Friday, 22 January 2010


I've often wondered what literary riches we readers have missed out on because of timing and fate. What unseen classics ended up in dusty lofts because the author couldn’t get them published? It’s easy to get disillusioned by rejection, so how many writers prematurely consigned work they’d slaved over to a bin because they quickly became convinced it was worthless?

There must be a whole raft of great books stuffed away or floating around as ash in the atmosphere because it was submitted at the wrong time/an agent never took it on/an editor was hung over etc etc. I don’t doubt there’s a lot of work that gets submitted that shouldn’t see the light of day. There’s also a lot of intelligent people reading manuscripts who pluck the right ones out, champion them but have to reluctantly discard the project for myriad reasons other than anything to do with the quality of the writer’s work.

Publication is a chain of events with a fallible human at the helm of every stage. But writers are equally to blame. Are we missing a great writer because they got fed up with the cost of posting their work or because they were put off after a couple of knock backs? The onus is on the writer to get his work out there. It’s more in their interest than anyone else’s. And, if they believe in it, they’ll keep submitting it to agents/publishers until they’re blue in the face.

It’s the only way to stop these classics falling through the cracks.

Richard Jay Parker

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