Bitter Gertrude has written a witty and insightful post about what is going on in the literary office, and why they are reacting so many plays this way. As a person who has been in a literary office and read many, many play submissions, I can say that this is all very true, and truthful.
From the blog:
It’s hard to be rejected, and playwrights are rejected over and over and over. I can understand why a playwright, in order to stay sane, would look for reasons like, “They rejected me because the LM doesn’t understand my work” in order to avoid having to think “Perhaps my play is not ready to be professionally competitive.”
Part of the problem is that theatres almost NEVER speak honestly to playwrights about why their work is rejected. So I’m going to, right now. If you’ve ever received a rejection letter, the reason is one or more of the following, I guarantee it.
Can you handle the truth? Then read this blog. (Even if you can't handle it, read this anyway.)
This is an interesting post regarding this blog from the Hollins Playwright Lab's Facebook page:
Worth a read. I wish every playwright had to spend a month or two in a literary office with an open submission policy before being allowed to submit their work. It is so instructive to read a large volume of submissions, as a matter of fact, that one of my favorite exercises is to plunck a box of actual submissions down on the table in class and spend (literally) two hours making the students read them--rotating the scripts clockwise every five minutes. You've never seen a group of playwrights so quickly get sympathy for literary departments and intolerant of bad structure and formatting (especially in their own work).
Thoroughly enjoyed the article and have signed up to her blog, so thanks for the link.
Made the mistake though of posting a reply which I thought was (slightly) funny, this was then completely misinterpreted by someone who posted an attack on me. I have now replied to try and point out I was trying for Irony not sarcasm…
Anyway I thought I would just post here how much I liked the article and that I find Melissa’s style of posting very engaging, just in case you saw my reply on her blog and wondered what was going off.
Well at least this might explain why my comedies don’t work…
Here is another great blog describing reasons for rejection - that basically boil down to FOLLOW THE FREAKIN' GUIDELINES
IS THIS WHY YOUR PLAY WAS PASSED UP?
by Donna Hoke
As playwrights, we’re told again and again that it’s imperative to follow the guidelines, so I’m flabbergasted as to why so many just don’t. Playwrights are intelligent folks, so it’s not stupidity. Is it ego? Willful ignorance? Laziness? And are any of those worth getting a strike against your play before it’s even read?