Rejected… THIS time around…


Today, just now, in fact, I received my first rejection notice via e-mail. I sent the query to this particular place only yesterday, so I obviously wasn’t a good fit for them.

I’m not going to cry about it, and although I’ve prepped myself for months in anticipation of rejection letters, this first one stings a bit. The notice was quite cordial, so I can’t even be mad at the agency (which shall remain nameless).

They said: “Thank you for your query. Unfortunately, your manuscript doesn’t sound like something that’s right for us. We wish you the best of success in placing your work elsewhere.”

See? How can I be mad about that? Hmm???

One thing I take heart in is that so many of the greatest authors (and I do not consider myself one of them) were rejected multiple times before they found representation.

Let’s look at the statistics, shall we?


Louis L’Amour: 200 rejections. (Yikes! I hope I have the stamina and wherewithal if my numbers reach that high).

Jack Canfield & Mark Victor Hansen (editors of the Chicken Soup for the Soul): 140 rejections.

Margaret Mitchell (Gone With the Wind): 38 rejections (I think I could live with that).

Stephenie Meyer (shudder): 14 rejections

Madeleine L’Engle (A Wrinkle in Time): 26 publisher rejections

Audrey Niffenegger (The Time Traveler’s Wife): 25 rejections

Kathryn Stockett (The Help): 60 rejections

Frank Herbert (Dune): 23 rejections

Nicholas Sparks (The Notebook): 24 rejections

John Grisham (A Time to Kill): 16 agencies and 12 publishing rejections

Jack London: 600 rejections!!! YEESH!! Poor guy!

And…. J.K. Rowling: 12 rejections. (By publishers, that is. I can’t find the stats for agencies).


Well… that’s quite a range of numbers up there. I’m just going to go ahead and dismiss the outliers. There’s my high school geometry coming back to haunt me. So, if I take the median(ish) number, I can expect around 20-30 rejections. Which means I haven’t even scratched the surface of how many rejections I’m going to get.

I’m taking this as the ultimate challenge. I will NOT give up. I will keep working and writing and editing and revising and CREATING, because that’s what I’ve been called to do.

Bring on the rejection letters, people! I’m ready to fight!!!




They haven’t heard the last from me!!! Mwahahahaha!!!!! *wringing hands evilly*

Happy writing, everyone!



“This manuscript of yours that has just come back from another editor is a precious package. Don’t consider it rejected. Consider that you’ve addressed it ‘to the editor who can appreciate my work’ and it has simply come back stamped ‘Not at this address’. Just keep looking for the right address.” – Barbara Kingsolver

“I love my rejection slips. They show me I try.” – Sylvia Plath

“As a writer, the worst thing you can do is work in an environment of fear of rejection.”
—Carol Leifer



33 thoughts on “Rejected… THIS time around…

  1. Me, too. I indie-published a year ago, but towards the end of February I thought I’d send a query to a foreign publisher, and I got their “no thanks” earlier this week. Not long ago, I learned about a small press whose website says they look for unusual stuff, and it turns out that I’d purchased one of their books as a Christmas gift last year, so I think I’ll try them.

    I’m looking forward to following your progress in this campaign.

    • Thanks, Christine! And the best of luck with submitting to that smaller press. I hope it works out for you! I’ll definitely keep people updated. I think it’s important for me to acknowledge my failures (learning experiences) because it keeps me humble and driven. Good luck!

  2. Just remember your writing is art and art is subjective. Not everyone is going to appreciate it fully and the agent you want is the one that is wowwed the most. You have a wonderful attitude and I just know that your resilience will pay off for you in the near future! Best wishes! ❤

  3. Yeah, it’s just part of the process, those rejection letters. I got used to it after a while lol. The (semi possibly) good news is they probably didn’t even get to your writing sample, if they even asked for it in the submission guidelines, so they were probably just rejecting your query letter not your actual writing. I’m about to start querying a new novel so we’ll see what happens. Stay positive and know that at least now there are alternative options out there 😛 Happy writing!

  4. I wanted to offer up some encouragement, but I’ve never written a query letter or been rejected. Yet. So…let’s see. Let me borrow one of your writing quote motivational speeches. Just once. Or I’ll just say you’re awesome. And you’ll get published. Hmm. That’s not very much. I’m a horrible writer friend.

    Oh and I loved the evil laugh at the end. Haha

      • Well you’re welcome, though it wasn’t much of a speech. Your reactions to my random negativity are great. I imagine you with like a finger pointed my way like, “Stop it! Stop it right now!” Hah

        Yes! I do at least one or two or ten a day. Don’t ask me why. Haha. I usually call myself Dracula while doing it. At least it’s literary. Haha

      • Haha no. I said that’s what I imagine. I’m not encouraging that type of behavior. Especially since it might be a little awkward if you’re wagging your finger at your phone or computer. Others might say things about you’re well-being. Can’t have that.

      • I don’t know what you’re talking about. I talk to myself all the time and my well being is just fine. Right, Amy?

        That’s right, Amy. You tell him.

      • Well, I’m glad I could make ya laugh. And don’t deny that you talk to yourself, man. You’re a writer. You hold conversations with imaginary people all the time.

      • Hm. I don’t think so. But I’ll look.

        Woo! 🙂

        Okay, so I’m going to make some very slight changes. Not to the actual post, but I wanted to write a short intro to you and the whole first guest post thing. That’s really about it. Oh, and I think I’m taking out the part about you not being published. Cause I blog about writing and stuff all the time and you’ll get there long before I do.

        And I had a question. Since most of my posts get a lot of interaction from other bloggers, maybe 25-50 comments depending on the content, would you mind just checking the post periodically throughout the day and responding to the comments? It doesn’t have to be like every ten minutes or anything, just whenever you have a minute.

        And I think at the end you said comment on this post or on my blog, I was just going to put that you’d be checking and responding to the comments on mine. Don’t worry! I’m going to threaten everyone who doesn’t go to your blog too! Haha 🙂

      • Haha! That all sounds fine. Tomorrow is one of my really long days, but I’ll check my phone as often as possible during the day. Thanks, again, for letting me do this! I’m so excited!

      • Perfect. No worries. It could be a complete miss and get one comment and two likes. Haha. I’m totally kidding. That won’t happen.

        You’re excited? I am! I don’t think I ever did a guest post before now because I was never comfortable handing the reins to my blog over to anyone else. So, you should be…happy about that? Or something. Haha

      • Well, then, I’m honored you trust me with a guest post. And I love to write! About SO much. Obviously. Given how many options I gave you for writing this guest post. I’m such a nerd. And I’m not ashamed of it.

      • Well duhh you do. And I remember you saying a million years ago that you aren’t ashamed of your weirdness. So shouldn’t be for your nerdiness. Haha

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