Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Wednesday Discussion: Receieved Any Interesting Rejection Letters Lately?

"...not what we're looking for."
"We have read your manuscript with boundless delight.  If we were to publish your paper, it would be impossible for us to publish any work of lower standard.  And it is unthinkable that in the next thousand years we shall see its equal.  We are, to our regret, compelled to return your divine composition, and to beg you a thousand times to overlook our short sight and timidity."  A rejection from a Chinese economic journal

What are some of the most interesting rejections you've received lately?  Although I've never gotten anything so glowing as the one above, it does seem that the agents/publishers do try soften the blow a bit by offering encouragement.  I've received more than one rejection (form letters) that said many bestsellers were rejected numerous times before being selected by just the right agent.

Then I've received a few standard stock lines such as "your story just doesn't fit our needs," and "your story just doesn't move me like I thought it would."

Norma Beishir shared last week that she'd received a rejection regarding a short story she'd submitted to a magazine about a friend and her ex-husband that said, "There's no way these people could be real!"

What about you? Care to share some of your most interesting rejections?  Thanks for visiting!


chadmawn said...

I've submitted one story and gotten one rejection. Since it's my only one, I'm not sure if it's interesting or not, but I had submitted a short story to a UK publisher for consideration in a children's fantasy anthology they were putting together. The letter was very polite and encouraging and they basically told me that they enjoyed my story and found the premise "engaging and original", but that it "could benefit from a further edit to really tighten it up". I printed out the letter and put it in a folder, that I'm sure will become fatter as time goes by. ;)

Nas Dean said...

Hi Maria,

My rejection letter contained "While action-packed and mission-oriented, the scope of these stories should be more contained, with more focus turned to character development. All stories should be capable of standing alone; all loose ends need to be tied up, and the relationship between hero and heroine should resolve itself in a satisfying manner. Although your story contains some of these elements, it lacks others"

ANd yet, all loose ends were tied, the h/h resolved their relationship...I don't really know what to think!

Elaine AM Smith said...

Rejections, even the short ones, have to win over the sound of silence and the empty in-box.

I'm about to start the Query process again. Do you think I should try holding my breath? It worked one Christmas when I wished for snow, I think I may give it a try again ;)

Melissa said...

I haven't started querying yet so no rejection letters on my plate so far.... All I can say is that...when it's my turn. I just want them to flat out reject me. I mean, it's what they're doing anyway. Any sort of softening is simply trying to make themselves feel better (IMO). It certainly wouldn't make me feel better. It doesn't change what happened. Maybe that's a negative outlook but..... I can't help how I feel.

Old Kitty said...

I got one or three form rejections for my short stories - nothing as fabulous as the one you got from the Chinese economic journal !! That's a great rejection letter!!

Take care

Myne Whitman said...

You really got that rejection? LOL...

I seem to only get the stock rejections. Sorry you're not right for us or vice versa.

Janet Johnson said...

That top one is too funny! I haven't dived into submissions enough for any interesting rejections, but I'm sure I'll someday get my fair share. :)

Anonymous said...

chadmawn, that's *very* encouraging for a first rejection!

I haven't gotten any really unusual rejection letters ... but over the years I've gone from the form slips to the personal letters, and from straight out rejections to requests for fulls. Now that I've sold a novel -- there's no guarantee I won't get a rejection next time. But it's an ongoing process!

Maria McKenzie said...

@chadmawn: Hope you've worked on tightening up your story! If you have, submit it to some other places:).

@Nas: It's hard to say what you can think! Get another writer to read your work and see what he/she thinks.

@Elaine: I think I'll try holding my breath too! If it works for a white Christmas, it ought to get us published;).

@Melissa: I don't know. I like the blow softened just a little, especially if they liked it--a little.

@Old Kitty: That rejection from the Chinese economic joournal is NOT one I received:). Nothing I've gotten even comes close to that!

@Myne: As I said to Old Kitty, that is NOT a rejection letter I received! Only a really great one to share with the blogosphere. I know nothing about economics! My rejections are mainly of the stock variety, too:).

@Janet: Hopefully you'll get pubilshed before you receive anything too out of the ordinary:)!

@ozma914: Wow! You've sold a novel! Now your foots in the door:). Since you're published, at least your next queries will be given serious consideration!