Welcomed Rejection Letter!

elephant river

Rejection can be painful. Most of us don’t enjoy receiving a thumbs-down for writing we’ve submitted to potential publishers or agents. Yesterday’s email held a letter regarding a submission I’d made last July to a children’s magazine. Yes, they’re running behind, as the website says they’ll get back to those who submit in one month’s time. I’ve grown to expect those types of delays. With books and stories for kids, no response at all is often the norm, unless they want to publish your work. Even when responses are sent, they’re often generic and give no advice. Why was this a welcomed rejection?

Although an acceptance on this story would have been wonderful, I certainly appreciated the letter. It was personalized and contained insights from multiple readers as to how I could fashion this as a stronger piece of writing. The suggestions were sound and offered in a very positive manner. Because I’ve continued to tweak this story during the past year with the help of my critique groups, I’ve already resolved some of the issues. A few of the ideas remain to be addressed. Yesterday was a good day. This rejection meant that the effort taken to submit was worthwhile and that someone read my story.

You might be wondering if the Pixabay images signify rejection as “the elephant in the room.” In fact, the pictures are related to my story, which is based on a true childhood event. More about that in the future, I’m sure. Feel free to share your experiences with rejection or feedback from publishers and agents in the comments. Keep writing!          ~Becky

elephant bathing


30 thoughts on “Welcomed Rejection Letter!

  1. I got one of those once from the New Yorker about 100 years ago. Several of the readers liked it, but the one who had the say-so didn’t. And sometimes acceptance is worse than rejection. I had that experience with The Brothers Path. Two publishers wanted it and I had to choose. I chose the one who would publish soonest. He went out of business. I re-pitched it to the other publisher who’d wanted it who turned it own the second time. Sour grapes? I don’t know.

    Another experience was with Martin of Gfenn. It found and agent who sat on it for a year and did nothing. That turned out good for me and the book because when I got it back, I improved it exponentially. Now I don’t submit anything, not so much out of fear of rejection, but because I like designing my books and I just don’t want to deal with the whole thing any more. The whole writing journey has taught me a lot about myself, who I am, what I value, stuff I didn’t even know 20 some years ago.

    And yes. Keep writing as long as it brings you joy. ❤ I'm interested in the elephants.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Such an interesting publication path you’ve followed, Martha! I understand what you’re saying about acceptance not always being perfection or even the best thing, and you certainly have several good examples! I’m glad that you’ve found what works for you. One of these days I’ll reveal more about the elephants:)

      Liked by 3 people

  2. As one who has made a career of being been both rejected and accepted often (for illustration, writing and fine art) the personal touches – whether of rejection or acceptance – are the ones that mean something, are usually helpful. That said I don’t take anything seriously (from either rejection or acceptance) until I hear the similar things from 3 different, unrelated sources. Do what you love because you love it, because it brings you joy to be in the process – and the heck with all comments pro or con. 😉 Best of luck with your elephants futures!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I received a personal rejection on a story from Carve. The story was well-received by the reading committee, but all deemed it too long. I’d already cut quite a bit before I sent it out, but based on the feedback, I cut a little more. This is the reader comment that has stuck with me: “This was a rather sad and unpleasant story, yet told beautifully and thoroughly.”

    Liked by 1 person

  4. And of course, the fact that they took so much time and trouble over the rejection shows that they felt your writing is good. The closer you are to being accepted, the chattier and friendlier the rejections are… I applaud your attitude at the rejection:) It’s the only way to keep improving.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Congrats – that’s always so exciting to receive a personalized rejection letter! I hope all of the feedback leads to the piece being published soon! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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