Vision: A Resource for Writers
Lazette Gifford, Editor
Vision@sff.net

Web Site Review 

A Reject is Born

www.rejectwriters.com

By
Jenny Mounfield, Reject Writers Creator

© 2003, Jenny Mounfield

hile wallowing in the mire of my mid-life crisis back in 1999, I had a brilliant idea – I'd become an author.

I 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.

Now 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.

Don't get me wrong, I love writing and learning, it's the rest of the process I'm not keen on. Namely REJECTION.

As 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.

To 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.

The good news is we are not alone.

The 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.

In 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.

My 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.

I'm a firm believer that pigs can fly.

In mid 2002 I indulged in another dummy-spitting, tantrum-throwing crisis. I was a grade-A reject, and I let everyone know it.

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!"

Most 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).

My 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.

What is it? Fun. That's what. Everything rejection isn't.

Within a week Reject Writers was off and running!

Gail 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 goal.

While 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, overwhelmingly positive.

Have 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 fence.

Then 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.

But 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.)

 The 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!

Whatever 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?

Rejects Rock!

www.rejectwriters.com

Contact: rejectwriters@yahoo.com.au