There’s one thing that can ruin a writer’s day faster than a run-on sentence: receiving a rejection letter. And while newer writers may feel especially crushed when their poetry, short prose, or book is not accepted, even well-published authors are not immune to the disappointment of rejection. Take heart, writer! The submission strategy experts here at Writer’s Relief will gently walk you through each stage of the rejection letter blues with advice on how to recover and move from denial to acceptance—and yes, we mean acceptance letters too!
Stages Of Recovery From The Rejection Letter Blues
Disbelief And Denial
What?! This can’t be possible! They must have confused my work with someone else’s. Your eager smile fades away, and you check the email address again and again to be sure it’s correct. The celebratory cookie you’re holding crumbles in your grasp as disbelief turns into…
Wailing And Gnashing Of Teeth
Woe! Despair! You express your disappointment and frustration. Shake your fists at the sky and hope the name of the editor or literary agent who callously turned down your work will be badly misspelled on a coffee shop paper cup. Okay, maybe not that extreme. But how could the agent not recognize the literary gold you offered them? How could the journal editor ignore your perfect phrasing?
Curling Up In A Ball
Now it’s time to take action: Curl up into a ball on the bed, the couch, or maybe the floor of the coffee shop so the cad who rejected you trips over you while retrieving that mislabeled coffee cup. Let’s face it: Sometimes it’s hard not to feel like a rejection letter is a personal judgment against you and all of your work as a writer. You might even curl up metaphorically and refuse to submit your writing anywhere else. After all, if your writing was rejected once, it will be rejected forever, right?
Actually, no. Just because you received one rejection doesn’t mean that particular piece will never be accepted elsewhere. The submission strategy experts at Writer’s Relief recommend that you submit your short story, poem, or book at least one hundred times before you give up. In fact, on more than one occasion, our clients received an acceptance on the ninety-ninth try! But back to the stages of rejection blues recovery…
Alas, some writers might decide to lash out by writing an eloquent, scathing rebuttal. You might gleefully envision the scorched eyebrows of the shocked and remorseful editor or agent who now realizes the error made and is rapidly typing a conciliatory response.
Put down that poison pen and back away from the keyboard. Can you sense the submission strategists here jumping up and down, wildly waving their arms and vigorously shaking their heads NO? Never, ever argue with or insult a literary agent or editor because they’ve rejected your work. You will end up with a bad reputation in the publishing industry—agents and editors talk to each other. Instead, take a deep breath and accept the decision with grace. Which leads us to…
As writers, receiving rejection letters is something we’ll need to accept. And surprisingly, rejection letters aren’t always a bad thing. Our philosophy is that each rejection brings you closer to your next acceptance. The best way to shrug off the disappointment is to simply move on and send out more submissions, STAT.
To get more acceptances, you need to write well and research potential markets thoroughly. At Writer’s Relief, our research experts will target the best markets for your work to boost your odds of getting an acceptance. We also proofread and format our clients’ work to publishing industry standards. And our strategists will guide you in sending out submissions on a consistent schedule. With more work circulating to better markets, you’ll have a stronger chance of getting an acceptance. Rejections will still come—they always do—but the very next email you open will have a much better chance of holding a beautiful, glorious acceptance.
Writer’s Relief has been helping writers get more acceptances since 1994. Our strategies work—just see what our many happy clients have to say! To find out how we can help you, submit your poetry, short stories, personal essays, or book to our Review Board today!
Question: How do you deal with receiving a rejection letter?