t want to put the book down. Joachim always writes great stories of love and passion. Stories like these teach us that love is stronger than anything else. Those who love contemporary romance will love this book!"
To see review click Pen & Muse 
Click here to go back to Six Sentence Sunday 
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Alexx Momcat said...

This is awesome! I loved the rejection letters from the past! Now and Forever is on my TBR!

Angel Martinez said...

ROFL! Too funny!

Dear Mr. Poe.

A raven? Seriously? How's that even mildly scary?

Stacey Joy Netzel said...

LOL! Great fun, Jean, thanks!

Jean said...

Thanks for stopping by. And Angel, how right you are! Can't that damn Raven say anything other than "Nevermore"? How about teaching him something useful, like "which way to the can"? And as for that poem, "The Bells"....duh! We get it!! How many times do you have to say "bells", Mr. Poe? We got it the first time!!

Naomi Bellina said...

Too funny! Love these rejections!

Ana Hart said...

LOL very nice. I needed a giggle this morning!

desitheblonde said...

the reject letter well they do now what the book did what you should do is send them a copy of the book and say ha ha but the book and cover you have on here is great and would love to read them and blog on all site i can