Wednesday, June 25, 2014

What To Do With Rejection Letters


I’ve heard legends about writers who say they have been writing for years and never even considered writing for publication.  Yet when they finally decide to do it, they are accepted by the first publisher that they approach.  I have never actually met one of these people, but I hear a similar story almost every time I tell a non-writer that I am a writer.
Most writers I know have a pile of rejection letters that could fill a small forest.  Most of them are form letters and go something like this:

Thank you very much for the opportunity to

read your manuscript, but it is not quite a good

fit for our list. 

The holy grail of rejection letters are the ones that seem to be written by an individual, make specific and encouraging comments about your writing and give you revision pointers.  I can’t provide an example of which because I have never gotten one.
The question is what to do your collection of letters other than weep over them.
Last week in my SCBWI critique group, the Critters, some of the members came up with alternative uses for rejection letters.  I decided this was a good idea and extended the list to 10.  The first 3 are courtesy of the Critters:

     1.     Make your own jewelry.
     2.     Create themed wallpaper for your bathroom.

     3.     Make a ball gown made entirely of printed rejection letters and wear it
             to your next party

     4.     Cut out the words, re-arrange them and create slam poetry about the
             pain of rejection

     5.     Create themed wrapping paper

     6.     Burn them in a ritual fire

     7.     Shred them and use them to stuff voodoo dolls

     8.     Decoupage your furniture

     9.     Make origami cranes

     10.    Do the Tao and give them to the universe

Whatever you choose to do with them, never ever quit!