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The Rejection Letter of Yore


The dreaded dispatch came concealed in a perfume-scented neon bejeweled economy-size sarcophagus. As they always did.

‘The wounded would-be writer was left to consider…’ Illustration by Josh Quick

The psychedelic dule of doves descended from the skies ablaze with flame and reverberating with the sounds of a symphonic chorale. The flashy feathered flock’s marble-sculpted beaks pecked open the package. Tumbling from its violet velvet-lined interior came the cruelly calculated contents.

Stooping to snatch it out of the apricot and almond aromatic air before it could be soiled by the ground, The Jolly Green Giant, resplendent in his finest taupe tux, tails and top hat, unrolled the parchment scroll immaculately inscribed in gleaming gold. Clearing his throat so as to fully facilitate a crisp and clear call, the big guy boomingly bellowed the following alert for ears both far and even farther than that to absorb:

While we appreciate your thoughtful submission to our publication, we regret to inform you that at present your work does not fit our needs / format / genre / target market / vibe / mood / whim / posturing / arrogance / attitude / nihilism.
In other words, and yet again, you have been…

As the rumbling reverberation of this pride-puncturing proclamation settled upon the horizons and vistas of a suddenly dark and disquieting distance, the wounded would-be writer was left to consider this most curious conundrum…

For crissakes, man.  Why don’t these guys ever just for once use the damn SASE?!

Read more about rejection and the place it has in all of our lives, but especially in our creative lives, here

Do you want to embrace and celebrate rejection as part of your life as a creator instead of fearing and loathing it? We might have a group for you. Submittable’s #Rejection100 challenge encourages people of all walks of life to attempt to collect 100 rejections in one year. Learn more and join the challenge here. 

And here are some of our favorite posts about rejection:

author photo, John Smistad
John Smistad (Guest Blogger)

John Smistad is a writer of short stories and film reviews. Published on occasion. On occasion, not. Hence the frivolity blended with dashed hopes sensibility of “The Rejection Letter.” May you enjoy–and likely relate! Check out his blog, The Quick Flick Critic.