Cartoonist sells his "crappy rejected" New Yorker submissions

For Christmas, I gifted myself with a New Yorker subscription. At the end of January, in my inbox zine, I wrote about becoming a little obsessed with the magazine's cartoon caption contest, and how I had shared the fun with my 15-year-old daughter. I then found myself searching and following all the New Yorker-published cartoonists I could find on Instagram.

That search led me to Brooklyn-based Drew Dernavich (and, boy, I sure am glad I found him!). On top of The New Yorker, he's been published in Time, the Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review, and other well-known publications. He's also a graphic recorder, aka a "visual note-taker."

On February 6, he posted this photo. It shows the reality of his business as demonstrated by two piles of paper: his rejected cartoons and his accepted ones:

View this post on Instagram

Before I started submitting digital sketches to @newyorkermag a few years ago, I was doing them the old-school way: Sharpie on paper. But that takes up too much space, so I’m cleaning house. Here is the pile of ideas that got published vs. the ones that got rejected. And in multiple views so you can see the actual ratio. Cruel business, my friends. I’m still generating a lot of crappy rejected ideas, they’re just in digital form now!

A post shared by drewdernavich (@drewdernavich) on Feb 6, 2020 at 11:15am PST

He writes:

Before I started submitting digital sketches to @newyorkermag a few years ago, I was doing them the old-school way: Sharpie on paper.

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Funny and useful "no thank you" form letters

Austin Kleon has assembled a bunch of "no thank you" form letters from writers and publishers. I've seen a few of these before. My favorite is Edmund Wilson's postcard, where he says, "it is impossible for him under any circumstances to receive unknown persons who have no apparent business with him."

From Austin:

A couple of years ago, I was getting sent this article, “Creative People Say No,” at least twice a day. The idea was that creative geniuses say “no” to a lot of requests (like, a psychology professor researching processes of creative genius) in order to get their work done, so if you want to be a creative genius, you have to say no a lot so you can get your work done. A bunch of people asked me what I thought about it, and I said, “It’s good advice for the rich and famous. Creative people say yes until they have enough work that they can say no.”

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15 SFF classics rejected by publishers

Charlie Jane Anders and Michael Ann Dobbs offer an illustrious list that includes H.G. Wells, George Orwell, Ray Bradbury and Ursula K. LeGuin. [i09] Read the rest