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“Going through a drawer I found the submissions/applications log I've kept off and on over the years. Just in case you think it's all been roses I'd like to report that Yaddo rejected me (as recently as 2011). McDowell rejected me. Hedgebrook rejected me twice. The Georgia Review rejected me and Ploughshares rejected me and Tin House rejected me, as did about twenty other journals and magazines. Both The Sun and The Missouri Review rejected me before I appeared in their pages. Literary Arts declined to give me a fellowship three times before I won one. I've applied for an NEA five times and it's always been a no. Harper's magazine never even bothered to reply. I say it all the time but I'll say it again: keep on writing. Never give up. Rejection is part of a writer's life. Then, now, always.”—
Unfortunately, This Piece Is Not for Us: Handling Rejection
Rejection is a thing that happens to writers who seek publication. Getting a story rejected is a sad thing. It hurts. Rejection is universal, but that fact does not make the feeling suck any less. Because you have already been rejected or will be rejected at some point in the future, here are a few things to keep in mind regarding the word “no.”
I wish modern day rejection letters were more like this. My favorite is #14. Improbable.
The rejection slip the motion picture studio Essanay Film Manufacturing Company (1907-1925) sent screenwriters whose submissions were found wanting. Essanay is best remembered today for its series of Charlie Chaplin films.
(via Silent Movies: The Birth of Film and the Triumph of Movie Culture)
The Reverse Rejection Letter
Dear College or University,
Having now reviewed the many rejection letters received in the last few weeks, it is with great regret that, despite your college’s outstanding qualifications and previous experience in rejecting applicants, I must inform you that I am unable to accept your rejection at this time.
This year I have been particularly fortunate in receiving an unusually large number of rejection letters. Unfortunately, the number of rejection letters that I can accept is very limited. It is for this reason that I was forced to reject the rejection letters of many qualified institutions. Please understand that this is in no way a judgment of you as a college or as an institution, since my decision has more to do with the rejection pool than anything else— with such a varied and promising field of candidates, it is impossible for me to accept all refusals.
This was not an easy task. Each rejection was reviewed carefully and on an individual basis. Many factors were taken into account, such as size of the institution, student-faculty ratio, location, reputation, cost and social atmosphere. Elimination under this system does not mean your university is not suitable for rejection, but merely reflects the high caliber of colleges and universities competing for my acceptance of their rejection letters.
I am aware of the disappointment that this decision may bring, for these were not easy judgments. Throughout my deliberations, I have kept in mind the importance to you of this decision. I wish it were possible to cite specific reasons for each of the determinations I have made but, frankly, it is not.
It was even necessary for me to reject some letters that were clearly qualified as rejections. This is surely my loss. Since all of my decisions are made at one time and all available rejection spaces have been committed, all decisions are final. Therefore, I am sorry to say I will be attending your university this Fall. I look forward to seeing you then.
I appreciate your disinterest in me, and, although it may seem inappropriate to you at this time, let me take the opportunity to wish you the best of luck in rejecting future applicants.
The moment of knowing it's too late..
Have you ever had a crush for so long but you never had the chance to say how you truly feel? Do you feel hesitant, awkward, or fear the pain of rejection? Because if you made up your mind and see that someone beat you to that special someone of yours then you will have the feeling that you were too late.