Sorry, Wraith Picket, your book won’t do

This has become almost too easy–take a famous book by a well-known author (in this case, a Nobel Prize winner), send out a few chapters to publishers and agents and rake in those rejection letters.

Even so, it’s fun when it’s Patrick White’s The Eye of the Storm being rejected by a score of Australia’s finest.

Jennifer Sexton reports for The Australian:

Not one reader recognised its literary genius, and 10 wrote polite and vaguely encouraging rejection letters. The highest praise was “clever”. A low point was a referral to a “how to” book on writing fiction.
Pan Macmillan referred the author to writers’ workshops; Mark Latham’s agent, Mary Cunnane, recommended the author improve by reading Penguin Books’ The Art of Writing, for hints on character and form. Text Publishing, which prides itself on finding and publishing Australian literature, sent back a form rejection letter and HarperCollins flicked it back unread.
For the experiment, the title of the manuscript was tweaked to become The Eye of the Cyclone, and an anagram was used for the author’s name, Wraith Picket. And the age chosen for the 33-year-old father of one was the number of years that have passed since White wrote the novel.


  1. terrorists drink water to survive, you know. they’re soon going to block the water supply to “SMOKE ‘EM OUT”idiotz. they are going to make such a tee-hee fool of themselves.

  2. Hi,Read your article regarding blog outage in BS. Would like to inform you and bring to your attention that we are still not able to access blogs at this part of India, in Coimbatore. VSNL has not yet removed the block…

  3. ok, i have been out of touch with your blog (and the rest of the blog-land) for a while. and cant make any sense of the other comments.Thought you will be happy (ummm, yeah, happy) to know that kitabkhana was listed as ‘a resource’ in an article in The Age, Melbourne (there were 2 other onsite references). article: charting the soul of a nation. date: july 3rd

  4. Words are like drops. And words matter only to those who create them, to the rest, it is that river that passes by their house, who cares whose drops make up the river, for, they all look the same because I wouldn’t be bothered to find out if they are actually different!!!!The same goes for books sent to publishers.

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