Friday, April 6, 2007

Put Those Rejections Behind You

"I discovered that rejections are not altogether a bad thing. They teach a writer to rely on his own judgment and to say in his heart of hearts, ‘To hell with you'.” – Saul Bellow

If you’ve been writing professionally for any length of time, you’ve probably amassed a nice little rejection folder. In some cases...maybe not so little. Now, thanks to a company in Raleigh, North Carolina, there’s a perfect way to put those rejection letters behind printing them onto rolls of customized toilet paper (facial quality, but not two-ply). At ninety bucks a roll and a minimum order of four rolls, the price of revenge is not exactly cheap.

Here is a response that might work better for you:

And because misery loves company:

"I’m sorry, Mr. Kipling, but you just don’t know how to use the English language.” Editor of The San Francisco Examiner to Rudyard Kipling.

“The girl doesn’t, it seems to me, have a special perception or feeling which would lift that book above the ‘curiosity’ level.” A letter rejecting The Diary of Anne Frank.

“An endless nightmare. I do not believe it would ‘take’...I think the verdict would be ‘Oh, don’t read that horrid book’.” A rejection received by H. G. Wells for The War of the Worlds.

To William Faulkner: “If the book had a plot and structure, we might suggest shortening and revising, but it is so diffuse that I don’t think this would be of any use. My chief objection is that you don’t have any story to tell.” Two years later, he received this one: “Good God, I can’t publish this!”

How about you? Care to share with the world your most memorable rejection?

I’ll start. This one came from an editor at Harlequin Intrigue who shall remain nameless because a) contrary to some of my actions at the national conference, I’m not stupid; b) it was a long time ago (twenty years!) and the editor is no longer with Harlequin; and c) I’m getting old and can’t remember her name anyway.

“We love your title! Unfortunately, the rest of the story doesn’t quite work for us.”

Your turn.

Amanda Stevens

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