I visualize a world in the future where our technological existence is collected in museums with anthropologists and archeologists debating over the purpose of sushi shaped USB drives. I see them stroking their beards as they watch YouTube deciding that, based on the number of videos we posted and watched, our society must have been ruled by cats.
And then one will discover my e-mail and he will write in his ethnography, "Judging from the sheer volume of correspondences, this woman enjoyed submitting manuscripts and took pleasure from being rejected. Surely, there is no other reason to collect so many."
Oh, my rejections letters. My growing piles of rejections letters. I have read one tip after another advising me to view you as something to be appreciated for you represent my pursuit of publication, but I only see you as a big, looming Dead End sign.
The saddest part of receiving a new rejection letter, is that my next move is to collect all the previous rejection letters and read through them again. And then I imagine what the No Responses would have written in their rejection letters. And then I imagine what the agents have said about my manuscript amongst each other. I picture a room where all the agents come together at the end of the week to laugh about their slush pile while they toss page after page into a shredder. And then this one sent me a rhyming picture book!
Yesterday, after yet another rejection, I sought refuge in the experiences of my fellow rejected and I found relief in Bethany Robert's Rejection Letter Translations. And somehow I was comforted by the fact that I have yet to be told my manuscript is 'awkward' or not "engaging," perhaps the two descriptions that would devastate me the most (Potential agents, please don't take that as a challenge).
So I've collected, for your reading pleasure, my most recent rejections. Some might be form, some might be funny, but it is true they are all proof that I am trying. And gosh darn it (Did I mention I'm a children's book writer?), that's something I should be proud of.
"This is to inform you that we are not accepting your manuscript for publication at this time. Due to the overwhelming number of manuscripts received, many promising manuscripts will be passed over. We wish you the best of luck in your search for a publisher and in your writing career."
"Thank you for your submission, which we have read with interest. Unfortunately, we did not feel enthusiastic enough about it to offer to take this further. We are sorry to give you a disappointing response, but thank you for thinking of us in connection with your work."
"Thank you for giving the XXXXXXX Agency a chance to consider your work.
Unfortunately this is not right for us. We are replying as soon as possible to give you the best chance of finding the right agent. We specialise in commercial fiction tailor made for the mass market and therefore we have to be confident of substantial sales quantities before taking on a new project.
We receive over 300 manuscripts a week and can only take on a handful of new writers every year. The result is that we have to be incredibly selective, so please do not be too disheartened. Another agent may well feel differently.
We wish you the very best of luck."
"Thanks so much for sending this sweet story my way, which I enjoyed very much. Everyone can relate to this story after a long, hard day!
Unfortunately, though, Melissa, my list is so full that something has to literally take my breath away in order for me to squeeze it in, and I'm afraid this did not meet that criteria. I'm so very sorry."
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