Ask an Editor: How to Avoid the Dreaded “No”

Today we post the fifth installment in our Ask an Algonquin Editor series. Executive Editor Chuck Adams shares what aspiring authors should NOT do. These tips will help you avoid getting a quick rejection for your manuscript.

Do you have a question for one of our Algonquin editors? Have you ever wished for an insight into the publishing world? Leave your question in the comments below…

 

 

13 Comments On This Post:

June 28, 2012
5:27 pm
Chris Cander says...

I’ve enjoyed your insights. Thank you for sharing them honestly. :)

June 28, 2012
6:10 pm
Deborah Rice says...

Thanks for the useful information! I’m enjoying the blog and the interview format.

June 28, 2012
7:27 pm
Tim Swink says...

Right down the line! Good stuff. Thank you Chuck!

June 29, 2012
4:49 am
LJR Worrall says...

Dear Chuck,

I very much enjoyed your ‘Ask an Editor’ piece. It was extremely interesting and informative.

In your vast experience, I am sure you have come across writers that use oxymorons too. Just last week I read the first page of an e-book and went no further as it described “whispering howling”. I very much look forward to your future pieces.
Warm Regards,
L.J.R.Worrall

June 29, 2012
11:27 am
Roger A Mweyer says...

I appreciate the clarity of your presentation, like what you are asking of those who submit manuscripts. I picked up a few things that go against what others have said in critique groups, so now I have a response to their ideas. Thank you.

June 29, 2012
7:35 pm
Robyn Serage says...

I find myself a bit at a loss. I am re-reading the classic “Les Miserables”. It is one of my favorites and I know I am not alone there. So here is my problem. As I listen to this video about what not to do as an author, I can see plainly that Victor Hugo would have gotten an immediate rejection from today’s editors. He does almost everything that you advise not to do; endless description, not getting to the plot for eons,moralizing,background on top of more background, etc. It seems like literature is going the way of TV and film. It is all about flash and bang! Where is the line between writing a great piece of literature and writing a piece that is catchy enough to snag an editor’s interest in the first three pages. It is very tricky as you well know. Anyone have any feelings on this?

July 10, 2012
5:09 am
Eugene Cappuccio says...

And another thing, I find the bias against typos quite silly, really. Not everyone has a secretary. Typos have nothing to do with a writer’s literary ability. Now that was a mistake.

July 10, 2012
5:19 am
Eugene Cappuccio says...

This criteria would of course, immediately rule out Updike and Nabokov, though keep Cheever.

September 18, 2012
11:21 am
Lynette Ekund says...

Thank you and Kathy for these videos! I have a high regard for Algonqin Books and the candid thoughts shared in these videos is part of the reason why. Not only because you’re taking the time create the videos, but because so many of your perceptions are mine as well. I imagine an editors choices in projects they take on are as personal as agents are. Yes?

November 15, 2012
2:09 am
Bgenie30 says...

Just listened to Chuck Adams on rejection. This really sounds like great points. Where can I find previous videos of “Ask an Algonquin Editor.” How often does a new one appear?

January 31, 2013
6:14 pm
Nancy Figueroa says...

These are all the things i’ve learned from being a student at ICL. I’m happy to know my manuscript has none of these these that you spoke about and i will be submitting it soon. Thanks.

September 14, 2013
6:16 am
ABOUT MY BOOK says...

I am a young Nigerian writer and I have a fiction adult book. Please how can I submit you some chapters to take a look at first?

Post A Comment:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>