Monday, March 21, 2011

Hilde’s Top Ten Things
To Do With a Rejection Letter

by Hilde Garcia

From now on- “IT” refers to “the letter
10 - Order a pizza. Make sure to get grease on IT.
- Let your kids color on IT.
- Eat a Bag of Doritos and use IT as a napkin.
- Play desk basketball with IT.
- Make a paper airplane with IT and throw it into your neighbor’s yard.
- Throw a party and use IT as a dartboard.
- Use IT for origami.
- Change the name on IT and send IT to someone you don’t like.
2- Look for mistakes in IT and return IT to sender.
1- Read IT. Sigh. Eat a pound of chocolate.
It is only a word. NO

If you turn the word around, it spells ON, as in, “You’re on. I’ll get published in spite of your NO.” And then laugh all the way to the bank when you do.

No is just that, no. It doesn’t mean anything more than that, unless you give it more meaning. And at least in the publishing world, it’s a nice NO, on letterhead, sometimes even with a personal note of encouragement. 

In the word of show biz, you don’t even get that. You get, “You’re not the right type,” right to your face and in front of everyone else. And then they yell, “next.” 

That’s brutal. A rejection letter is not.

It took Dr. Seuss 33 tries before he heard yes for The Cat in the Hat. Jack London received over 600 letters. He used them for wall paper.

Therefore enjoy the rejection and the chocolate. It’ll make the Yes all the sweeter.


  1. Not so much nowadays when everything is done via e-mail, but back in the good ole' days when all was snail-mail, I always thought the thing to do was to save up the rejection slips, and when you had enough, paper the walls of your office with them.

  2. Rejection letters show we're really writers. Too bad so many publishers no longer have the courtesy to send them.

  3. This is great! Rejections mean we're in the game, so I don't mind them too much.

  4. Hilarious. You made my day with this post and I thank you. Great sense of humor.

  5. I have a great one to turn into an origami frog, if you will show me how? I have lots of them hidden somewhere in the attic

  6. I stopped counting at 300 rejections several years ago---still have them on file. One of these days, I'll toss the lot of them---well, maybe except for the ones that make me chuckle. Keeping a sense of humor is what it's all about.

  7. Wasn't it Fitzgerald that did wallpaper? I am collecting them also. I had a nice juicy one before being shortlisted for Nathan Bransford first paragraph contest. It all lies in the editor's opinion

  8. Best sellers got so many "Nos" What is hard is when you don't get a personal note to let you know if your MS is crapola or just not what they're looking for. It's frustrating.
    J. Aday Kennedy
    The Differently-Abled Writer & Speaker
    Children's Author of Klutzy Kantor & Marta's Gargantuan Wings

  9. #2 is my favorite. Thanks for the smile today!

  10. Hello! You're my 2k11/Elevensie sway winner! Let me know a mailing address where I can reach you.

    caroline starr AT yahoo DOT com


We love hearing from you.