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Featured Online Class

Dissecting Rejection, four week class with Dawn Carrington

DISSECTING REJECTION—Understanding Why Your Book Keeps Getting Rejected and Knowing When It’s Ready for Publication by Dawn Rachel Carrington, Editor-in-Chief of Vinspire Publishing

START DATE: July 29, 2024

DURATION: 4 weeks

LOCATION:  Email only. This is an asynchronous course that can be studied from anywhere, in any time zone.

FEEDBACK:  Instructor Feedback

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Rejection is difficult under the best of circumstances. When an author’s book gets rejected, the editor or agent might as well say the author can’t write because that’s how it’s taken. No matter how many times an author is told “your work doesn’t fit our catalog” or “it’s just not right for us,” an author will always assume their book is being rejected because of the writing. Sometimes, that is the case, and most publishers/agents don’t have time to give a detailed rejection.

So why is your book getting rejected? Is the plot not strong enough? Are the characters in 2D when they’re supposed to be 3D? Or maybe there are too many grammatical errors. Whatever the reasons, you can’t fix your book if no one will tell you what’s wrong with it. That’s what this class is all about.

For the next four weeks, we’ll go over potential problems that could be causing rejections based upon the hundreds of manuscripts I’ve read as an editor-in-chief of Vinspire Publishing. You’ll learn the number one reason why books are automatically rejected, other reasons for immediate rejections, how to determine if the plot or the characters are lacking, how to know if your grammar isn’t up to par and what to do about it, and how to know if the book you’re submitting needs to be put back on the shelf, so to speak.

Feedback will be provided on all assignments which should be turned in before the next week’s lesson.

I appreciated the class [Jumping into Romance] and received so much more from it than the two community classes I had taken.~ Connie Z

Are you new to writing and the publishing/promoting world looks too large to handle? Are you a seasoned writer but lack the necessary skills and ideas necessary for a powerful promotion of your work? Look no further than the promotional ideas and suggestions given by Ms. Carrington. Writing the story is only the first step to sales and a loyal fan following. As Ms. Carrington has said in her Power Promotion Workshops, “I would encourage you all to start writing for each other’s newsletters as well as other authors you know. I was just asked to write some tips for authors in another author’s newsletter. That’s how you get your name out there. Make yourself stand out from the crowd. Be creative. Get together with a group of authors and shoot around some marketing/promoting ideas.” In addition to these suggestions are many more that empower the writer through knowledge of the promotional game and how it’s played. For the author who sells primarily online, or even marginally, the helpful suggestions in Ms. Carrington’s workshops are a must! ~ Laura Shinn, Author/Freelance Editor

Thanks to your promotional workshop, I embraced the Scavenger Hunt Idea and participated in a Holiday Hunt with several authors. This proved very beneficial. In less than four weeks I had over one hundred hits to my website and increased my sales. I'm very glad I attended your workshop. ~ Donna Michaels, Author of Romaginative Fiction

The class was enlightening, humorous, and filled with common sense. Directions where to go for further information was nice. It’s easy to put off the work of writing for the fun. You made me realize the need for work. Thanks! ~ Katie Daniels


Week 1: Maybe It Isn’t Just the Book—The Fastest Road to Rejection

Did you know that are other reasons, besides the book itself, for rejection? It could be something as simple as missing the deadline for the reading period or something more substantial like not following the publisher’s guidelines.

In this lesson, you’ll learn what the main reasons are for rejection that have little to do with the quality of the book and how to avoid them. In addition, you’ll be provided with a checklist you can use before you submit future books to publishers or agents.

Assignment: Provide two reasons why you believe your book has been rejected that do not directly relate to the book itself.

Week 2: Maybe It Is the Book—How to Know If Your Book Has Plot or Character Problems

You’ve been submitting the first three chapters of your story over and over, and it keeps getting rejected. That means it’s time to decide if your book really is as good as it can be.

Do you give the reader the chance to get to know the characters? Are you telling the story or showing it? And is there a strong enough plot to support your current word count?

In this lesson, you’ll strip down your plot to determine its strength and come face-to-face with your major characters to see how they come across on paper. You’ll be given the tools to fix what is necessary.

Assignment: Provide an outline of your story as well as a character outline of no more than two major characters

Week 3: Maybe Your Story Isn’t The Problem—So What Else is Wrong?

You can have a fantastic story and characters that are hysterically funny or heartbreakingly real. But if an editor/agent sees a plethora of grammatical errors, they may never know that because most of them won’t look beyond the first several mistakes.

In this lesson, we’ll take a look at some common grammatical issues, give you tips on improving your grammar, and provide you with a list of classes you can take that will help polish your book.

Assignment: Using the tips given in this lesson, identify five grammar mistakes in your first two-three paragraphs and fix them.

Week 4: Maybe Your Book Needs The Rejection—How To Know If Your Book Isn’t Ready for Publication

Not every book will see publication. Maybe it’s the length of the story. (It’ll be difficult to find a publisher that will accept a 400,000-word tome.) Or perhaps it’s a story that has been done and overdone. Maybe the setting doesn’t work because you don’t know enough about the area.

There can be a laundry list of reasons why, no matter how good the overall plot is, your book keeps getting rejected, and there will come a time when you have to decide if your book is ready for publication.

As hard as it is to write a book, it’s even more difficult to determine that, no matter what you do, it’s not ready for readers. It may never be. In this lesson, we’ll go over the hard task of deciding if your book should be published and how to salvage the best parts.

Assignment: Answer the checklist provided based upon your current book.

Materials needed: An Internet connection and email capability. A book that has been rejected at least three times.

Rachel CarringtonABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR: Dawn Rachel Carrington has been the editor-in-chief of Vinspire Publishing, a publisher of family friendly books, since 2004. A published author of over fifty titles ranging from romantic suspense to historical romance, she was a civil litigation paralegal for over thirty years.

Currently, a freelance editor/writer residing in historic Charleston, South Carolina, Rachel has written over 1500 non-fiction articles, short stories and essays. Her work can be found in Absolute Write, The New York Times, Short-Edition, The Writer, The Writer's Journal, Writing for Dollars, Writer's Magazine, Writer's Weekly, Funds for Writers, and more.

Because she likes staying busy, Rachel has also taught classes for Suite 101 and for author groups regarding promoting, writing, starting your own business, and editing.

When she's not writing, she loves to read historical fiction. She also creates book videos, is an avid shopper, a HUGE Star Trek fan, a traveler, and an antique store addict.

Visit her website at and Vinspire Publishing at

COST: $100, which includes weekly assignments and individual feedback from the instructor.

BUY NOW:  Dissecting Rejection, by Dawn Carrington (4 weeks, starting 7/29/2024) Limit: 8 students. Early registration is recommended.

This class is now closed. Please check here for our current schedule.

For Class Session Starting 7/29/2024


Notes: Upon successful completion of payment, your name, email address, and contact info will be submitted to your instructor.

Questions? Email Marcia & Angela at:

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