Monday, September 24, 2012


My Dearest Mice:
     Five years is a long time to go on sheer rejection; we've had a fun time. We've battled nay-sayers, trolls, and literary journal editors. We've talked back to agents and editors and publishers. We had a go at some writers.  Someone even included us in his novel!  They all came around, wanting to be part of this weird blog that got bigger than I ever thought possible.
     Luckily or unluckily, my luck hasn't changed over the past 5 years. I am still mostly getting rejected. To wit, just a few days ago my agent wrote back to say he didn't think the new point-of-view in my novel was working at all. Long and short, on first read, he didn't really like the novel.  That leaves me exactly where?  I'm not sure. But I'm glad I get to share this final rejection with you today.
     And do you know why? Do you know what today is, micycles?
     Today is the last day of Literary Rejections On Display (LROD).
     I'm packing it in for now. I think it is high time to start pursuing a career that leads to acceptance and love, not rejection and snarkiness. Does that mean I will stop being a writer?  Who can say?  I will try to stop being a writer, but it probably won't stick.  I have tried to stop being a writer in the past many times. It is a kind of scare tactic I use on myself when I'm sick of myself, if you know what I mean. But maybe this time it's for real.
   Of course LROD will stay up. You can search the archives in a number of different ways, and if you ever find yourself googling "literary rejection" you will no doubt end up here. I have loved and hated you and this blog and my own rejections, which ultimately led to your rejections getting posted. These days, plenty of writers and bloggers post their own rejections on their own blogs, and I hope the secret shame of getting rejection has been lightened a little by the work we have done together here.
     I do promise and vow to you, though, that if anything significant of mine ever gets published (say, my novel, short-story collection, book of essays, or non-fiction book), I will post the cover here and reveal my true identity, not that it will really matter, but many of you have asked. Until then, know that I am doing my thing elsewhere...whatever and wherever that may be.
     Until then, be nice to one another. There are enough asses in the world already.
     I wish you all the best in everything.
     Peace out, for now.


Anonymous said...

"that leads to acceptance and love, not rejection and snarkiness."
Hope you find it. As someone who - many years ago - withdrew from the fray, I can say that not being involved with striving was a relief. Futility is a demoralizing opponent.
What is it but Vanity, after all.

Cari Hislop said...

Just because a number of people who title themselves experts have rejected your book doesn't mean it isn't a great story or a great book. It doesn't meant there aren't numerous readers who'd love it.

Set the story in a safe place and go have some fun dancing, painting, taking pictures or weaving words. Be kind to your inner artist/heart. It's suffering concussion.

I'll sign off with a poem by Basho one of the masters of Haiku

How sad - under
the battered helmet
Cricket song.

Anonymous said...

I just want to say that I discovered this place about a year ago and it's been a place of refuge and comfort for me in the midst of my own rejections and in my despair and anguish at those rejections.
Lay people, no matter how nice, be they friends or family, just don't get it. And how could they?
But no matter what our opinions were about MFA programs or the death of lit fiction etc., we were all united here in the knowledge that rejections suck major major balls.
And in posting all of yours and the rejections of others, I think you gave us a forum to tell the rejectors to suck some balls too.
So I just want to say hats off, and thank you, and to wish you success in whatever you decide to do.

capsman said...

I wish my rejections would suck my balls.

We will miss you, MB.

Anonymous said...

Why not just send your novel as it is (as you like it, regardless of what agent says) to independent presses who accept unagented submissions, as well as to contents, and if the first few chapters could stand on their own, as short story submissions to different literary journals? It might all look different if any of these "bite" - and what have you got to lose? Especially if you keep your expectations low.

Good luck. Don't give up.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry to hear that. I've read your writing and think you're great. What you've done is already good.

Hotel Mkudro said...

The scary maze game at

Alex Dumpfree said...

Literary Rejections On Display is a website on which people can post and discuss rejection letters from magazines, agents and book publishers. The site was ...

Unknown said...

Mmm, I can definitely understand the temptation of another career. Part of why I learned to love being a reporter when I had my heart set on fiction writer is that once I had the job, I was in. No uncertainties about rejections, I could write and write. But I came back to writing - in the end, its the part of myself I can't escape. Whatever you decide to do, I wish you luck!