Sometimes you get a personalized rejection that exists in a quantum state of sense and no-sense at the same time. Like this week’s example of rejectitude, from more than a decade ago and venerable publisher HarperCollins…
Want to play a drinking game with rejection letters? Take a shot every time the word “material” is used in the letter below.
And, yes, there were pet rabbits in this sci-fi novel of mine, but they weren’t “space attack rabbits” of any sort. (Although the idea of rabbits engineered to survive in the vacuum of space, equipped with little rocket packs and laser beam helmets activated by the twitch of an ear, is just too adorable not to exist.)
As always with TWiR! entries, I’m not posting this or pointing out any of this stuff in order to mock those whose names I’ve redacted. I post this to show you that sometimes you will get a rejection letter that seems not to make sense. Trust that it made sense to the person who wrote it. And in the case of the letter above, more important than the rejection itself is that it wasn’t a form letter! I had sent a novel to a major publisher and someone read the whole damn thing and got back to me! That was a huge jump forward for Young Barry.
Remember: It’s not about being rejected or not. It’s about how you’re rejected and what kind of progress you’re making. Did I shake my head at “space attack rabbits?” Well, yeah, of course I did! But at the same time, I was heartened that someone had at least taken me seriously. Seriously enough to write an actual letter back to me.