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Article:  Ease Rejection

Did  you receive  another rejection  in the mail?   Are  you thinking about  giving up?   Feeling  blue?  Discouraged?  Disheartened?  Are you  starting  to wonder if you really have the talent you thought  you had?

Don't  despair!   First, give yourself a  mental  hug.   You've earned it.  Now,  try to  console yourself with the  fact that your situation  is not  unique or  rare.  Once  you've  done that,  get back  to the  work you  love!   

Rejection  is part of  the publication  process. Even if  you're  told that daily,  even  if you  know it deep in  your heart, it  is  sometimes very difficult  to pull yourself back up  when you feel you've read the last rejection  notice  that  you'll  ever want to read.   I  know it!

Know that you will never be alone in being rejected by publishers.  Stand tall and proud. Use your rejections for  inspiration.  Never throw  rejections  or your writing  away.   Perseverance and  confidence ultimately pay off.

Sometimes  it's  helpful to  understand why your work was rejected.   Maximize your odds  before submitting.   

Care about  your  work  and the  potential publisher.  Take  the time to:

Have a title. An untitled  poem is like a beau without a  name. What are the odds that either could be everlasting?

spell check

use a clear, readable font

familiarize yourself with the  magazine/publication

follow the submission  guidelines

clearly format your  submission

direct it to the correct editor/person in charge

if snail-mailing, enclose a  self-addressed stamped envelope

If you did all of the above, did the editor take the time to give you any reasons for rejection?  If so, that's  fabulous.  They cared enough to take the time!

Do they receive more submissions than they could ever print?  Is your work not exactly what they're looking  for?

Do you want to revise your work?  Review your writing and make sure you're as satisfied as you can be.  Do you have another place ready for submission for the same work?   Plan, plan, and then plan some  more.  Have more submissions out so you are always looking forward to responses.

 Famous rejections:

 Remember  the Peter Rabbit books?  Beatrix Potter's submissions  were  turned  down so  often that  she finally  published them herself.  May we have  that  confidence in our work.

Emily  Bronte  sent out  her novel,  Wuthering Heights, numerous times.  Her courage, confidence,  and determination  are admirable.  Each  time she  received a  rejection, she  included  the growing  collection in the next submissions.  The potential  publisher could then read the list of rival  houses  that had  already refused  the  manuscript.

 Apparently, 'Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance' was  rejected  121 times before it  was accepted.   'Jonathan  Livingston Seagull' was  submitted to forty publishers.   The  twelfth publisher  accepted  Norman Mailer's 'The Naked and the  Dead.'  The most astounding number of  rejections would be John Creasey's, a writer of children's books. He  collected 743  rejections  before he sold a book!   Seven hundred  and forty-three.

  Rejection Suggestions:

 Send us your suggestionsfor how to handle rejection.

 Is it a warm bubble bath in a candle filled room? A cuddle with your favorite pet? A motivational book? (if so, which one?) More work? A chat with a fellow writer?

 Helpful hint:

 Keep track of your submissions. Always  know the date of your submissions, the titles of what you sent, the full address,  the editor's name, the response date, and  the response. Keep notes for future  reference. It's handy to have one location  and organized format for recording your  submission information.


The  writer's  and artist's on-line  source for  misery, commiseration  and  inspiration.  Submit  your  rejection  letters,  read  others' or just rant.  Postings  are anonymous, laughs and  catharsis are  free.

© Sienna's Poetry Suite


  Rejection suggestions: Beautiful orchid photo courtesy of

 From our Poetic Plumber:

To all poets, young
through not so young.
Rejection is part of life.
Not just in writing, but in

Try not to have a 'why me' attitude.
Instead have a keep on plugging
attitude.  Just think, eventually
something will happen if you live long
 enough.  And
if you don't, It was sure fun trying.   

If a work you submit is examined by
one hundred
diffferent people, you will have one
different views.  I am going to let you read a  poem
which is meant for all of us who create.  

 You Call That Art

We look at art, with point of view
Some giving thanks, while others stew

There'll be not one, to please us all
Our human nature, makes this call

Some like it hot, with brilliant hue
Some like it cold, so where are you

A work is formed, straight from the heart
Yet some may say, "You call that art"

Each artist knows, what makes him tick
But has no clue, what makes you sick

So what's the point, to carry on
I'll tell you why, the love is strong

We do our thing, the best we can
And hope you'll press, to be our fan

Make no mistake, we cannot stop
This gift from God, till we do drop

© 2000 Roger J. Robicheau The Poetic Plumber

Back to Rejection Suggestion
submission address

 Rejection suggestions:

I save my rejections in a special file  folder.  I treasure the ones with personal notes added.  Rereading them reminds me that people do like and respect my  work. ~ D.W.

From a thoughtful Teen Contributor:  You know what?  I believe that as long  as *you * yourself love your poetry, it's great.  That sounds a little un-original, I  know, but it's true, and everyone needs a  little reminder now and then.  If you love it, why care what others think, since it's your poem, and your opinion?  You wrote  it for *yourself *. ~   J. Haley




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