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  1. #1
    Carleigh Bryant

    The Rejection Letter

    I just got my first two rejection letters and I must say I was stunned. The first was a one sentence, obviously pre-fab, thanks but no thanks. This came from an agent who specifically said she did not want some prefab query letter, but I guess I must have wanted a prefab rejection letter, because that is what I got. The second was even worse, it was from his assistant. Now, this agent said he hated when people wrote on other peoplesí behalf. Can we say hypocrite? I guess I am lucky because I do still have letters out there and have had two requests for partials, but either way I am pissed about those letters. I know they are busy, but even after twelve hours of saving and/or preserving lives, I can still kick out a thank you note that takes all of thirty seconds. Do agents forget we are giving them a job? We are not asking to work for them, but giving them the opportunity to work for us. Don't we at least deserve a personal, thanks but not thanks?

  2. #2
    Rich DeRuvo

    Re: The Rejection Letter

    agents need writers and writers need agents. You say you have two partial request, be grateful, you can't expect every letter you send out to have a positive response.

  3. #3
    Simon Says

    Re: The Rejection Letter

    No Carleigh, we don't deserve a personal rejection letter.

    You are querying maybe a hundred agents total.

    The agent is getting a hundred or hundreds of query per week.

    Do you want an agent who's spending his day working on behalf of his clients or corresponding with the several dozen who queried him that day?

    You are trying to interest an agent in your work.

    The agent is telling you he's not interested.

    Don't you think it makes sense that an agent would expect someone who wants him to represent them, to take the time to impress and stand out from a crowd?

    Why would you expect someone who doesn't want you to take time to impress you - he's just not that into you.

    If you are going to allow yourself to get bent out of shape by a boilerplate rejection, or a vague rejection or a rejection letter that actually takes the time to tell you why it's being rejected but says something you don't want to hear, or no rejection letter at all - you are just setting yourself up for a terrible process.

    This is the way it works. Deal with it.

  4. #4
    Sam English

    Re: The Rejection Letter

    "...he's just not that into you."
    ...made my day

  5. #5
    Amy Kessler

    Re: The Rejection Letter

    I have a box of "pre-fab" rejection letters. Some of them are even stapled to the query letter I sent out. Sorry to sound mean, but get over it. Like Rich said be grateful for the partial requests.

  6. #6
    Ce Ce

    Re: The Rejection Letter

    What Simon said.

  7. #7
    Greg Kosson

    Re: The Rejection Letter

    If you're feeling this way after two rejection letters, just imagine how you'll feel after twenty, or a hundred. Part of the writing process is understanding how the business end works and developing a very thick skin.

    "Deal with it" strikes me as a bit harsh for someone who just doesn't know any better, but what you read above is true. When you're sitting at your keyboard working on your manuscript or your query letter, your consciousness is filled with how much you've slaved over your work and how much you feel it deserves to be read. What it's almost impossible to be aware of is the fierce competition you're facing. Agents and editors get a steady stream because there are thousands--yes, thousands, of people just like you.

    Of course in normal affairs it's rude to send out form rejections, but there's nothing normal about this business. Agents are so flooded with queries and proposals they don't have time to be polite and certainly don't have time to offer feedback.

    The best advice I can offer is not to burn yourself out on the kind of resentment you're already starting to feel. I went through it, I think many writers do, but it's not constructive. Each of us is a grain of sand on the beach and the task is to make that one grain glitter--it's not easy.

  8. #8
    larry moses

    Re: The Rejection Letter

    Please somebody, remove that word 'rejection' from the dictionary. Those lit agents and publishers are a bunch of ....of.....lethal injectors. lol

  9. #9

    Re: The Rejection Letter

    Carleigh, with that attitude, you're setting yourself up as scammer-bait.

  10. #10
    Ann Crispin

    Re: The Rejection Letter

    Everything said above is true, even if it sounds harsh.

    Professional writing is a field where many are called, but few are chosen. That is just the nature of the beast.

    -Ann C. Crispin

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