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Nicest and Most Thoughltess Rejection Letters

Posted: Thu Mar 11, 2004 7:06 pm
by wyndham
Here's a topic we can all share--rejection. I'd like to know what you thought were the nicest and most thoughtless (or most humiliating) rejections you received. More than one to a category is acceptable.

My nicest one was from an editor who almost accepted my story for an anthology, and she actually told me that, instead of leaving me to wonder. Since it was one of my first submissions, it helped me deal with the many rejections to come. Glimmer Train is also very nice. They always ask to see more, and the first five or six times, I believed them.

Meanest is a tie -- "Thank you, no" in read ink at the top of my cover letter, returned less that two weeks after I submitted it.

One page with "SORRY" printed all over it in big bold letters, returned with my first page.

Most humiliating was when I saw that the editor had hand-written something at the bottom of my rejection letter. I was expecting some ideas for improvement and a suggestion to re-submit. Nope, it said "thank you so much for your recent subscription."

Posted: Thu Mar 11, 2004 7:10 pm
by JillStar
I have received two rejection letters recently from different publishers and they were almost identical.

Form letters saying ... thanks for sending, not what we need, don't have time for comment, have a nice day.

Oh... I just remembered a cartoon my mother send to me of Snoopy... I'll post it next.

Posted: Thu Mar 11, 2004 7:17 pm
by JillStar
My mother sent this to me: Picture Snoopy getting the mail and reading it while walking around the yard.

Dear Contributor,

We are returning your dumb story.
Note that we have not included our return address.
We have moved to a new office,
and we don't want you to know where we are.

Posted: Thu Mar 11, 2004 7:34 pm
by Mlou
I've had all kinds. Only had 2 regarding the book so far...some agents still reading. One "declined further interest". I thought that was coldly polite.
Another had "a full roster so was accepting new projects on a very selective basis." She did however "encourage you to continue submitting." Obviously she wants other agents to suffer too.
But I've also had very nice ones and, often from greeting card editors (to whom I've sold tons in the past) very funny ones.

Posted: Sat Apr 03, 2004 9:15 pm
by level9
I entered the 2002 Star Trek writing contest and read many rumors that you are lucky to get any comments written on rejections other than a form letter.
Also, they go through 20,000+ entries. If you make it to the "second read" pile, it means they have narrowed you down to the best 300 or so.

My story was rejected- however the editor wrote a nice note on it that said:

"Your writing is already very strong. This made it to my second read pile. Please be sure to continue writing and I'll look for a submission from you next year."

I felt pretty good about that for a rejection.

Posted: Sat Apr 03, 2004 11:42 pm
by Inkslinger
The nicest rejection I ever received told me the editors had argued over my story, but ultimately decided to reject it. However, it did make me wonder what was the deciding fact, the thing that made them so no.

Posted: Sun Apr 04, 2004 12:25 am
by Hyker
level9 wrote:I entered the 2002 Star Trek writing contest and read many rumors that you are lucky to get any comments written on rejections other than a form letter.
Also, they go through 20,000+ entries. If you make it to the "second read" pile, it means they have narrowed you down to the best 300 or so.

My story was rejected- however the editor wrote a nice note on it that said:

"Your writing is already very strong. This made it to my second read pile. Please be sure to continue writing and I'll look for a submission from you next year."

I felt pretty good about that for a rejection.


Thats the kind of rejection letter I'd like to get. What a motivator to keep writing. :D

Posted: Sat Oct 07, 2006 12:19 pm
by JillStar
Any rejection letter lately?

Posted: Sun Oct 08, 2006 8:04 am
by blank_parchment
Ah, my favorite rejection letter was the second I received. Basically, they've all had the same format, "no thanks, maybe next time," and this one wasn't different, but they went to the trouble of typing my name at the top. Only they spelled it wrong--of by three letter. It was, I guess, a fairly simple typo, but I found it both hilarious and crushing at the same time. Great memories...

Posted: Sun Oct 08, 2006 1:05 pm
by JillStar
Uuugh. I can see why you would feel crushed and yet laugh at the same time. That's embarrassing for them more than for you, that's for sure.

I just think if they're going to take the time to type your name... they could at least take the time to spell it "write". :-P On the other hand, now that you can look back... do you really want a publisher to take your story with the fear they'll get your name spelt wrong on the cover... or the words spelt wrong in the story? :shock:

Posted: Mon Oct 09, 2006 11:38 am
by timberline
I just received a thoughtful and encouraging rejection from Orchid: A Literary Review. They thanked me for submitting, said they carefully read the story, and were sorry to report it didn't meet their needs. Then they said, "We're writers too, and understand the disappointment of rejection." (Reminds me of old girlfriends.) And, "The average story is rejected 25...times," and an "editor told Nabokov Lolita should be buried under a large stone."

My piece was less than 1,800 words, so perhaps a smaller stone is reserved for me.

Posted: Mon Oct 09, 2006 12:06 pm
by xcheck24
Worse than the rejection letter is the no reply.
I sent out a few things a year ago and received NOTHING in response.

Posted: Tue Oct 10, 2006 9:43 am
by Delaney
I just received a thoughtful and encouraging rejection from Orchid: A Literary Review. They thanked me for submitting, said they carefully read the story, and were sorry to report it didn't meet their needs. Then they said, "We're writers too, and understand the disappointment of rejection." (Reminds me of old girlfriends.) And, "The average story is rejected 25...times," and an "editor told Nabokov Lolita should be buried under a large stone."

My piece was less than 1,800 words, so perhaps a smaller stone is reserved for me.


See, I can't share in any of these miseries because mine is so completely different: I haven't even finished a story yet, nevermind get rejection letters for it. Be glad you've at least gotten that far.

Posted: Tue Oct 10, 2006 7:20 pm
by hyperfine
I've only ever got the bland polite kind.

Must start submitting more diligently to build my collection.

Posted: Tue Oct 10, 2006 8:22 pm
by Anblick
Delaney wrote:
I just received a thoughtful and encouraging rejection from Orchid: A Literary Review. They thanked me for submitting, said they carefully read the story, and were sorry to report it didn't meet their needs. Then they said, "We're writers too, and understand the disappointment of rejection." (Reminds me of old girlfriends.) And, "The average story is rejected 25...times," and an "editor told Nabokov Lolita should be buried under a large stone."

My piece was less than 1,800 words, so perhaps a smaller stone is reserved for me.


See, I can't share in any of these miseries because mine is so completely different: I haven't even finished a story yet, nevermind get rejection letters for it. Be glad you've at least gotten that far.


Well, Del, we can have a pity party together. Though I have finished a few SS, I've never had the urge to submit them yet, though I would like to see about possibly doing it for "Sins of the Father" just not sure which mag it'd fit best in...