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How To Turn Acceptances Into Rejections In Six Easy Steps

After years and years of watching our client list receive hundreds of acceptances per cycle, the staff of Writer’s Relief finally understands what it’s like to be, like…totally sick of all those positive responses from journals and agents. Who wants to get published anyway, right?

So if you loathe seeing your work in print and enjoy making paper castles out of all those form rejections, read on. We’ll tell you the quickest ways to make sure you’ll never have to look at an acceptance letter again!

1. We don’t need no stinkin’ cover letters. Surely your work can speak for itself. As long as you’ve scribbled your name and phone number somewhere on the page, you’ll be fine. This works especially well for literary agents. They don’t need a synopsis—and if they don’t feel like looking you up in the phonebook, that’s their problem, not yours.

2. Formatting, schmormatting. One-inch margins and spell-check are for punks. You’ll be guaranteed a rejection if your work looks something like this:

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Because if you’re aiming to fail, you might as well do it in style.

3. Send to every journal ever. Got a group of 10 poems about inner-city Dumpster diving? If you’re looking for that definitive, satisfying “NO,” the best journals to send them to are those that have nothing to do with cities or Dumpsters. Send them to journals about nature and spirituality. Don’t research literary journals. Accurate targeting is overrated anyway.

Submit to Review Board

4. Hound the editors. Most people assume that editors are completely swamped with paperwork and emails day in and day out. Well, that’s true…but who cares? After you’ve sent your awesomely raw (read: sloppy) work to editors, email them every day to confirm that they’ve received it. Send a couple of letters in the mail too, just to be sure. Or, even better, call! That’ll really get ’em going.

The same thing goes for following up with literary agents; they hate being called. Go get their numbers on speed dial and go crazy!

5. Aim high. Like, really high. If you don’t have any publication credits, the best way to continue that trend is to submit to the most prestigious, competitive literary journals out there. There’s no sense in building up your bio and studying your craft. Sure, there are those rare occasions when someone unknown gets published in The New Yorker, but for the most part, your rejection is pretty much in the mail already. Yay!

6. Take it personally. In the event that all of these rejections start getting to you, take to your blog immediately and put every editor and/or literary agent who has rejected you on blast. Professionalism: who needs it?

Not buying this? Understandable. If so, you may want to check out our article: New Writers: 10 Tips To Turn Rejections Into Acceptances.

Remember, there may come a day when you might actually want to get published—there are only so many papier-mâché figurines you can make out of form rejections anyway. When that day comes, call us! Writer’s Relief knows a thing or two about creating targeted submissions and letters that can get your work published the right way.

[This article was featured on the front page of the Huffington Post‘s Books section on 9/22/10.]

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