You get a two-for-one with this post. One story about McDaniel College creating a new program for genre fiction lovers. And a second story on how a writer should handle rejection.
First, McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland announced that it would start offering a minor in genre fiction: horror, sci-fi, romance, fantasy, mystery, Westerns, and graphic novels. McDaniel is able to offer this program with the help of grants totaling $200,000 from the Nora Roberts foundation. You may recognize the name Nora Roberts. She is a Maryland resident and author of over 200 romance novels (she also writes under the name J.D. Robb). She sold over 10 million books in 2010 alone. The article goes on to say, “In addition to the academic minor, McDaniel will offer a certificate in romance fiction writing for graduate students.” McDaniel will also establish a collection of romance literature that is expected to contain over 3,000 titles.
Wild stuff. I was lucky enough to take an English class on horror literature as an undergrad. I loved every minute of it. I guess it had helped that I had already read the entire reading list. But I definitely enjoyed re-reading them and discussing them with other fans. Getting credit for it? Well, that’s just icing on the cake. I hope other schools decide to follow in the footsteps of McDaniel and offer other genre-related programs.
Second, Richard Dansky’s blog had a great post called “Eight Reasons Your Story Might Not Be Selling That Have Little To Nothing To Do With Whether The Story Is Any Damn Good.” Be sure to read it. Dansky’s post will help every writer approach rejection as a opportunity to learn instead of taking the rejection personally.
Look, we all have to deal with rejection. It’s part of the process. Learn from rejection. Use it to improve your writing and marketing skills. Become a smarter writer. And don’t beat yourself up over it. Remember reasons seven and eight. Some things are just outside of your control. Rewrite the story, resubmit the story. Get published elsewhere. If all else fails, start a blog and post them there. See above.