Role reversal


Fanfare! (?) The Orangutan Says All

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Marc Joan

Aug 26, 2014
Found this online, and had to share it:

"One of the very best: a rejection note sent by the writer Stefan Merken to an editor who had rejected one of his short stories. “Please forgive me for not accepting your rejection letter,” wrote Merken. “At this time I cannot accept a rejection of my short story. I accept more than 99 percent of the rejections I receive. Many I don’t agree with, but I realize that accepting a piece of fiction for publication is a very subjective judgment call. My acceptance of your rejection letter is also a subjective process and therefore I am returning your letter to you. I did read your letter. I read every letter I receive. Your letter was well-written, but due to time constraints from my own writing schedule, I am unable to make editorial comments. I do make mistakes. Don’t you, as an editor, be disheartened by this role reversal. The road of publishing is long and tedious. You need successful publications and I need for successful publications to print my stories. I will expect to see my story in your next publication. Good luck in the future.” "
To damn funny. I read every rejection letter too, over a hundred and I've stopped counting. But I've also had about 5 or 6 positive feed backs, so I'm a happy chappy, and busy editing as usual. :p
That made me laugh. :D It seems like a fun way to cope with it. I saw on another forum a game where a rejection letter would be posted and people would guess who it was from. I've had four so far but even my first didn't get to me too much. I felt more apologetic to my reader than I felt disappointed about the rejection! I think that's because to prepare myself I read a lot of rejection letters so that when mine came I already kind of knew what it would say.
That's great. Made me laugh. I now receive all rejections with stoic numbness and only a fleeting desire to send jagged responses to the office temps/automated e-mail clients that have so 'carefully read and enjoyed my work' but 'didn't quite feel it was appropriate for us at this time'.

Bitter, moi?
Funny but also a bit risky if what I have been led to believe is true. Namely, that there is some sort of jungle telegraph that broadcasts misdeeds like multiple submission--talking back?--to agents, who will then heap group revenge upon the miscreant. Hope it ain't so.
I don't find it funny. Stunts like this don't work but what they do is burn bridges and give one a bad name among editors, agents, and publishers. They share things like this with each other. I wouldn't recommend doing this. It won't earn you an offer. Write well, and write the book they're looking for at that moment in time.

Rejection isn't personal. Get over it and move on.

If I'd taken rejection personally I never would have written another book.

When I first wrote the book that eventually became His Majesty's Secret, I made every newbie mistake there is. I wasn't ready, but I didn't know that at the time. I racked up somewhere in the neighborhood of 140 rejections for that one. Instead of doing things I should have been doing, like joining RWA (Romance Writers of America) and learning my craft, I wrote another equally piss-poor novel. That one racked up close to 100 rejections. Been there, done that. It's all part of the game. :)
Love the slush pile hell! Glad I've never written anything like those... phew lol
It definitely shows that complete and utter arrogance can make you look very foolish! I was surprised at how many people submitted under the guidance of God!

@Tara Rose That's the worrying thing. Hopefully the editor it was sent to will just have a small laugh at it and move on, but if the editor doesn't appreciate jokes like this it could work against the writer and make his odds even slighter. Whenever I see one of these I wonder if it encourages more writers to do the same, which agents etc must love. "We've got another one, Gary." "Has a writer been blogging about his replies to agents again?" "Would seem so, this is the fifth rejection of a rejection letter we've received today." :p
I thank them for their time and consideration. I thank them for looking. Anything else is a waste of energy. It's a disappointment for the agent , too. They WANT to find stuff they think they can place. They need to.
I thank them for their time and consideration.
That's pretty much how I sign off on my cover letter! "Thank you for your time and consideration."
You're right about them needing to find material that they think they can sell. I think the only time a rejection letter might be personal is if the writer has done something to anger agents and they're rejected on that basis, which is fair enough really. I don't think I'd want to work with someone who thought they were a cut above the rest and that it was alright to be rude, either!
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Fanfare! (?) The Orangutan Says All

Publisher's Weekly Staff Read Picks for 2014