The Reject Letter

Some writers complain about reject letters as a commonplace event.

Perhaps I should qualify that statement. In the movies, fictitious characters who are writers complain endlessly about getting reject letters. They also complain about ‘my agent’ – getting one of those is as tricky as navigating your way around Europe with a Tom-Tom that speaks only Italian (and I don’t).

The truth is this: if you get a reject letter, count yourself lucky.

Until recently all my submissions have been sucked into a giant black hole in the cyberspace of publishing, never to be seen or heard from again. Some don’t even bother sending a one-line email to acknowledge the thousands of hours you slaved over the incubation and birth of your little piece of joy.

A couple of months ago I actually received my very first real live reject letter.

It was so beautiful that I nearly wept. I’m serious. Someone actually took the time to write a NICE letter of support and encouragement. I’m sure everyone who submitted got the same one, but for a moment it made me believe that my writing isn’t total crap.

I’ll share the best part with you:

“Our editors thought highly of your piece. Unfortunately, however, the overwhelming number of submissions we have received has presented us with some difficult decisions to make in terms of compiling a long-list for the judges; ultimately this means that many high-quality pieces such as yours must regrettably be turned down.”

Now, isn’t that nice?


About Debbie Terranova

Debbie Terranova is an Australian author of contemporary and historical fiction. 'The Scarlet Key' published in 2016 is the second Seth VerBeek mystery. The crime-busting reporter is back with a new cast of unforgettable characters and a new puzzle to solve. It's about live, love, death, and tattoos, with a touch of the mystical. 'Baby Farm', her debut novel, is a cozy crime mystery about forced adoptions of the 1970s, and a surrogacy and baby trafficking racket. It is the first of the Seth VerBeek series. Debbie Terranova is a prizewinning author of short stories: 'Mowbray Brothers' about growing up in East Brisbane in the 1920s; and 'Mischief' about reinventing yourself and in the process falling in love ... with an adorable but mischievous cat.
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2 Responses to The Reject Letter

  1. This is so true!!!! I’ve recently had two personalised rejection letters (after agents have requested to view full manuscript). I was actually pleased thinking that I must be improving! Glass half full I say!
    Good on you.

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