View Full Version : Fastest rejection ever!

Kempo Kid
10-13-2004, 04:41 AM
Do I get a prize for this? I think this sets a record.

Schiavone Literary Agency accepts e-mailed queries, so I sent an e-mailed query this afternoon. They rejected it with a form response in (and I counted) 1 hour and 6 minutes! It was a long shot, and I didn't really expect them to be interested, but this short a response time amazed me so much that I laughed. :rollin (<-- me laughing)

In the good news/bad news segment, a top agent rejected my requested partial :cry but wants to see a partial for a future project! :D

She likes my writing but just not that particular book, I guess.

Problem is, I don't know what to send her! I have other outlines and even partial manuscripts, in fantasy (which is what I'd sent her), sf, mystery, and nonfiction. Any of these could be picked up and worked on until complete in a reasonable amount of time.

But which one? :head

10-13-2004, 05:47 AM
Wow. That must still burn, though. Sorry to hear that. She must be a speed reader, have a small submission rate or a huge staff!

As for your question, go with the book you want to write NOW. If you really want to try to land this agent, work on the kind of book they accept.

Good luck!


Kempo Kid
10-13-2004, 06:17 AM
Trouble is, the book I'm working on now is the sequel to the book she just rejected, and she said she didn't want to see that. I'm wondering if I should send her the same kind of work (traditional fantasy), or if I should send something different, such as an urban fantasy, sf, or mystery.

10-13-2004, 11:09 PM
You may hold the record for e-mail rejection but I bet I hold the record for snail-mail rejection. I live in NYC. On 10/06 I mailed three query letters to NYC literary agents. On 10/09 I received rejections from all three!

10-14-2004, 12:00 AM
Yikes. Kinda makes it scary to even submit... :gone

Take heart, though. Keep on keepin' on!

Kempo Kid
10-14-2004, 12:24 AM
Last night I e-mailed a short story to a publication. Today I woke up, got online, and there was the rejection.

Writing is a hard, hard business. No wonder writers take to drink (or antidepressants).

aka eraser
10-14-2004, 01:28 AM
All rejections sting but at least the quick ones reduce the time we spend wandering/wondering in the fog of limbo.

10-15-2004, 09:04 PM
Amen, Frank.

I hate those who promised a reply in 6 weeks, then 6 months later send you a form letter: Not for us. By that time you don't remember remember what you've sent them.

Or the ones who send you: "Your story, How to Kill a Man Without Him Screaming does not suit our need." Eh? Excuse me. I never sent you anything with that title.

Kempo Kid
10-16-2004, 02:14 AM
I've gotten some rejections from agents lately. Form rejection letters that start out "Dear Author" and say "After careful consideration...." Not that careful if they can't spend five seconds scribbling my name in.

One was a form rejection strip, 2 x 8.5 inches, badly photocopied, crooked on the page, that went into the "we have considered your project very carefully...."

Uh-huh. Was that a turnip trunk that just rounded the corner?

10-16-2004, 02:20 AM
The nerve! We put sooo much effort into making our submissions pretty, they can't return the favor when rejecting us?? >:

(I'm being sarcastic here, though it would be NICE to get a clean, typo-free, professional-looking rejection complete with a masthead.)

Kempo Kid
10-16-2004, 04:31 AM
I actually got a very nice one from Linn Prentis. She said (in a personal letter), that she found my project intriguing enough to review it at length, but they just weren't able to fit another project into their schedule.


And I was happily pounding away at the keyboard earlier today on a synopsis for a proposal--

--and the word processing program crashed on me!

Yes, I back up, but I lost about a page's worth. And for a synopsis, that's a lot to lose.:bang

10-19-2004, 06:20 AM
K. Kid,

Was that the R.L. Agency in PA? I got one of those two. In fact the 2x8.5 copy was so bad and so crooked, that I was embarrassed for them, THEN I had a good laugh over it. In my opinion, that type of response tells me that the agency is sloppy and would not have done a good job trying to sell my ms. They did ME a favor!


10-19-2004, 06:21 AM
I meant to say, I got one of those TOO!

Geez, I need a good night's sleep.


Kempo Kid
10-19-2004, 10:08 AM
Yup, RL agency. I guess that's what they send out to everybody. (Yet we're expected to be professional.)

10-20-2004, 12:46 AM
Elyse, good on ya for being able to laugh at your rejection!! :)

10-23-2004, 12:06 AM
If you had seen it, you would have laughed too!

In a world where we have to get their names spelled correctly and follow a staunch protocol, and then they send something like this! It's a kick in the pants. No-o-o...They need the kick in the pants!


10-23-2004, 02:50 AM
Well ... as far as being rejected by them goes, I could think of some other things I'd rather do instead of kick them in the pants.... :teeth

10-23-2004, 06:23 AM
Every now and again, I get other people's rejections in with mine. I send them back with a wee note and we now have a Secret Underground Writers' Network with half a dozen members who write regularly to one another.

It's very comforting, particularly during the summer sales drought, to know everybody else is in the same boat.


11-17-2004, 02:42 AM
I got one within 10 minutes of submitting once! Do I win? (A poem to a literary magazine)

Kempo Kid
11-21-2004, 01:35 PM
Yeah, that beats mine.

I've been dethroned! (But was this a throne I really wanted?)

(Where are my icons? I wanted to do the head banging icon, and it's not there. Nor is my favorite computer banging one.)

12-15-2004, 08:07 AM
In my opinion, that type of response tells me that the agency is sloppy and would not have done a good job trying to sell my ms. They did ME a favor!

I would most certainly agree to that assessment. Maybe you should send them a very polite letter thanking them for the rejection? :evil

01-11-2005, 12:40 AM
If you had seen it, you would have laughed too!

In a world where we have to get their names spelled correctly and follow a staunch protocol, and then they send something like this! It's a kick in the pants. No-o-o...They need the kick in the pants!


Why not send them a letter thanking them for the rejection and describe exactly why you are thanking them?

aka eraser
01-11-2005, 04:32 AM
It's very tempting to respond to some rejections with thinly-veiled sarcasm (or worse) but it's not worth the risk. Editors and agents talk and you want to be careful not to singe a bridge along the way, let alone burn one.

That's why we have threads like this. So we can vent safely.

01-11-2005, 10:52 AM
That's why I don't respond to rejection letters.

You don't know who you're ever going to end up working with...

01-12-2005, 01:00 AM
The only rejection I ever responded to was for a short story that I submitted to an on-line market. The editor included a brief comment about why the story didn't work for him, and I e-mailed back and thanked him (sincerely, not sarcastically) for the feedback.


08-24-2008, 01:48 AM
I realize that this is an old discussion, but being new I wanted to share my lousy rejection story. After working on a short story for weeks, I submitted it to a reputable (I thought) magazine. The rejection was quick and painful. Why?

Wait for it....

It was on a post-it note! Can anyone say, "Ouch!"

08-24-2008, 01:51 AM
my personal "best" was less than 5 minutes.

"sorry, not for me."

honestly, i like it fast and dirty.

i mean, the one i got back after more than five
months... *faints*

08-24-2008, 02:03 AM
57 minutes for me. I just laughed.

08-24-2008, 02:08 AM
sorry better luck with your future project

08-24-2008, 02:12 AM
the best one was when i hadn't heard
from anyone in days, and one popped
into my inbox. (this is my special query
inbox, which i'd click repeatedly every
10 seconds like some sort of mad women.)
as i was reading that rejection,
my inbox went : inbox [1]

i got another one while i was reading
the first! ha!

08-24-2008, 02:13 AM
sorry better luck with your future project

wow. the agent gave up for you.


08-24-2008, 05:09 AM
The longest was over a year. And did they really think I was waiting for their reply? lol

08-24-2008, 05:41 AM
I got one once in eight minutes...I was still typing the agent's info into my spreadsheet I use to track submissions when I got the R in my e-mail. I was like, "Well, that saves some trouble," lol.

Sorry about the R!

08-24-2008, 10:24 AM
My record so far has been 5 minutes, signed by the assistant.

gotta love modern technology.

08-24-2008, 11:54 AM
Let's not forget my 30 minute requested partial reject! Oh, that was a good one!

08-24-2008, 11:37 PM
Colby -- that's funny! I had the same thing happen -- I got a rejection in 4 mins, before I could even finish adding the info to my spreadsheet...he even addressed it to me personally.

Blond -- how sad for you. At least there was less time to get your hopes up...

08-25-2008, 12:11 AM
Ugh- 30 minute partial rejection...gross. I had a same day partial rejection once, and I thought that was bad. 30 minutes is awful. Oh, well...onward and upward!