Thursday, April 10, 2008

Write Your Own Rejection

Since we live in an age that blurs reality with fiction, why shouldn't we write our own rejections? One incredibly creative rejected writer did just that, sent in his own invented rejection. Here it is:

Do you know what kind of letter of rejection I would get from Gaston – remember -- Gaston the near-sighted editor in Aunt Rachel’s Fur who rejected the noodle novels – do you know what kind of rejection letter I would get from him if I were to submit [title of novel] to les ├ęditions de l’Amour Fou?

This is what Gaston would write :

Dear Sir,

Though we recognize your talent as a story-teller, and appreciate the humor and the style of your writing, we cannot take a risk with this book because we cannot determine in which category of books it should be marketed. It does not appear to be a novel since the main characters are in fact yourself and your wife. And yet it cannot be classified as an autobiography since there are so many fictional elements in it. Nor could it be considered a travelogue because of the lack of geographical precision. Moreover we cannot consider it as work of history because of the dubious historical references. We doubt that even though the language is at time poetic we could present this book as a long poem.

Madame Trucmuche and I discussed the potential marketability of your book in terms of its usefulness to farmers, but rejected this idea since most farmers are still illiterate in the provinces. The only alternative would be to have you rewrite the book from the point of view of the old man in the language of the old man, we might then consider this book as a manual of French slang but that would mean rewriting this book in French, since that is the language of the old man.

Finally we feel that this book in comparison with the other book you submitted to us which unfortunately we did not accept because of its obsession with noodles that this one is not postmodern enough. In fact that is really the primary reason that we are returning your manuscript to you. We feel that [title of novel] is too traditional and too realistic. That it is on your part a retreat from the experimental work you have done so courageously until now without ever compromising your work. In this sense [title of novel] may appear to your readers as a regression. As a failure.

Yours sadly,
Gaston Le Myope

P.S. We forgot to mention that another reason for not taking the risk with this book is its obvious lack of respect on the part of the author for his native country and its inhabitants.

If Norman Mailer could write his own obituary decades before his death, then it is encumbent upon us to write our own rejections. Have at it, friends. What would yours say?


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Dear Self:

You are a beautiful child of God, who deserves to be in book stores (as long as they last). The fact that you were able to take the boring life of a paper-pusher and turn it into poetry is beyond belief. Your grasp of the modern human condition and the harrowing office dynamic is boundless and what you've written here is nothing short of brilliant.

I am certain that someone better than I will come along and discover you, putting you in the spotlight and the library for all times. It can't be me because I must go now and finish lunch. But suffice it to say that I wish you all the publishing luck in the world.


Anonymous said...

Short. Stories. Made. Me. Weep.
Can't. Go. On.
Must. Quit.
Join. Monastery.
Thank You. Thank You.
Thank You....

Gloria, Writer Reading said...

Dear Wanna-be-author:
It was astonishing to read such a fine novel reminiscent of Dostoevsky, Kafka, Hemingway and Faulkner. You are clearly a genius. However, given that you are lacking an MFA, we cannot accept your piece de resistance. Loser.

Sincerely Yours,
The Brothers Karamazov

Anonymous said...

Dear Writer: Please have dinner with me. You are a fascinating human being and an amazing writer. I can't publish you, but I can wine and dine you. Let's take a chance and see where we can go together.


Rejecting Agent

Anonymous said...

How about: "With that attitude, darling, you'd have more luck as a rock star?"