A Rejection Letter for Rejecting a Rejection Letter

May 06, 2014
There are plenty of feel-good quotes intended to inspire writers to fully embrace the craft and to dream and create and succeed.


I prefer quotes like this one from American science fiction writer John Scalzi:

"Engrave this in your brain: EVERY WRITER GETS REJECTED. You will be no different."

I have received my fair share of rejection letters from literary agents and publishers in my time as a writer. When I received my first few (back when I was pitching my debut novel, Notes on an Orange Burial) I became very discouraged and dispirited. After a while, however, I grew thicker skin. I also realized it wasn’t the agents’ and publishers’ fault that they were born without the ability to recognize latent literary brilliance. I just chalked it up to bad genetics. (Theirs, not mine.)

I even started to feel sorry for some of the agencies and publishing houses for lacking the wisdom and foresight to sign me. But I knew my pity wasn’t going to help them. So I decided to start rejecting their rejection letters with a rejection letter of my own.

Since I’m not a complete sociopath with a writing-career death wish, I never actually sent my “Rejection Letter for Rejecting a Rejection Letter” to any agents or publishers. However, I think it would be a lot of fun if you did so the next time you receive a rejection letter. (For those of you who aren’t writers, feel free to pass this post on to your friends or family members who are, or who think they are.)

And without further ado, here it is – the Rejection Letter for Rejecting a Rejection Letter:

Dear (name of agent or publisher),

Thank you very much for your recent rejection notification. Unfortunately, I am unable to accept your rejection at this time. Please understand that I receive a high volume of rejection notifications and must be highly selective in choosing those that I am able to handle.

The acceptance of rejection notifications is a highly subjective process. The fact that I have decided to pass on your rejection in no way signifies your rejection is sub-par, and I encourage you to continue rejecting authors’ queries and submissions. Just because I have decided to pass on your rejection doesn’t mean there aren’t numerous other authors who’d be happy to be rejected by you.
I wish you the best of luck in your future rejection endeavors and want to thank you for allowing me to review your work. 


(Your name here. Or a made-up name – to ensure that you have a snowball’s chance in hell of ever having another agent or a publisher even THINK about accepting your manuscript.)

If you liked this post, you can join my mailing list to have all my future “Scrawl Space” blog posts delivered directly to your inbox. (Even if you DIDN’T like this post, I’ll still let you join – I’m open-minded like that.) By joining the list, you’ll also immediately receive a FREE copy of the first chapter of my dark comic thriller, THE EXIT MAN.

Back to blog

Author Website Design