A truly helpful rejection letter

Lunch HourA writing friend passed along this rejection letter from Lunch Hour Stories. Very nicely done! Someone took the time to put my friend’s name and the title of her story on the letter (I have erased these). There’s clear encouragement to continue submitting more of her work.

Take a closer look at that checklist (click on the thumbnail above to see a larger image). In a way, it’s a little discouraging to know that the reasons that stories are rejected fall into such neat categories: wrong word count, wrong genre, “slow,” “ordinary,” “disgusting” (I wonder how often they use that one). On the other hand, it gives a clear list of reasons a particular story might not be ready for publication. You might need to tighten it up, strengthen the ending, punch up the suspense, or see a psychiatrist. Choose any and all that apply.

I can imagine that there are writers who would not appreciate receiving such a letter. My friend, however, said that she wouldn’t mind “getting one of these every time.” Well, maybe not every time.

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6 Responses

  1. iwiLetter’s Rejection Letter writing contest is ending January 31st, so don’t miss your opportunity to write and submit your best Rejection Letter for your chance to win an 80GB iPod. Submit your letter now at http://www.iwiLetter.com/Rejection.html and live on in Rejection Letter writing infamy. Even if you don’t win the iPod, your letter can still be picked to become one of our sample letters for everyone to see and use.

    Also, beginning February 1st we’ll be running a Love Letter writing contest for all you Lovebirds as Valentine’s Day approaches. So keep an eye out for that, and other exciting news, at http://www.iwiLetter.com

  2. So who’s up for writing a 3000-word, slow, ordinary, non-suspenseful, unbelievable, sentimental, disgusting, weak-ended chapter of a romance to earn the rest of those check marks?

  3. I’m sure I have something lying around here that would fit the bill…

  4. I challenge you 🙂

  5. Worst rejection ever was the word “NO” stamped on my cover letter before it was stuffed in the SASE. 🙂

  6. Very good site. Thank you.

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