View Full Version : What do you do with them all?

06-20-2005, 03:24 AM
I'm curious, what do you guys do with your rejection letters?

Stephen King had a nail he stuck all of them on until it could hold no more.

For my current project, I have a 3x4 foot space on my wall where I tack up the rejection letters. Most of them remain in their trifold, but if they include constructive criticism I tack the letter like a picture to remind me that I'm getting somewhere.

Do you do something similar? Throw them away? Imprison them in a dusty drawer? Or what?


06-20-2005, 03:42 AM
I get them in the post, and say 'oh that's another story to revise and send out again'. Then, I always *intend* to keep them somewhere for posterity, but usually forget. Instead, I just dump them somewhere, find them a few weeks/months later, intend to do something with them, forget, dump them somewhere, find them again... and so on.

I must do something with them...

06-20-2005, 06:21 AM
They either end up in a pile with all the other papers or else shredded. I don't find I'm emotionally attached to them. Though maybe I should keep them. I was recently sorting through the piles, in a vain attempt to organize, and came across a rejection letter from a greeting card company when I was first starting out. At the time, I had been having excellent luck getting accepted, so when I got this rejection on my first batch of greeting card ideas from the first company I submitted them, too, I instantly assumed I wasn't meant to write greeting cards. Now it is a few years later -- I'm certain this particular rejection was shuffled about in various half-hearted cleaning attempts; really I'm not that bad of a housekeeper -- I was rereading it and realized they weren't saying the ideas were bad. They were just saying they were all stocked up. They even invited me to send more.

And, yes, I am in the process of re-examining the greeting card market from an older, wiser, more mature perspective.

06-22-2005, 08:37 PM
I keep them all in a scrapbook. It may be cheesy, but it reminds me that I'm doing something. In fact, if I'm not adding to it regularly enough, it's time to apply the lash.

Nicholas S.H.J.M Woodhouse
06-22-2005, 08:44 PM
It sounds strange, but I turn them into songs. Nothing fancy, just songs.

06-22-2005, 08:54 PM
I'm boring. I put 'em in the file folder labeled for the piece they reject, with a master list of where I've subbed that particular piece paperclipped to the folder...

Kiva Wolfe
06-22-2005, 09:00 PM
At first, I tacked them to a wall over my desk as each card or letter came in. When I couldn't see the wall anymore, I moved them to a three-ring notebook. Too cheap to buy a wider notebook, I eventually filed them under: Ye Old Rejects.

Now, I keep them out of my mind.

06-22-2005, 09:27 PM
I'm planning to wallpaper a room in my house with them. Seriously.

06-23-2005, 02:52 AM
I just delete them.

06-23-2005, 02:56 AM
they make great wallpapers for the bathroom, especially around the crapper.

06-23-2005, 03:06 AM
Defy them.

Julie Worth
06-23-2005, 03:57 AM
First I read between the lines. In the rare case where I find nothing there, I examine both sides of the paper for small, penciled messages. These are more common than you might think. In the remaining few percent, I apply lemon juice or fuming ammonia to detect any invisible writing.

Surprisingly, almost all so-called rejections are actually lovely letters, gushing with praise for my writing. Most of them are requesting the full MS. So why do the agents do this? Why do they make it so hard? Well, I donít know for sure, but my guess is they have very little to do, so they play these games. And maybe it helps them weed out the beginners and dabblers from those who are (like me) truly professional.

06-23-2005, 04:39 AM
ROFL don't forget "Black Light".

06-23-2005, 06:06 AM
It always seemed to me that keeping rejection slips was a little bit like keeping bloody Band Aids from old cuts. The only reason I can see to keep them is if you're planning a bonfire when the first acceptance comes in.

But generally, I think throwing them away is the best policy. Save the acceptance letters, save copies of teh checks, but get rid of the rejection slips as soon as possible.

Okay, I can think of one legitimate use for them. I once gave a talk to a writing group, and one requirement to become a member of that group was to bring along twenty-five rejection slips. Not a bad idea.

Euan H.
06-23-2005, 07:36 AM
I just throw 'em out as soon as I get them. Every time I look at one, it depresses me, so I can't imagine why I'd keep them.

Anyway, it makes for great venting when you screw up the rejection and hurl it into the trash, all the while shouting "reject me, would you! Hah! See what you get!"


06-24-2005, 06:17 AM
I used to keep the rejections slips tucked away in drawer, but now I throw them out as soon as I get them. Why keep something that I don't want? I keep my acceptance letters in a safe place though.:)


06-24-2005, 05:46 PM
I change the names and send them out as Christmas cards.

06-24-2005, 06:03 PM
I'm boring, but practical. I have 2 very large ring-binders for submissions; one for book publishers, and one for magazine and periodical publishers, filed alphabetically. I put the rejection letter in (along with a copy of the guidelines and query); their comments or tone help me when I consider them for future submissions.

06-25-2005, 09:59 PM
A large--very large--box. I'll need another one soon. Why do I keep them? Don't really know, except now and then I'll be submitting to a magazine and if I can't find the name of whom to submit to, I'll search the most recent rejections and sometimes they're signed by an actual person.

06-26-2005, 05:09 AM
I put them in a manila folder, arranged chronologically. On the front of the folder are the words, "A testimony to the short-sightedness of literary agents." :)

06-26-2005, 05:40 AM
Personally, I curse them. :)

Kiva Wolfe
06-26-2005, 07:12 PM
Scott, you must live in a teeny house...

07-14-2005, 06:08 AM
Hello All, I am new to this board, just discovered it so hello to you all!

I wanted to say that I keep all my rejection letters from Agents mainly so I know who I have contacted and AS SOON AS I GET ACCEPTED ONE DAY, AND THE AGENTS COME CRAWLING AFTER ME...I will know who I want to avoid based on how many times they rejected me and how...he he. So ultimately, I am keeping them for REVENGE! lol

07-14-2005, 06:38 PM
Well so far I only have one rejection, but I already have a binder I set aside specifically for them. I'll be able to see who rejected what and how many rejections a particular piece gets before acceptance. I like keeping track of this kind of thing, and it'll give me something to look back on as I (hopefully) improve and get my foot in the proverbial door.


07-15-2005, 05:18 PM
I think hanging on to five or ten rejections may be entertaining, but I do think care is advisable. When you find yourself with fifty, or a hundred, or two hundred, or five hundred, a collection of rejection slips can suddenly seem far less amusing and far more depressing.

Sometimes it's best not to keep count.

07-17-2005, 06:10 AM
I cut out the words and save them in an alphabetical file in case I ever have to paste together a ransom note.

07-20-2005, 01:57 AM
I am boring also and put them in a file folder. I also keep a list on my laptop so I don't re-query accidently. Yawn.

J. Y. Moore
07-20-2005, 08:21 PM
I keep mine and tend to critique them as I get them. It's amazing how many have typos, grammatical errors, incomplete sentences, etc. They have rejected me and can't even put together a letter to do it properly (of course, some can't even put together a post card - I have several in my file). If I ever need to submit something else, I think I'll use the worst ones as a last resort since their obvious ineptitudes make it evident that they aren't worthy of my sage verbage. :box: :ROFL: