Bergamont's Journey is one of my problem children. It's novella-length coming of age story woven with the seven sacred teachings. It's set in a fantasy world, with swords, dragons and mystical creatures on magical quests. It has a funny side and a spiritual side, and at 17,500 words, I find it hard hunting markets to pitch it to.
At least it's generally fairly well received - it's not outright rejected, more like gently shoved out the door. Better than the kicks I got at first.
I'd sent it to this publishing house that had just begun piercing the fiction market, and I thought it would be a good fit. I sent the whole thing since it's such a short novel, and they kept it for four months. In my experience with rejections (which is vast and widely celebrated), they come quick and don't mess around.
So I worked myself up. It was kind of fun. After all, their consideration time was stated to be 2 to 4 months, and they'd already had it for four months. I was ecstatic, really. (Yes, I do need a life, thanks for asking!)
Well, Bergamont showed up in my mailbox in it's pre-postaged envelope on a Thursday afternoon. I'm not one of those people who broods and waits to open rejections, though I always think it would be quite dramatic to do so. I ripped the envelope open right there in the small cramped mailroom, read the letter, ran upstairs and bewildered my roommate with claims of having received the best rejection letter ever (she might not have understood at first - I was out of breath and speaking quickly, even for a French-Canadian).
So here it is, what the best rejection letter EVER said:
Dear Marie Bilodeau (come on, the using of the name is good!),
I hope this letter finds you well. Thank you for allowing us to consider Bergamont's Journey. Although we enjoyed reading this lovely adventure, we have ultimately decided that we shall not pursue publication. We regret that this book does not fulfill our current publishing needs, as we are currently publishing very little fiction. Your story was touching, however, and quite well-written, with thrilling action and humourous turns. Several times while reading your manuscript I laughed aloud to the befuddlement of my colleagues.
We appreciate your thinking of us, and I wish you the best of luck finding a fiction house that will be able to take on this project.
It was hard not being on a high after receiving that! With any luck, the next place I send Bergamont to will welcome him into their published family!
... of course, it'll take quite a bit of time to identify another good market for it! Oh well, the hunt and the anticipation are part of the fun!