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!: Pre-rejected?

Thirteen years ago! That’s how long ago it was that Young Barry received this little slip of paper from an agency:

IMG_1877

Note that this is not, technically, a rejection. They are, in fact, accepting my first three chapters…provisionally. And exclusively.

Still, Young Barry was quite thrilled to get this missive. It was the closest thing to an acceptance I’d had on a novel in…

Well, ever.

Sadly, after the two-week exclusivity period, I was rejected. The rejection letter is lost to the mists of time1, so I only have this tidbit of possibility to show you.



  1. Well, actually I probably just threw it away at some point, but “mists of time” sounds so much better, doesn’t it?

This Week in Rejection!: North American Review

North American Review

 

“The editors regret that the enclosed contribution is not adapted to the particular needs of the NAR at the present time.”

Are you kidding me?

This Week in Rejection!: DC Comics

I had submitted something or other to DC at some point and was told that they couldn’t accept it because the character in question was already reserved for someone else’s use. Then I submitted something and was told that the character in question wasn’t “cool” enough.

So, I did something sort of cheeky and I’m surprised it worked at all — I sent in a list of characters I was interested in and said, basically, “Look, it would save us both a lot of time (and me a lot paper and stamps) if you would just check off the characters that are both considered ‘cool’ at the moment and are also unreserved for someone else’s use.”

In retrospect, it wasn’t the slickest move. But as you can see in the personal note jotted below…it worked.

dc_rejection

To a degree. Yeah, I got my list, but twenty years later, twelve novels, and a New York Times bestseller…and I still haven’t gotten to write anything for DC Comics.

No, no, I’m OK — I just have something in my eye, is all.

This Week in Rejection!: Iconoclast

Hmm.

Untitled

Read that carefully.

It’s not technically a rejection, is it? It just says they read it and considered it, and that they thank me for submitting.

But they didn’t accept it, either. So it exists in some quantum state of rejection and non-rejection.

Hmm.

(BTW, the story referenced, “When I Die” is currently posted over on Figment, if you want to read it for free.)

This Week in Rejection!: Redbook

Redbook?

Redbook???

Yeah, Redbook. [Read more…]