Monday, March 22, 2010


by Tanya Goodwin

We’ve heard it more times than we would like to admit.

“Dear Jane/John: Thanks for your submission. Unfortunately, it’s not right for us at this time.”


“Your manuscript is not a good fit for us.”

I have a folder full of these rejections, and as I speak or communicate with other writers, in person or on various yahoo groups, I am far from alone. But, I’ve been feeling a bit of a misfit lately.

So while mulling over this “misfit” dilemma, a movie classic popped into my head. Although Christmas was months ago, I thought of RUDOLPH THE RED –NOSED REINDEER.

Talk about the ultimate misfits!

Rudolph, a reindeer with a glowing red nose, whose father is embarrassed by his son’s uniqueness, unsuccessfully tries to cover up his “defect”.

Hermey, an elf whose heart is in dentistry and not toy making.

Bumble, a very misunderstood abominable snow monster.

And then there’s a whole island of misfit toys, including a spotted elephant, a jack in- the- box named Charlie and a swimming bird. The list of these unconventional toys goes on.

For those of you unfamiliar with the story of Rudolph, if that’s possible, here’s a spoiler alert: it all turns out just fine. They’re all victorious.

Rudolph saves Christmas by leading Santa and his toy-filled sleight through a blizzard.

Hermey hangs up his ELF dental shingle. Yes, apparently elves get cavities.

And those misfit toys? Santa delivers them to children thrilled to receive them.

So what does this have to do with you and your quest for publication?

Well, your “misfit manuscript” is your unique work. Your voice. And like those toys who are dropped into the hands of squealing children, you’ll find that agent or editor who can’t wait to grab hold of your glowing words.

Even Bumble got to put the star on the Christmas tree. Your star is coming.♥

When not writing, Tanya Goodwin (aka Sylvia Tatiana Goodwin, MD, nee Vlasenko) delivers babies, or writes about a woman who delivers babies! She has penned to full novel length manuscripts featuring her OB/GYN protagonist, Dr. Tara Ross, and her spine tingling, and often humorous, adventures with NYPD Homicide Commander Captain Jeffrey Corrigan, the love of her life. Tanya’s found her voice in suspense and mystery with, of course, romantic elements. She is secretary of the RWANYC chapter, and a member of Sisters in Crime, GUPPIES, and Mystery Writers of America. She is happy to be a “misfit” seeking publication. A star certainly awaits her unique voice through her quirky characters. You can find more about Tanya at her website:


  1. Thanks for the inspirational post Tanya. Its sometimes easy for us to feel that our work is a misfit - but there's something for everyone out there.

  2. I've got the same folder, Tanya! And I do do do love Rudolph--although now I'll be singing the song all day.

  3. Sorry, Dee! Rudolph popped into my head, I just couldn't shake the poor little guy. Although, now I'm singing Burl Ive's "Silver and Gold"!

  4. Today's "misfit" is tomorrow's J. K. Rowling, or Kathleen Woodiwiss or author of "The Shack" or any number of other books who just didn't "fit", until they hit the big time! I like to think in terms of "unique" - we may be a square peg in a round industry today, but all it takes is one square peg to make it big!

  5. Tanya, looks like I have a duplicate folder. And yes, I am part of those misfit toys. My writing really doesn't have a home of its own. It travels via cyber space, sometimes getting lost, never hearing a response at all. But just as the misfit toys never gave up, we too will find a home that will fall in love with our manuscripts. Great post! Christmas in March!