My First Rejection

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.

The Editors

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.




About Charlotte Blackwood

Charlotte Blackwood is a self-employed aspiring author working on perfecting her first novella/ first novel. She is a current student at Claremont McKenna College in Claremont, CA. If you're looking for a reading list (someday she'll add her own works to the list), she's currently supporting Anna Karenina, anything by Dickens, anything by Tolkien, anything by JK Rowling, A Song of Ice and Fire, and The Hunger Games.

2 thoughts on “My First Rejection

  1. ericjbaker says:

    Rejections began to sting less (I’ve gotten my fair share) when I found out how many good writers out there in WordPress and other blog hosting sites also get rejected.

    Good luck with your story and future writing projects.

    • Thanks, Eric!

      It’s true, there are just so many great writers, and not every company or publication can actually publish every great piece they get. Hence all the rejection letters running around. The key is just not to take it personally, as with college rejections as I tell my brother. If they don’t want your piece, it probably wouldn’t have worked in their scheme anyway.

      Best of luck to you as well, and may your letters be good news!


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