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15 January 2008


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And all the 5th graders will be saying, "SNAP!"

Something I thought was interesting from the article is that the book was written before the book everyone flipped over last year, A Drowned Maiden's Hair.

Brian F.

I wonder if Schlitz does a good Nelson Muntz impression.

Ha ha!

Emily H.

Makes a great story, but actually there's nothing mean about "we have shredded your manuscript"; typically, it's cheaper to print out a new copy of a manuscript than to pay for return postage (and the attendant hassles of returning a rejected manuscript), so it's normal practice for authors to say "I have enclosed a self-addressed stamped envelope for your reply; the manuscript itself is disposable" and normal practice for publishers to say "Okay, we disposed of it." (Worse to have unshredded rejected manuscripts lying around where they could be plagiarized...)

As an unpublished writer, rejection is so much the norm that I am totally unsurprised that even such a good book as Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! could be rejected by a dozen publishers... as long as it got picked up by one, that's enough.


Oh, the shredded manuscript bit didn't surprise me -- it makes sense that publishers would do that, for exactly the reasons you mentioned. I'd imagine that the first time an author comes across that line in a rejection letter it must be a jolt, though. And it definitely makes for a fun story.


I was interested in the bit from the article regarding the book's first illustrator -- "There were problems finding the right illustrator (one, who loved the book, died before she could finish)". I'm wondering who what was . . . perhaps Trina Schart Hyman? Oh, that would have been gorgeous.

But huzzah for Schlitz. I love it when the Newbery committee seems to be picking up on all the ESP messages I've been sending them.

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