February wasn’t a bad month when it came to writing. I managed to write every single day but for 3 days, considering I was away with the kids for almost a week (which is typically not conducive of writing). I didn’t focus on any single project and felt a bit scatterbrained: a few words on a story here, a few diary entries there, one or two unfinished blog posts. I finished quite a few books that I’d read for the last 2 months, so my drawer is full of book blog drafts (that you will get to read soon enough!).
On the fiction side, I have received a rejection for my novella. I had sent it to a small French press specialized in novellas back in December. The market for short stories in France is quite limited (there are no literary journals publishing fiction), but there is a market for short novels. This small press was looking for novellas exactly the size of mine, so I had to try!
At the same time, browsing through their back list gave me an inkling that their published novellas were probably too high-brow / experimental / literary compared to my noir-ish / realist story. Which was confirmed to me last weekend.
The rejection e-mail was detailed enough to let me know that the person has read my story (in full or not, I can’t tell). It still stings, because it criticizes the lack of formal creativity and such. It’s a bit hard to hear said so bluntly, especially as genre fiction is not meant to be formally creative (I don’t mean to say that genre fiction is badly written, but genre fiction means that there are some conventions, by definition). I appreciated that the person took the time to tell me exactly why though.
If it’s not a good fit, at least it has encouraged me to look elsewhere and find another small press that would be interested in genre fiction and short novels. I have found a few names where I could send my manuscript in March.