View Full Version : My first real rejection

Stephenie Hovland
07-04-2004, 01:56 AM
Am I allowed to eat lots of chocolate as a consolation? (My first unofficial rejection was when I didn't win the Highlights contest. But, I also didn't expect to win. It was a long shot.)

This one, however, really disappoints me. I slaved over a sample (over 60 pages long, single spaced with sketches, etc.), doing tons of research and not a lot of sleeping just to get it done on time. I had a real gut feeling that I was going to make it. :shrug

I was "trying out" for a religious curriculum job. I'm well acquainted with the material and everyone who looked at the lessons I developed said they were really good (I had secular teachers and a pastor go through them.) There were about 100 people trying to get into their pool of writers.

Such a bummer!!


(I guess I can get a start on the "You're a reject" file.)

Lori Basiewicz
07-04-2004, 02:10 AM
You're not a reject.


You may have one pint of ice cream or one big bag of M&M's or whatever your equivalent favorites are but not any more.

After you are done with your comfort food, go back and look at the material. Can it be used as is or reworked and sold to anyone else? A homeschooling place maybe?

Good. Send it back out. The place that accepts it will be much better, anyway. :grr

aka eraser
07-04-2004, 05:20 AM
You tell her Lori!

No experience is wasted if you extract something from it. You learned you can do good work, a lot of it, under the pressure of a deadline.

That knowledge will stand you in good stead down the road. Sounds like the competition was tough and I'll bet you were one of the last cuts.

Stephenie Hovland
07-04-2004, 06:00 PM
Aww. Thanks guys. The pity party is over. I took a long bath, ate a bunch of Krispy Kremes, had a little discussion with God, and I'm ready to go again.

The submission I made to that publisher has lots of good stuff in it. It is an organ donor now. I'm going to go through and remove the valuable parts, sending them to many different places. The great thing is that I don't have to do much to shape them up, a little bit of shaping and they're ready to go! Yay!

I already sent an e-mail to the editor, thanking her for her consideration and saying I hope to work with her in the future.

Tomorrow, the surgery (of that submission) begins.


07-05-2004, 12:21 AM
You go, Stephenie! You tell that rejection, "Eat my dust." Whoo-hoo!


My favorite comfort food in the event of a rejection are Ho-Hos. Fattening, I know. But I don't care!!! I'll blame the editor if I gain 200 pounds. :rofl

Niggle by Leaf
07-05-2004, 01:20 AM
Congrats on surviving your first rejection in such good spirits, Stephanie. :thumbs

Sorry to barge into this thread but Stephanie's mention that she e-mailed the editor back with a polite thank you not caught my eye. Is this a good thing to do, when replying to rejections from editors? I can never decide whether it's just common politeness to write and say "thanks" or whether such messages are seen as a nuisance that clogs up people's inboxes.

Any advice from the people who know out there?

(Thanks for the loan of your thread, Stephanie! Here's wishing you lots of acceptances for the future.)

aka eraser
07-05-2004, 02:49 AM
I almost always acknowledge/thank an editor for a response. I can only think of one or two churlish ones whom I didn't thank.

We write in the hopes they'll take the time to read and consider our offering. When they do that I think an acknowledgement is just good manners.

And it puts your name in front of them one more time, in a pleasant sort of a way. Which is unlikely to hurt your next submission.

07-05-2004, 04:37 AM
Don't write Thank-yous or any response in the hopes that the editor/agent would reconsider. Do that in the most sincere way. Who knows? You may submit again, and editors have long memories. They will remember you -- the polite and non-pushy person. Also, it's like advertisement, you put your brand (your name) out there more often, it's more recognizable. If your work is good, you already have an advantage over the others.

Stephenie Hovland
07-05-2004, 06:04 PM
I don't know that I'll do it in all situations, but this one in particular called for an e-mail. I met the editor and talked to her last summer. We also e-mailed during the writer selection process. She was very friendly and encouraged me to ask questions when I needed to. She also had a major car accident during this whole process, so I wanted to check on her surgery and let her know I care about her. I also REALLY want to keep the editors happy at that publishing house. They're a close group and there are other areas I can get into. It doesn't hurt for someone there to say, "Yeah. I know her. She's still kind of green, but she's very nice and will bend over backwards to do the assignment."

(yes, I've always been a bit of a brown-noser, but only in a sincere way.)

07-30-2004, 09:29 PM
Speaking as a publisher, I love it when people email me to say thanks when I've rejected them. It's no fun to tell people that the writing they've worked so hard to perfect isn't right for us, and in many cases it's just that the manuscript didn't fit our list at the time they submitted--I would welcome new manuscripts from the same people who submitted previously, especially authors with whom I've had a dialogue and spent time determing if their manuscript would work for us. From my perspective, I'd much rather work with a small group of dependable writers on lots of projects than have to start all over again every time. So if an author lets me know that he or she is up for resubmitting in the future, I think it's great!
Take care,
Lauri from Nomad

07-31-2004, 05:20 AM
Don't think of it as a failure, think of it as your blooding in the cut and thrust world of writing. You've just paid your first dues, now pick yourself up, dust yourself down and start all over again. (Hey. That would make a good song! ;) )

I got over 40 rejections before I sold my first story and at the beginning, I was so devastated each time that it took me a week before I could write anything. Now I just wallop them off to the next name on the list.

Rejection's just part of the game. Persevere and you'll succeed eventually.

Good luck,