The Project

The earliest known rejection for The Farm Girl's Opera is dated June of 2002. The early rejections were so numerous and frequent that many were naively thrown away, before the author was compelled to file the rest for safekeeping. For the first five years, many hundreds of rejections were received by ground mail alone. Though heavily burdened by several other projects, Lovejoy did not stop submitting The Farm Girl's Opera for publication until April 2011. The book was self published on May 4th, 2012.

In 2004, the first version of the novel did acquire a female agent from Canton, New York, who was so enthusiastic that she sent the manuscript to seventeen publishing companies, before losing interest and eventually telling the author “there’s no need to keep beating a dead horse.” Devastated, he tried to abandon the book but was compelled instead to rewrite the entire manuscript, to better reflect the main character’s inner voice and psychology. When the Canton agent was re-approached with the final version, the new book was rejected outright, and all further requests for help were flatly refused.

Abandoned by the New York agency, Lovejoy began sending the new book to other agencies in January 2007, emailing samples to one agent at a time, gathering over 1000 addresses by default. Realizing the futility of this ‘one at a time’ method, he began mass mailing hundreds of agents several times a week, triggering a flood of rejections and dozens of promising but empty callbacks. Through responses ranging from cruel to comic, Lovejoy learned that no literary agent in the country was interested in the project.

Included in the novel’s high rejection total is a great quantity of form responses and automatic rejections. Due to the infinity of these pointless, redundant auto-replies, no further rejections above 7,000 will likely ever be counted. Accusing the author of stalking and harrassment, many of the direct responses are threatening and antagonistic in nature, calling the novel a "farce of unpublishable junk"--one agent claiming to have contacted the police where the author lives, writing “…You will never have that piece of trash you call Elizabeth ever sell.” The author describes the nine years and over 9,000 rejections for his novels, poems and shortstories as “an echo of Hell itself.”