Flash Fiction: a complete story
in one thousand or fewer words.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Animal Farm: Unconvincing Trotskyite Politics

Who said that? "Unconvincing Trotskyite Politics." Who rejected George Orwell's Animal Farm for publication by Faber and Faber? He was then director of that venerable British publisher and perhaps the best poet of the 20th century (says the article writer, Richard Brooks, Arts Editor of UK Times Online)...::drum roll::...and more anticipatory delay: T S Elliot. At issue was the timing of the novel with respect to the tenuous WWII alliance between Britain and the Soviet Union.

Eliot wrote: “After all, your pigs are far more intelligent than the other animals, and therefore the best qualified to run the farm – in fact there couldn’t have been an Animal Farm at all without them: so that what was needed (someone might argue) was not more communism but more public-spirited pigs.”

The article is actually about T S Eliot on the occasion of the release of his private letters by his widow, Valerie, the subject of a BBC documentary.

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Monday, February 2, 2009


Rejectomancy is Abyss & Apex's open disclosure of what their standard form letters mean for their very good, good, bad and ugly slush pile rejections. Although other publishers may use only one "not right for us at this time" form letter, I suspect they use the same basic editorial process.

I suggest that A & A add a new form letter for me: we couldn't discern whether this was a submission to our magazine or a misaddressed rant to your psychiatrist. In either case, feel free never to contact us again for any reason.

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Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Fine Art of Literary Rejection Letters

Says Jean Hannah Edelstein: "One thousand is a conservative estimate of the number of books and book proposals that I rejected during my two-year publishing career. I have rejected books that have ended up selling for lots of money, and I have rejected books that were plagiarised wholesale from...."


Friday, November 28, 2008

Putting a Face on Who's Rejecting You

It is nice to see the faces of the people who are rejecting your science fiction and fantasy works. At this story about the SFWA's annual Authors & Editors Reception, you'll find photos of some notables who carry red pens and back-up red pens at all times. You'll see Stanley Schmidt, Gordon Van Gelder...and maybe an agent or two who have ruined your day.

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