As a self-published author, I’ve obviously not had a real rejection yet. I had to get Natalie’s friend to change the dimensions of my cover photo before I was admitted into the Premium Catalog on Smashwords, but that’s really not the same thing as a rejection.
This has officially changed!
This is the rejection email I got from upstreet for my short story, “Soon”, which I submitted to them a while ago:
Dear Charlotte Blackwood:
We’re sorry we can’t use “Soon,” which you submitted to upstreet number nine. We have received a great deal of work by writers who will not be included in the final selection, but certainly deserve to have their voices heard in other publications.
We wish you all the best with your writing; thank you for giving us the opportunity to read it.
This may seem strange to you, dear readers, but I’m very proud of this rejection letter.
For one thing, it’s very polite. Yeah, they probably sent the same letter to everybody they turned down, but it’s a reminder of how vast a field I’m competing in, a reminder that no matter how good I am there’s always someone better, someone more marketable, whatever. It’s a reminder not to give up.
I’ve submitted this story to another literary magazine, which says it will get back to me in the next three to four months, which is fine by me.
Rejection letters happen, but they’re not really rejection. They’re a reminder to keep working, that you’re not perfect, and that there is no instant stardom in the world of writing. Miracles can happen, but only a lot of ink, sweat, and tears.