Writers deal with rejection. A lot of rejection.
We want your rejections.
That’s right: send us your rejection letters, your correspondences with editors, your favorite acceptance mail, or anything else you want to share with other writers and we’ll share your comments on our blog.
What you can send:
- Rejections letters.
- Correspondence with editors or writers.
- Favorite acceptance mail.
- We’ll accept .jpegs or .gifs of correspondence and screenshots or replicated copies of emails.
- Rejections and correspondence should conceal the name of the publication and the staff member who wrote the letter.
- Acceptance mail can include the publication’s name if you’d like (we leave that up to you!).
What you should add:
- Give us some background on the piece you submitted. Otherwise, there might be some hidden messages in those letters we won’t be able to appreciate fully.
- Tell us how you celebrate your acceptances! Do you treat yourself to a nice glass of wine? A fancy dinner? Or do you turn to the page and let the acceptance fuel your writing?
- Include any lessons or tips you have learned from your many (but hopefully not too many) rejections–and successes. Help your fellow hopeful writers figure it out.
Submissions will be edited for clarity, grammar, and spelling. While we hope to share all submissions on our blog, Atticus Books reserves the right not to publish any submission we feel isn’t in the spirit of enlightenment and sharing (e.g. if your post is filled with rancor, it’s unlikely we’ll publish it). Questions? Send an e-mail to email@example.com with “Rejection Letter” in the subject line.
In The Book I Will Write aspiring writer John Henry Fleming reaches out to a fictional editor at Knopf Publishing and, rather than reject his correspondence, she takes the unusual leap of writing back. The Book I Will Write is an interactive project where readers are encouraged to comment on each serial installment to influence the novel’s progression.
You are invited to comment on each episode, write your own imaginary letters for the Knopf editor, Ms. Hollymore, or tell John Henry Fleming what you think he should try next with his book to pique the editor’s interest.
Read the initial five installments of The Book I Will Write.
Hmm, I liked it when Barry Graham had a blog where he described his rejections–not sure about a publisher hosted forum, though. Seems a little conflict-y. Curious about what you get, though.
I once received a rejection email from a fairly prestigious magazine. Half of the rejection was a love letter: how much they loved the prose, how the characters felt so alive and real, etc. However, it ended with a rejection. I didn’t keep the email so I don’t remember the exact wording, but it said something about how ultimately it was “the immigrant story” as if all immigrants, regardless if they’re from China or Italy, or from middle class or starving, and leaving for political reason or for the hell of it all have only one story to tell. I felt so offended by the comment that I broke my usual rule and wrote back stating that I found his comments offensive. I was vindicated in a number of ways: 1. it won a national fiction contest with a much better, much more reputable magazine; 2. two months after the story was published, I received a call from a famous New York agent, who had read it and was very impressed with it, and 3. a well known writer at Sewanee overheard me tell the story while we were waiting online for lunch, and he asked me which magazine it was, so that he could be sure never to submit to them. I won’t give more details because I don’t want to piss off anyone in this very small publishing world.