Rejecting Jane

For what it’s worth: David Lassman, director of the Jane Austen Festival in Bath, submitted copies of Austen’s novels to 18 publishers in the U.K., changing only names and titles. Only one of the editors to receive the submissions appeared to recognize the work as Austen’s, and none expressed interest in publication. One of the editors did allow (tongue in cheek?) that the manuscript “seems like a really original and interesting read.”


UPDATE: In a similar spirit: The Gilgamesh epic is “dated and confusing.”


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  1. Bit of a flawed experiment, that. Who publishes Victoriana anymore?

  2. Agreed, as far as submitting for publication goes. What I thought was interesting was not so much that the mss. were rejected (I suppose my post title is a bit misleading) as that the editors are said not to have recognized the work (although it’s unclear to me how that was determined exactly, and even the comment about originality could be ironic).

  3. Granted, the lack of recognition was pretty funny. Reminds me of pranks like when students use technobabble generators to automatically generate a paper for presentation at a major technology conference – and get in. Clearly, all screening processes are flawed – and such flaws are only exacerbated in a deluge. The current fiction publishing markets, like the poetry markets, are just flooded.