Reject is Born
Jenny Mounfield, Reject Writers Creator
2003, Jenny Mounfield
wallowing in the mire of my mid-life crisis back in 1999, I had a brilliant idea
– I'd become an author.
enrolled in a 'writing for children' course (That'd be a piece of cake, right?),
and spent the next year blissfully creating my first blockbuster novel, which, I
might add, is still propping up an editor's wonky desk somewhere.
that I've traveled down the writers' track a bit, feeling a tad older, and a lot
more paranoid, I yearn for those carefree days of ignorance.
get me wrong, I love writing and learning, it's the rest of the process I'm not
keen on. Namely REJECTION.
someone who's dealt with more than her fair share of rejections over the years:
teachers, men, employers (not to mention my brief encounter as a telemarketer
for a 'revolutionary new marital aid'), you'd think I'd be used to it. Not on
your Nelly. I believe that while it's possible to reach a point of
shoulder-shrugging indifference, every rejection leaves its mark.
be fair, rejection can be useful, too, providing we have the answer to that
all-important question: Why? But how often does that happen? Well let's
just say that the odds of scientists cloning Shakespeare by Tuesday are
marginally better. So we're left to pore over 'how to' books in the hope that
eventually we'll be blessed with earth-shattering enlightenment. And the odds of
this happening are… well you figure it out.
good news is we are not alone.
warm, fuzzy feeling I basked in while writing my very first piece of brilliance
had worn off by Christmas 2001. In fact it had been brutally stripped off, along
with several layers of my delicate writer's skin.
January 2002, I enrolled in an intensive three-month career booster program,
laid my soul bare, and discovered I wasn't the mother of a masterpiece after
all. What the hell was I doing? It was sink or swim time.
newly acquired tutor/mentor cracked the whip and I churned out reams of new
stories and non-fiction at a rate of knots. By the end of the program I was back
on top. My work was deemed to be at a publishable standard. What more did I
need? I was on my way. I had a mission. I'd found my muse, (albeit rather
scruffy and unreliable). It was only a matter of time before the contracts were
in the mail.
a firm believer that pigs can fly.
mid 2002 I indulged in another dummy-spitting, tantrum-throwing crisis. I was a
grade-A reject, and I let everyone know it.
was during one of the 'woe is me' monologues that I regularly inflicted on my
fellow writers, that my muse crawled out of his sewer and threw me a tidbit. A
member of my writers' group announced that she was in the process of creating
her own website: "Oh great. What a fabulous idea," I said, head
butting Agro (my computer). "Actually
it's such a great idea I might get a website too. And you know what I'm gonna
call it? Reject Writers. What do you think of that, eh? Ha ha ha!"
of my writing friends thought I'd finally lost the plot. No argument from me.
All except one, that is, and I'm pretty sure that's because she's crazier than I
am, (but for heaven's sake don't tell her I said so).
dear friend, Gail Breese, loved the idea. This was great news since I knew
absolutely nothing about creating websites, and it just so happened that she did
(can I pick 'em or what?). Ta-da! The hybrid child of two rejected writers was
on its way.
is it? Fun. That's what. Everything rejection isn't.
a week Reject Writers was off and running!
slaved day and night to create a unique site. She designed everything from
scratch, deciphering alien codes and weaving her artistic magic. Words poured
from my scarred fingertips like never before. We were a team, united in our
Gail and I want Reject Writers to be a little corner of cyber space where
writers can have a laugh and forget their worries, we also want the site to be
informative. Well-known authors, including Vision's own Holly Lisle, willingly
offered their articles and advice on rejection. The response was, and still is,
you ever wondered what goes on inside an editor's head? Are they from another
dimension? Do they wear frilly underwear? (Ah, I can't actually answer that one,
but I'm working on it). Sue Whiting, a successful children's author and editor,
is now the world's first Reject Editor. Each month Sue takes time out of her
hectic schedule to tell us what it's really like straddling the publishing
there are what can only be described as two of the planet's most rejected
writers, Jack Doff and Bjorn Loozer. Believe me, no matter how suicidal you are,
the antics of these guys will have you feeling like the hottest author since JK
Rowling in no time.
wait, there's more… How to Annoy an Editor, Fun and Useful Things To
Do With Rejection Letters, Reject Writers' Dictionary… On and on it
goes. Where it'll end, nobody knows. (Sorry, couldn't help myself.)
Reject Writers' Forum is planned for early 2003, and we would like writers
everywhere to join. In fact, we're always looking for writers to share their own
tales of rejection on our Rave On page. It's great therapy and might earn you a
certificate. A prize, and the illustrious title, 'Reject of the Year', will be
awarded to one lucky reject on Reject Writers' first birthday. So hop to it!
your reasons for writing, never give up. Famous authors are simply rejects
waiting to happen. And when you feel you need a break from all the insanity, why
not drop in and get a dose of ours?