Rejecting Rejection

I just received an (unpersonalised) rejection for my short story, Through A Glass Darkly: A Cinderella Story which you can now read on my wattpad profile.

My rejection email read as follows:


Dear Melissa,
Thank you for submitting to our upcoming anthology, Fairly Wicked Tales. We received a large volume of submissions and the competition was very fierce. We also received a significant number of re-tellings of the “Cinderella” story and could only choose one for the anthology. Unfortunately, we will have to pass on your story.
We wish you every success in your writing endeavors.
I am not remotely upset by this – I think that this actually makes me a real aspiring author. I’m really quite chuffed about it to be honest!
There are a few reasons for this.
1. I love that I can write at all. It’s basically an instinct, like mewing. Or breathing. That’s more normal. If no one else thinks anything I write is publishable, it’s not going to detract from my enjoyment of doing it! I was writing just for me since I could hold a pen and put letters together on a page. I guess I always will be doing that!
2. I’ve finally (I hope!) learned the spiritual lesson that the gift is far less important that the giver. So spiritually, I’m happy to give thanks to God for the gift I have and the fun I have doing it without getting upset if it’s not recognised. Recognition would be lovely – but if I make that the centre of my world, I’m going to be severely disappointed! Fact. And life is WAY too short for that!
3. I play Rejection Letter Bingo.

Courtesy of Writer’s Digest, this ingenious game helps any author see the funny side. There’s nothing like a tongue-in-cheek way of handling “negative” things to help you put a positive spin on it.

I’ve made up my own version – Rejection Letter Treats.This is because I am poor and need a really good reason to spend money on myself.

1 = pancakes
2 = hairdresser trip
3 = …
4 = …
5 = …
6 = …
7 = …
8 = …
9 = …
10 = …

Any ideas of what inexpensive things I can insert in numbers 3-10?

What would your Rejection Letter Treat list be??

How do you handle rejection?

Leave me a comment and let the discussion commence!

5 thoughts on “Rejecting Rejection”

  1. I haven't submitted a lot of stories yet—mostly short ones, perhaps 5-6, out of which one only was accepted (in a webzine, not by a publishing house, but hey, that was still success!). With each passing year, I'm handling it better and better, though, because I've come to realise that my absolute goal wasn't so much to be “traditionally published”, but rather “to write and be read”. And with the advent of ebooks and self-publishing, I don't need a publishing house to do that.Of course, if I could be published and earn some money with it, it'd be the cherry on top; I won't play the hypocrite and claim it doesn't matter at all. However, my real victories are the ones I get over myself: whenever I manage to complete a short story before the deadline; whenever I actually *send* it; and so on.To me, rejection letters aren't failures: they're the proof I actually had enough balls (manner of speaking) to send something and risk rejection. Because it's easy to call myself “an author” if all I do is keep my manuscripts in my drawers/on my computer, and never gets challenged in my beliefs that “I can write”.As for inexpensive things to add to the list… I don't know… A printed book you've wanted to read for ages? A specific type of latte at the coffee-shop? A complete seas on of a TV series if you can find it at a cheap price (there used to be a store in my town who sold some for 10 euros/season)?


  2. You made that first step in the publishing business which is awesome! Someone will be very lucky when they said YES to your story someday, whichever it be.OhAnd the rewardsUmm… shoes? A new book? Trip to Croatia?


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