The Rejection Letter: The Good and The Bad

I’m still completely new to the publishing world, and it can be extremely daunting. When my academic mentor told me one of my essays is ready to be sent to magazines and journals, I almost fell over. After the past few years, cautiously writing my heart out, I thought about that comment being a milestone. Now, the next step, was to find journals.

There are thousands of journals, just in case you didn’t know. 

It was all about narrowing down the ones I enjoyed to read, the deadlines, and if they accept simultaneous submissions. I’m not very patient, and the thought of waiting for six months or longer on one essay with one journal was agonizing. So I chose approximately 7-8 journals to send my essay to. I spent up to two hours preparing one submission, to make sure I met all of the qualifications and standards, and I triple checked my grammar and spelling, before clicking submit. My hand shook uncontrollably as I clicked

It was frightening to say the least. Now it is all a waiting game. Some journals can take up to a week to respond, others 6 months or longer. When you finally do get that rejection letter, it’s not as earth shattering as we all imagine it to be. How my mentors put it, there is the good, and there is the bad.

The bad rejection letter doesn’t tell you how much you suck as a writer, and you should choose a new career path. It simply will say, “Thank you for your submission. After some consideration, we will have to decline your piece for publication. The best of luck.” The End.
That’s not so awful! It’s a pretty easy concept, a bland sentence, and it’s clear what they mean. They were not interested. Just remember to keep going. Someone, somewhere out in the wonderful world of writing, will choose your piece.

The good rejection letter looks a little something like this: “Thank you for your submission. After some consideration, we will have to decline your piece for publication. We enjoyed reading your piece, and encourage you to submit other samples in the future. The best of luck.” —> That is the type of rejection anyone would love! They’re telling you your good, and would love to read more if they get the chance! Your spirits are sky high, and all of the possibilities are in front of you.

This other rejection letter I’m about to tell you….it’s MAGICAL.
I received this rejection letter just a few weeks ago. This is when they politely decline your submission, but continue to tell you what they loved about it, and what suggestions they have to make it better. And then they invite you to resubmit the piece once it’s revised for the next reading period.
I jumped up and down with joy, tears, sweat, laughter, and squeals. This was the moment when I finally felt like I was getting somewhere. It was an insane, blood rushed feeling.

What I have learned from this publication process is that even after a hundred no’s, there will be a yes someday. And that moment will be milestone worthy.


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