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Alice in Writerland

Posted by E on June 4, 2012



For Immediate Release

June 4, 2012

Toronto, Ontario

Incognito Press announces the publication of ALICE IN WRITERLAND: A WRITER’S ADVENTURES IN THE UGLY WORLD OF PUBLISHING, written by local author Elisa Hategan.


Elisa Hategan is the Romanian-Canadian author of RACE TRAITOR, a debut novel based on her experiences inside a terrorist group, which won a Toronto Arts Council award, an Ontario Arts council grant, and a Canada Arts Council work-in-progress award, as well as qualified as semi-finalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Contest.


ALICE IN WRITERLAND is a heartbreaking, candid and scathing indictment of the publishing industry and the personal sacrifices involved in the pursuit of success. Much more than a shocking exposé of unprofessional behavior in the literary world, however, this is a memoir that transcends into an intense exploration of what it means to be an artist.

If you could have anything you wanted, would you sell your soul for it?

ALICE IN WRITERLAND provides a shocking inside view of a world where pompous literary agents, sleazy managers and high-priced creative writing workshops have created an industry that is less interested in pursuing talent and more concerned with ripping off hopeful writers.

If following your dreams meant giving up everything you held dear, would you still do it?

Elisa Hategan started out as a debt-ridden poet who knew absolutely nothing about the publishing industry. On a whim, she applied for and won a scholarship to a prestigious creative writing program. Within a year she had transformed from complete newbie to professional writer, winning multiple art grants and being accepted to the most prestigious MFA program in the country. Better yet, she had the perfect agent and a manuscript that caught the attention of a Big Six publisher.

And then, somewhere along the way, it all went terribly wrong.

Elisa Hategan’s Alice in Writerland: A Writer’s Adventures in the Ugly World of Publishing is the heartbreaking and ultimately triumphant story of one woman’s attempt to make it as an author, all the while trying to figure out what that really means in the 21st century.

6 Responses to “Alice in Writerland”

  1. Greg said

    I got my mom to buy the e-book when it was on sale. She’s really enjoying it so far, and says that all the stuff in it is what I’ve been telling her for the last two years (and much of what I’ve told her was hearsay). Perhaps I shall pick up a copy, myself. 🙂

    • E said

      Hey there Greg, sorry I didn’t see your comment until today. Glad to hear she’s enjoying it! Yes, it’s a sad but true fact that a lot of what I’ve gone through is one horrible cliche in this industry (and sometimes, when I’m done licking my wounds, I can actually laugh about it). I hope you get to read it too at some point, if only to see how right you were 😛

  2. Borrowed your book from the Amazon Lending Library for the Kindle Fire. My only regret is that now and then, I have to stop reading it to recharge the battery! As a “veteran” writer, I’m hurting too, thanks to the 0.001 Percent Club, you know, investors blackmailing publishers, digital piracy, and all the rest. Let’s both of us keep on writing. I’m glad to see that some people still love the writing craft for its own sake. Your book might motivate me to travel to new writing worlds which, through the telescope of my imagination, I can so plainly see.

    • Elisa said

      Stan, thanks so much for your comment! Sometimes it’s hard to keep motivated, especially when faced with nasty emails and reviews, many coming from other writers toeing the line and kissing agent/publisher ass in the hope that they might one day be “discovered”. That’s why I value comments like yours so much 🙂 I really hope you can leave me a review on Amazon when you’ve finished – and remember you are welcome to email me directly at elisa [at] if you want to chat about the business some more.
      I’d write more but I’m in Cape Cod right now (Ptown to be precise) with limited wifi, so I’d better cut this short before it cuts out altogether.

  3. Hi Elisa,

    I just finished Alice in Writerland. Actually, I have about three pages left. I was reading it on my Kindle. Closed the Kindle, opened it about a half hour later, went to the home page to check the spelling of your last name, and Alice was gone from the index. What?? Very very weird. Somehow I suppose I deleted it. Will write Amazon and ask for a re-send.

    In the meantime, I wanted you to know that even with all the negative and just plain discouraging things you said about getting a book in front of readers, I am still inspired to move forward with a book I’ve been working on for several months. I really must must do it. Thank you for your honesty.

  4. E said

    Glad to hear from you, Pamela. I’m sure there must have been a glitch of some sort, sometimes Kindles act funny. But anyhow, I’m glad that you weren’t discouraged by my experiences, and still felt inspired to move forward. In portraying what I (and fellow writer friends) went through, my aim was to give an accurate depiction of the industry, so that all of us can find ways to circumvent similar issues, and navigate the turbulent (and often murky) waters of 21st century publishing. Would love to hear more about your book project, and wish you the best of luck with it!

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