Monday, October 20, 2014

Rejecting Rejection: Just say, “baaaaaah” to rejection

Feeling frustrated about the long wait times to hear back from editors? Why wait endlessly for an editor’s rejection when you can write your very own? That’s what I did in this write-yourself-a-rejection “assignment.” (My critique group often gives unique assignments such as this to get creative and let off steam.)

Enjoy! And please comment below with your own favorite fun-to-decipher (real or imagined) editorial comments.

Here’s my letter to myself:

Dear You-Wish-You-Were-a-Writer,

We regret the need to send you this form letter for your recent submission.
We don’t want your story.
We don’t want you to revise it.
We don’t want to see it or hear from you again.
Sorry to be so blunt, but we’ve been accused of being unclear in the past.
However, since we kept your story longer than: (circle one)

Longer than the submission guidelines on our website

Longer than we stated in the SCBWI or CWIM market guides

Longer than is necessary, reasonable, humane

Longer than 3 years

Longer than the postal rate on your SASE (that’s why this letter is coming to you postage due)

All of the above

Okay, so we kept it too long!

Since we kept your manuscript so long we thought you’d enjoy a personal note from a real live editor for you to endlessly ponder. Here goes:   

Dear Author,
We passed your story around the office for months, I mean years on end and everyone got a chuckle, especially the janitor. But what’s with the talking bees? Haven’t you ever attended an SCBWI conference? Don’t you know we don’t like talking animals? And while we say that we don’t want rhyme, even though your story does not rhyme, perhaps my underlying message is you might want to try rhyme? 

Still, the janitor liked it so if you want to submit to him in the future, feel free. He just got a new pet goat (that talks by the way). He brings Gertie to work most nights so we should be getting through the slush pile much faster from now on.   
Sincerely yours,

Emily Editor

** No real goats, janitors or editors were harmed in the writing of this blog post. All goats, editors and janitors mentioned here are completely fictitious. Any resemblance to real goats, janitors or editors is purely coincidental.

When I joined The Revisionaries critique group none of The Revisionaries were published. Now we all are. The Revisionaries often give each other random assignments to let loose and keep creative.

When I originally wrote the above rejection letter to myself, I was also unpublished. Now I have the following books to my name, including a story with talking bees! 

This blog post is also posted on The Writing Barn's Rejecting Rejection series:
Thanks, Bethany for including me.

Forecast: Chances of intermittent rejection, with steady times of creativity, humor, heart & hope!
Just say, “baaaaaah” to rejection!