LiteraryRejectionsIf you’re submitting work, you’re getting rejections, and the website Literary Rejections contains just the inspiration you need to keep going. Here are some examples:

  • After 5 years of continual rejection, the writer finally lands a publishing deal: Agatha Christie. Her book sales are now in excess of $2 billion. Only William Shakespeare has sold more.
  • “Too different from other juveniles on the market to warrant its selling.” A rejection letter sent to Dr Seuss. 300 million sales and the 9th best-selling fiction author of all time.
  • 140 rejections stating “Anthologies don’t sell” until the Chicken Soup for the Soul series by Jack Canfield & Mark Victor Hansen sells 125 million copies.

Thanks to Gayle Keck for sending this best rejection slip ever, translated from a Chinese economic journal. (Gayle did not receive the rejection letter; she just read about it.)

“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 as 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.”

100 Rejections

June 2, 2004 | Comments Off on 100 Rejections

I love Lowrey McFerrin’s idea that new writers should strive for their first 100 rejections … and that along the way they’ll inevitably have a few pieces accepted, as well. I’ve been writing for a couple of years now, but am just beginning to send stories out, so I have a long ways to go towards my first 100R.

However, in the spirit of revelling in those rejections, I’d like to announce that I’ve just received two: the San Francisco Chronicle Magazine declined to accept my The Naughties Wedding, and Seal Press’ A Matter of Choice was unable to use my essay, A Conversation with Fritjof Capra.

Best Rejection

January 5, 2004 | Comments Off on Best Rejection

Michael Shapiro wins the “best rejection letter” prize for this note from the travel editor at a midwestern paper: “Really interesting story. I would have liked to use it on Jan. 4 but we have a huge new airport parking lot opening Jan. 5, and the Jan. 4 section will be a consumer guide to parking opportunities at the airport.” Michael says, “This would have really hurt had it been a rejection ‘ fortunately he was just telling me why he was running my story a week later than planned.” Thanks for a good laugh, Michael, and I hope you’ll provide a URL so we can read your story when it finally does appear!

Feeling Rejected?

December 30, 2003 | Comments Off on Feeling Rejected?

Terry Hennessy shared a wonderfully inspiring list of famous authors who have endured many rejection letters. It’s great reading when you’re feeling discouraged.

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