This post really belongs in the category, Guess What I Read This Week, a post that I started last week, however I couldn’t use the same title twice, so I decided to use the next best thing, which is the title above. If you’ve been following this blog, you may have read my post some time ago on famous authors who suffered rejection. You may recall that Jane Austen was one whose famous novel, Pride and Prejudice, formerly called First Impressions was rejected by the publisher and subsequently accepted after some revision.

That was centuries ago. The famous scribe was once again rejected in this century, according to an article in Writer Beware Blogs, but this time the person submitting the manuscript was not Jane Austen, but a writer named David Lassman. How did this come about? Well, it seems that Lassman, frustrated with all the rejections he was receiving for his own novel, decided to pseudonymously submit chapters of Ms. Austen’s books to several publishers. The result? Rejections galore. Why did he do it? He wanted to test whether the publishers and agents could recognize great literature. You can read more about it at this link:

So, what do you think? Should Lassman have played that hoax? According to WBB, submission hoaxes have been around for some time, with even the UK’s Sunday Times getting in on the act and achieving the same result as Lassman. Of the 18 publications that he submitted to, only one responded, letting him know they recognized what he’d done and warning him of the consequences of plagiarism. But hoaxes aside, what lesson can we as writers, desperate to have our works published, learn from Lassman’s folly?

I think the first one should be, never plagiarize, whether seriously or in jest. Think of how you would feel if someone plagiarized your work.

Second, always research your markets carefully before submitting. Apparently, Lassman did not. He subbed romance manuscripts to houses that do not publish romance, and to publishers who do not accept unagented submissions.

Third, be prepared to wait. And while waiting, continue to sharpen your writing skills. It will all pay off in the end.