Friday, 24 January 2014


Dear Ms. Wilson,

Thank you for your submission to our magazine, unfortunately...


That's how it goes. The life cycle of a rejection slip. But rejection isn't always a bad thing. Sure, there's the generic "Thanks but no thanks" but every so often you get a rejection with a compliment. A rejection that begs you to try them again. Well, okay, not so much begs as suggests. But the mere suggestion that you try them again holds promise. It says, "Hey, You did something so right it compelled me to tell you to try my magazine again. You just didn't do it right enough."

Remember, being rejected doesn't necessarily mean you did something wrong. All it means, if you boil it down, is the person who considered it for their magazine didn't like it enough to print it. It doesn't even mean they didn't like it. They may have enjoyed it just fine, but there were other pieces which stood out more than yours did.

I could tell you how to deal with rejection, but I'm not so sure myself sometimes. I usually take it pretty well. I read it, I delete it and I forget about it. If I really like the magazine, I might send them something different, guidelines permitting, of course. 

Rejection is part of being a writer. To get out there you have to submit, and if you submit you risk rejection. Rejections will likely show up in our inbox more often than acceptances, but that makes the acceptance letters all the sweeter.

I used to be scared of rejection. Absolutely terrified. It was so bad that I wouldn't submit my work anywhere. But that wasn't anyway to get published, was it? So I started subbing to magazines. There were a lot of rejections at first, but I kept on working. Now, every so often, a nice little acceptance pops up in my inbox. Those little letters make everything worth it. All the early morning writing sessions. All the little rejections. It all fades away with the words "It is my pleasure to offer you publication of..."

I implore you, shut out the voice that shouts "Why bother?"

Listen instead to the one who whispers, "Why not try again?"

No comments:

Post a Comment