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Feature Mon May 24 2010

Answers and Questions: Stephen Markley

Perhaps because RedEye columnist Stephen Markley wrote the 2010 memoir Publish This Book: The Unbelievable True Story of How I Wrote, Sold, and Published This Very Book, maybe, just maybe, he has connections in the literary biz:

"I sometimes get questions [at readings] that are thinly veiled attempts to let people talk about the book they are working on, and can I help them publish it?"

Or connections in, well, any kind of biz:

"Once, in a classroom, a guy talked for about ten minutes about his Brazilian-style hip-hop band with the eventual question being effectively 'Can you help my Brazilian-style hip-hop band land a record contract?' The short answer, obviously, is no -- that's probably the thing I'm least qualified for in this universe -- but I tried to let him down gently, which he did not understand. Long story short, I have an outstanding promise to help a Brazilian-style hip-hop band get a record contract if I ever do meet anyone in the recording industry."

Markley may have had to let down his readers gently in these scenarios, but his book is full of juicy rejection stories of his own. "You name the kind of getting-said-no-to and I've done it," he writes in today's "Off the Markley" column, announcing the Publish This Book Rejection Contest: "Send your tales of no more than 400 words to by June 3. Then on June 7, I'll post the five best entries hand-picked by a panel of experts (me, Magic 8 Ball, my roommate Elliott) on my blog."

Maybe he can help his readers get published after all.

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