My first rejection letter!


Written on Monday, May 19, 2008 by haleigh

I am proud to announce that this morning, I received my first rejection letter. I tried my hand at flash fiction (though I had no idea what I was doing), and submitted (on a dare from a friend) to a literary magazine. And as far as rejection letters go, it didn't seem all that bad. In fact, I'm still smiling about it:


Thank you for your interest in ----. Our decisions were difficult, but we have decided not to use your submission. We have included below our editors' comments on your work; we hope you find them useful. Please note that we are closed to submissions until June 1, when our Fall issue reading period opens.


Editor 5 Vote: Maybe
Ed. 5 Comments: This starts off very strong but the murder revelation feels like a gimmick. Otherwise written well.

Editor 6 Vote: No
Ed. 6 Comments: Although the writing is good, the first mention of a husband comes too late in the story and as a result, the murder confession seems tacked on for shock value.


In the submission explanation on this magazine's website, they warn that all editor's comments are unedited, and often not positive. You need two maybe's or one yes to move on to the final round of editing.

So........not bad, right??? I got a "starts off very strong," "writing is good," and "written well." And I got one maybe. There was no "you suck," no "stop writing now," no "I wanted to poke my eyes out halfway through this and eat them."

I'll take it!

I know it's a rejection, but for some reason, I'm just all smiles and thrilled with myself right now. An actual editor gave me a "maybe"!!!!

After my whole crisis-of-faith this weekend (see voodoo doll below and the clumping of voodoo pins in the balls-region), I'm back to feeling better about myself and my abilities. Even if the encouragement is in the form of a rejection.

Anyone else have rejection letters they're proud of? Or am I just insane?

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  1. Sin |

    Dude! Wow! How awesome is that! This totally makes my week for you! And especially after that crapfest FF weekend, I'm over the moon for you!

    Rejection is rejection. It's not a reflection of character. It's a reflection of where your work is. You have a starting point to continue onward. You know where you need to improve. Learning curves! You're gonna make it!

  2. Sin |

    Dude. I have a rejection letter. Standard rejection. Your third person POV makes me want to poke my eyes out, sort of thing. Which writing in third person does that to me as well so I will steer clear without much heartbreak.

  3. haleigh |

    Isn't it just wonderful! I'm so proud of myself :)

    It's funny - I feel the same way about first person that you feel about third person!

    I'm sure that after a few more rejection letters, I'll no longer be quite so enthralled with them. LOL

  4. Marnee Jo |

    Congrats on the rejection Hal! :) I think....

    This Mark fellow down below obviously has no clue what he's talking about and deserves the needles in the various parts that he received.

    Besides, men don't know romance. (How's that for horrible sexism and sweeping generalizations?)

    Ok, some men don't know romance.

  5. Lin |

    OMG congrats on the amazing rejection! Saying that felt so wrong... LOL. But it was totally great critique though. I'm so happy for you!

    And Mark needs to grow a brain, your writing is exceptional. *sticks a few more needles into his parts*

  6. haleigh |

    Marnee - thanks! I agree - men can't possibly understand a romance novel :) This guy reads something terrible called literature and then compares my brilliance to that! Can you believe it? LMAO! How's yours coming?

    Lin!!!!! Hi! Thanks - I was pretty excited by the critique too. And yes, he needs way more voodoo pins! thanks for virtually shoving some in his balls :)

  7. Marnee Jo |

    I'm getting there. My page-o-meter is at 229, my word count in MS Word says 51,078. So, doing ok, I suppose.

    Working on my sex scene. If you've been to the boat this week you know I've been stressing it.


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