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From the Other Side

November 4th, 2012 | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on From the Other Side

As is typical for students studying English, I had to write a senior thesis for a degree in English Literature last year. The topic I chose was concerning England’s King Richard III, who is remembered as a very controversial king. This is due to the mystery surrounding the disappearance of his nephews when the throne was up for grabs. Because of indecision about his character, Richard happens to have a present-day society set out to defend his name. The Richard III Society has a publication, The Ricardian, which publishes articles concerning Richard’s life. Over the summer, I made it my goal to submit my thesis for publication in The Ricardian. After spending the summer revising it, I finally submitted my essay. It was the first time I had put my work on the line, and I was hopeful because it was such a specialized journal.

Despite my high hopes, my submission was rejected. I was told that my essay did not fit in the journal because it was not a new historical discovery. Although this is a valid reason for a piece to be rejected, there is no getting around the fact that rejection still stings. This rejection in particular was an interesting experience for me because I am not only an author, but also an aspiring editor. I understand that sometimes a manuscript or piece of writing must be rejected because it does not fit the criteria of the publisher. I also know, as an author, that a work can be rejected more than once before getting an acceptance.

After rereading my thesis with the eye of an editor, I can understand that it is too long for the length of the journal, and that perhaps it is a bit too academic. Despite disappointment, this experience has taught me a very important lesson. The rejection is not necessarily a bad thing. Receiving one rejection letter has inspired me to submit other pieces of my work to other journals to potentially be published. I have spent years writing short stories, too intimidated to ever submit my work, and having had the courage to submit my thesis has given me the push I needed to explore other means of publication.

This is an important lesson to learn as an author because there are increasing numbers of ways to get your work out there these days, be it through traditional publishing, self publishing, or even by creating a personal website or blog to display your work. These facts are important for me to make a mental note of as I work towards a career in the publishing industry. I need to tie in my experiences as a writer and as a future publisher to be able to advance my career. As an author, never give up, and as an editor I need to have the same passion for the works I endorse as the author who wrote it.

Emily Ferro