Monday, August 16, 2010

Rejection: Everyone Has a Story

by Brittany Geragotelis

I just read about this book called Other People's Rejection Letters edited by Bill Shapiro and I've gotta say, I kinda love the concept. Shapiro got the idea to collect other people's rejection stories back when the economy tanked, because he thought that
"looking at rejection letters would be a really good way to look at what so many people would be experiencing and feeling" at the time. And I don't know about you, but hearing that other people have had their own moments of rejection on their way to accomplishing their dreams really does make me feel better. Not in a "I like reveling in other people's pain" kind of way, but more like "This makes me feel less like a loser." It's nice to be reminded that even Jimi Hendrix was nearly discharged from the Army because his supervisors said he "couldn't carry on an intelligent conversation"—this was before he became the big rock star we know and love, of course.

Other people's stories of rejection gives me hope that though I may be rejected today, it doesn't mean it'll always be this way. Eventually there will be an acceptance. And then I can publish my own book full of all the rejections I received before I became a best-selling author.

In the meantime, here are a few of the rejections I've received so far...some are good, some are bad and some are pretty ugly. Enjoy!

My rejections have ranged from long and thoughtful:
"Dear Brittany,
Thank you for seeking us out. We appreciate each author who takes the time to send us a query letter or email.

At present, we are regretfully going to pass by the opportunity to consider your work for representation. The query must strike a chord which leads us to believe that we will not only resonate deeply with the material but also will be successful in selling it in the current market conditions. Out of necessity, we are frequently forced to pass by material which shows potential. We recognize that in doing so we miss opportunities to represent fine and worthwhile material, but we also trust that if you persist you will eventually connect with the right agent at the right time for your success.

We recognize that our perspective on the marketplace is subjective. You may well find that another literary agent will react with enthusiasm for your work.

We send you every good wish for success with all of your writing endeavors, and thank you again for contacting us.

Agency X"

To less lengthy but straight to the point:
"Dear Brittany,
Thank you very much for considering me, but I do not feel that I am the best agent for your work.
All my best, X"

And then there are others who won't even bother hiding that you're wasting their time. Five words...that's all this guy could give:
"Not for me—Thanks anyway."

So, next time you get that emotional smackdown from someone who thinks their opinion is the only one that matters, just remember: Even Andy Warhol's work was denied entry into the Museum of Modern Art in NY back in 1956. And now people are making movies about him.

I'm just saying.



Anonymous said...

That's what SHE said!!!