Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Share Your Favorite Rejection

I've racked up enough form rejections by now that I have "favorites." Sure, they all basically say the same thing - no thanks - but that's only if you're taking them at face value.

I've done a little reading between the lines, and here's what I've come up with as the "best" of my rejections:

#3)Dear Author,

Thank you for your query and for letting me have a look at your work. I apologize for the impersonal nature of this email but I receive so many queries that it makes it impossible for me to respond personally to each one. Thank you for your patience.

Unfortunately, I don’t feel that this is right for me, so I’m going to pass. Just because I wasn’t quite drawn in, however, doesn’t mean there isn’t another agent out there who will love it. I encourage you to continue to submit elsewhere.

Thanks again for thinking of me, and I wish you all the best in your endeavors.

What she really means: This is the longest form rejection ever! Bet you almost didn't find the rejection key words I so stealthily hid within it... I almost had you going, didn't I?! Bwahaha, I've created the longest winded version of "no" humanly possible and you will all suffer my evil genius!

Did it make me feel any better about the R? Nope. I scan and stop reading the minute I see "unfortunately." But it did make me laugh.

#2)Please don't take this rejection as a comment on your writing, because it isn't intended to be one. While your novel has merit, I am forced to give serious consideration to the realities of the marketplace when deciding which writers to represent. And I really have to be absolutely in love with every project I choose to take on.

Best of luck with this project and all your endeavors. Due to the volume of queries and submissions I receive, I'm unable to provide a personal evaluation and/or further explanation of my decision.

Good luck with your submissions.

What she really means: You love your book. I thought I did, but I'm dumping it for the way cuter, more popular book that someone else just sent me. Toodles!
Did it make me feel any better about the R? HAHA! Um, no. This one kicked my ass. But I give her points for trying to make such an impersonal letter feel personal.
Ready for my absolute favorite?
#1) In this very competitive market, I am simply not enthusiastic enough about my ability to sell this work to offer representation.

What he really means:

Gotta give props to a guy who tries to go with the "It's not you, it's me" line! And there you have it.

Your turn, peeps. Tell me about some of your more noteworthy rejections! (And be honest - have any of them actually made you feel better about getting rejected?)


  1. Oh my God, Gina. You almost made me wake up my roommate with that last one.

    I don't know where in the trash pile of my uncleaned inbox this rejection is, but I had one once that said something along the lines of "this didn't interest me as much as I'd hoped."

    Which is basically like saying, "It sounded cool, but your writing sucked."

    So yeah--that one made me feel better about getting rejected, lol. And I know I've been talking to Leigh Ann about this a lot lately, but sometimes the agent's presence elsewhere on the internet--like Twitter--is what makes me glad they rejected me. Sometimes I think they say things they should just not be saying.

  2. This is hiliarious. I don't have my rejections anymore, so I can't share them with you, but many have been along the same lines. I did receive one that I swear was over a page long. It was a form rejection by some little known agent who thought she was being helpful. Yeah, maybe if she had been the first agent I had queried, ever. All I did was skim to the 'unfortunately' and that was enough for me.

    I'll give the above agents an A for effort. :D

  3. Rejection is never fun, but those are classics. You'd think as agents, they might be a little better with wording...since of course, they're all about finding the right wording.

  4. @Chessie - YEAH. About half an hour after my last BIG rejection, I reminded myself what an $%*&*( that agent had recently been on Twitter. Kinda glad.

    Okay. So I've only gotten like 17 rejections but I have had some doozies. Including this one I got yesterday:

    "If you haven't done so already, you may wish to look at The Jeff
    Herman Guide to Editors, Publishers, and Literary Agents - there, you
    should be able to find someone who's a better fit for your work."

    Which means:

    "We don't want you so much, it makes us think that you don't even know how to look for people who DO want you! Here's a reference book recommendation for that.
    Best of luck, idiot!"

    And then there was the one that said my work had been very carefully considered. Which was sent about twenty minutes after the query had been received.


    Fun times!!!

  5. Haha, love #1! Yay for form rejections. :)

  6. "I scan and stop reading the minute I see 'unfortunately.'"

    LOL. I totally do that. Almost all of the time, I can see it in my Gmail preview too. Handy for tamping down that misguided hope that crops up whenever I get an e-mail from an agent.

  7. Okay Gina, I just hopped over here from Stina's blog...and am I glad I did!! This is classic! Love it. And from one rejection-slapped-in-the-face writer to another ((cyber hugs)). I'm following you now. Looking forward to getting to know you.

  8. HI Gina!!!! Hmmm..why do these sound sooo familiar?!? LOVE this and so glad you can make fun of this whole frustrating process!!!!! I've been on that end so many times I've lost count (hey, I queried three novels)!!!! (((hugs)))

  9. I think I've actually been rejected via all three of these forms! I really don't like the long rejections. I mean, what's the point? My favorite is an agent whose rejection is simply, "Not for me, thank you." I know the other agents are being nice, but I always prefer people to say what they mean, and no more than that. I came over here for the blogfest, Gina, and it's nice to meet you!

  10. Is there a prize if I can match which agent sent what rejection?

  11. Hahaha! I love your interpretations. These are how we view their comments, for sure! Nice to meet you!