EVERY WEEK, REJECTION LETTERS FROM MY PAST.
BECAUSE THE HURT GOES AWAY AFTER A COUPLE
OF DECADES.

This Week in Rejection!

This Week in Rejection!: Tor

You’re just going to have to take my word on this: Tor was using very nice paper for its rejection letters at the time.

tor

This Week in Rejection!: The Subourbon Press

No idea if this came before or after my other rejection from The Subourbon Press. This one isn’t personal, but it retains that torn-paper look we’ve come to know and love.

Subourbon_press_generic

This Week in Rejection!: The Journal

No, not the Wall Street Journal.

journal

You know, I usually save TWiR! snark for myself and my idiotic younger attitudes, but this week I gotta say: “The Journal” is a remarkably generic name for a literary magazine. Really.

This Week in Rejection!: Epoch

epochPublished three times a year.

Three times.

Think of your odds.

Takes the sting away a wee bit, doesn’t it?

 

This Week in Rejection!: The Zack Company

I actually met Andy Zack many years later, after this rejection notice, at a writers’ conference. Nice guy.

Anyway, take a gander:

IMG_1885

You know, I can remember thinking — at the time I received this — that it was almost over written. Over mannered. Too precise and specific.

But let’s be honest: Wannabe writers are not always known for being the most calm, rational, and accepting of creatures.1 So it behooves an agent to try to anticipate as many possible responses as he or she can, and head them off at the pass.2 Every time I look at this little rejection slip, I remind myself of what it must be like on the other side of the desk, in constant fear that any rejection could trigger a monumental meltdown of epic proportions, stepping cautiously, writing carefully…



  1. I speak as one who was one!
  2. By the way, gang, when you get a form letter rejection, don’t write back and try to argue it. Just move on. Whining, “It does so meet your needs, you doody-head!” does no one any good.