Immediate thoughts upon receiving a rejection letter

“Dear Yi Shun,

Thank you for sending your work to XXXXXXX. We are always grateful for the opportunity to review new material, and we have given “Inadvertently, Miss Manners Doesn’t Live Here” close reading and careful consideration. We found many strengths to recommend your work and, overall, much to admire. We regret, however, that “Inadvertently, Miss Manners Doesn’t Live Here” is not quite right for us. We encourage you try us again in the future, and we hope that you will.


The Editors”

1. OH, HELL.

2. Not AGAIN.

3. Which piece was this? I’ve forgotten.

4. Oh, right. That one.

5. Let’s see, how many times have I submitted that? It feels like five billion.

6. I’d better check my  spreadsheet.

7. Oh. I don’t have a spreadsheet anymore for that type of thing

8. Mostly because I don’t submit anymore, really.

9. Why? Why not?

10. I think I have only submitted this thing twice.

11. I guess that’s not terrible, is it?

12. Do you think it’s the title? It does look affected, doesn’t it?

13. Get a grip. If you got rejected, it’s probably not the title that did it.

14. What is this saying, really?

15. I have now read this thing fifteen times. Navel-gaze much?

16. Some day I may actually get a rejection letter that says


18. Oh, hell.

19. It says that they want me to submit again.

20. I think that’s what it says anyway–it says they “encourage” me to try again.

21. And that they “hope” I will.

22. Such lovely words, “encourage” and “hope”!

23. They are so full of promise! “Encourage!” “Hope!” What lovely subtleties in each of these words. What volumes can be spoken, just with a few smart choices and turns of phrase!

24. Oh, hell.

25. Guess I’ll try again.



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Writer, editor, general crazy-pants.

8 Responses to Immediate thoughts upon receiving a rejection letter
  1. Oh Yi Shun.. this was my favourite!! 17. YOU SUCK LADY. DROP THIS WRITING THING AND STUDY CEPHALOPODS FOR A LIVING. YOU’RE BOUND TO DO BETTER THAN YOU ARE DOING AT THIS WRITING THING (I feel that way every time I don’t get a part in a play.. but persevere because rejection is 90% of the performance gig.. That 10% makes the 90% not as bad.. in my humble opinion..

  2. Philip Stern says:

    Yeah, the Cepalopod thing was great…can easily identify with your “immediate thoughts” on getting rejected (again!), Am waiting on a bunch of things. Keep your chin up, Yi Shun!

  3. Hollie says:

    You’re a great writer, they’re just looking for something else at this particular moment in time. ONWARD!

    (At least you’re submitting. I’ll take a rejection letter from a real person over the crap voice in my head.)

  4. Yi Shun Lai says:

    @Phillip, thank you SO much for coming by! I do love knowing you are reading these posts! Keep me posted on your submissions as well!

  5. Yi Shun Lai says:

    @Hollie, you peach, you. How I love your ready admission that you’d rather a real rejection letter than “that voice in my head.” It IS crap, isn’t it??? xoxo

  6. Shari Scholte says:

    The crap voice in my head has kept me away from my manuscript for months now. It’s amazing how many other things you can find to do instead that give you validation rather than rejection. Thank you for the post. It has me thinking ONWARD again.

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