So What’s the Worst Rejection You’ve Ever Had?

Oh, rejections- just part of writing, really. I admit that I don’t much mind the form-letter rejections, since it only means I am free to flip the story around to another market. Keeping my nose to the grindstone, as it were.

I can honestly say I’ve never felt personally attacked by a rejection, but others really don’t take it well.  I obviously feel a twinge when I have high hopes for a story, only to have those hopes dashed, but man, I don’t ever want to be bitter!

Recently, I had my worst rejection: I sent a submission to an anthology that I thought I had a good shot at.  Well, a good amount of time went by and The anthology went to social media and posted the table of contents.

I wasn’t on there, and I hadn’t received a rejection. Yikes! So, I emailed the contest manager asking if I could get a formal rejection so that I could put it to bed. I got a one-line reply confirming that the anthology was full, and then below it was written, “please forgive me.”

Well, ok then.


I know rejection is part of writing, and most days it doesn’t bother me much. Getting shortlisted is pretty flattering, albeit tantalizing, so when a story I had really high hopes for was rejected this weekend after being held for three months, I was disappointed.

I’m not depressed, or wallowing in self-loathing, or really anything serious. I just feel like I should be able to say out loud: Darn, thought I had it. I’m a little bummed.

So, back to it.

picture credit: Jonathan J Bohndus 

Cope with Rejection Like a Boss

I found a great new blog today called Rejectomacy! The latest post is an interview with Gabrielle Harbowy, managing editor at Dragon Moon Press:

As an editor, Gabrielle has many strange and wondrous powers, one of which is removing rejectomancy points from foolish Rejectomancers who fall prey to SSD (special snowflake disorder) or FTFFD (failure to follow fucking directions). But her powers are not always used for evil, and her suite of extraordinary abilities includes many that are beneficial to the Rejectomancer. Follow all the submission guidelines, proofread and revise your story, and she may bestow such boons as Read to the End or Create Constructive Criticism or that most potent of editorial blessings, Aura of Acceptance. But writers beware, she also has access to the dreaded Random Reject Table.

Read the rest here.

And remember everyone- drown your sorrows in non-destructive ways!

Now excuse me while I have my third cup of therapy coffee- time to get to heart-exploding levels!

The Best Rejection Letters EVER

rejectedCome now, we all know the secret to good writing is ignoring your novel manuscripts and blogging about writing instead (data backs this up; don’t test me.)

When you get a form letter form an editor, you’re hosed. Walk away and have more drinks than you might have been inclined to have initially.

When they take the time to write something like, “this really didn’t hold my interest,” go bite a wood plank in half and vow to send them passive aggressive letters when you make it big.

Recently, I have been getting nicer rejections. One said, “This is great story and you build a wonderful mood. We can’t use it in this issue, but we want to see more from you!”

INDEED? Well, I will crack you open, then. Half of getting a short story published is figuring out what the editor really wants, like figuring out a puzzle.

My latest rejection read: “We very much enjoyed this story, especially the setting, but it lacks ‘x’ element and that is what we want in our anthology. We wish you all the best.”


I like you, mister editor. I will send you kittens.