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?

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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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