When Your First Manuscript is Rejected: An Interview with Anne Baxter Campbell

Many writers know what it feels like to receive a rejection letter after submitting articles or proposals.

A smaller portion of us have completed manuscripts which have been rejected.

A more minute percentage of us have experienced numerous rejections as we continue to submit our first completed manuscript over and over and over again.

Anne Baxter Campbell, author of The Truth Trilogy published by Helping Hands Press, is a talented and resilient author.

She encourages aspiring writers to persevere as they figure out what to do when it appears no one is interested in publishing their first “baby.”

Please join me in welcoming Anne Baxter Campbell, as she prepares for the release of the third book in The Truth Trilogy, What Is Truth.

Anne, I just finished reading The Roman’s Quest and am looking forward to reading the second book in The Truth Trilogy. Please tell us about your first completed manuscript.

I categorically deny that I wrote a time travel/Biblical history book. One More Time was actually fun to write and tremendously instructional to me—I made every mistake in writing you can imagine and a few you can’t. But who knows—maybe I’ll rework it, make it historically accurate, and see if I can find a publisher.

What happened when you tried submitting that book to be considered for publication?

I had a few rejections. Quite a few. Finally one agent had the grace to tell me that he hadn’t been able to sell time travel for years. The others either didn’t respond or said, “This doesn’t fit our publishing needs at this time.” I was so happy to get the one that explained why that I could have done handsprings. Well, maybe if I were a bunch of years younger.

Describe the hardest part of moving on, not knowing if you would ever come back to the first manuscript you completed.

When I got that message, I wondered: Should I stop writing? Or should I start something new? Well—what else would I do? It’s an addiction—I can’t stop until I’m dead. Then I remembered a book I had start 35 years before. I could finish that one! And so I did. It was The Roman’s Quest.

How did you grow as a writer through the process of completing your first manuscript and moving forward with The Truth Trilogy?

One More Time was like elementary school. I learned the basics. I learned what I was doing wrong. I learned to take critiques in the spirit in which they were given—to help, not to bully. If I hadn’t written that first book, The Roman’s Quest would have smelled just as ripe as the first one.

What a great testimony, Anne. Please share a word of encouragement with writers who are struggling with rejection or with the possibility of placing their first manuscript on the back burner and beginning a new project.

Get yourself a rhino-skin coat. Rejection is what writers live with every day. Endure—and even learn to enjoy—critiques. Your crit partners will become your best friends, the partners who will help you become published.

Keep writing, and keep editing. You’ll get there IF you are persistent and teachable.

Thank you for inspiring us to write with perseverance and to submit our work with wisdom, Anne.

You can connect with Anne Baxter Campbell on Facebook,  Twitter and on her blog.