Join local writers for back-to-back events on rejection and how to turn this dispiriting moment into an opportunity on Thursday, Sept. 19, at L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library, 400 Eau Claire St.

“Not a Good Fit: Overcoming Rejection and Learning to Thrive in the Literary World” will begin with panel presentation at 6 p.m. and will be followed by a 7 p.m. presentation by Max Garland. Here are details on the programs:

• 6 p.m. — “If At First You Don’t Succeed: A Conversation on Persevering Beyond Rejection.”

How might we best cope with literary rejection? And how do we find the path forward? Join writers and editors Eric Rasmussen, Elizabeth de Cleyre and Katie Venit for a candid conversation on strategies and best practices for transforming “literary lemons” into lemonade. B.J. Hollars will be moderator.

• 7 p.m.—Befriending Failure: Lessons from the Whitman School of Condemnation, Defamation, Denunciation, and Vilification, or So You Think You’ve Been Rejected?”

In 1855, only one person on Earth considered Walt Whitman’s “Leaves of Grass” worthy of publication. That person was Whitman, who printed the book himself. Early reviewers compared the writer to a pig, a goat, a lunatic, and those were the polite reviews. Two hundred years after Whitman’s birth, the book is widely regarded as one of the great works of American literature. Given that failure is a writer’s constant companion, maybe Whitman, Emily Dickinson, and others can teach us something about not necessarily accepting, but at least befriending failure. Former Wisconsin Poet Laureate Max Garland will be the presenter.

The program is sponsored in partnership by the Chippewa Valley Writers Guild and the library. To learn more about the Writers Guild, visit

For details on the program, stop at Information & Reference at the library, call 715-839-5004, or email the library at To learn more about library programs, check the library website at