- "Dear Writer, Rejected: You seem cool, but you need to rewrite. I don't know why or how, but if you sit in a quiet place for about a week, or on top of a mountain briefly, it will come to you. I'm pretty sure. Yours, Rejecting Agent"
- "Come on, Writer: I know you can do better than this. How about a little spell checking and grammar consistency? Perhaps some more interesting details (alternate options: emotional heat, drama, plot, narrative continuity, depth, sex-appeal, spunk, etc.)? Writing isn't the same as being a parking lot attendant. You've got to sweat; you've got to dig deep into your emotional center and feel the pain of what you are trying to say; you've got to demonstrate some originality and truth. It's got to hurt, baby. Until then, no can do. --Agent of Truth"
- "Yo Writer: You came sooo close, but my job sucks and the market is horrendeous. Did you know that 80% of Americans didn't even purchase one single lousy book last year? So what am I supposed to do? Risk it all on you, even though your short stories are going to sink the entire publishing company, for which I work. I mean, if block-buster short-story writer Alice Munro has trouble moving more than 50,000 books out of the Barnes & Noble, what the hell can we expect from you? (I know, know, she's Canadian, but still.) This isn't a dream world. This is a business. If you still feel like writing after this dressing down, you probably are the real thing, but that doesn't mean I (or anybody else) is going to publish you. So, keep your day job. And buck up. Maybe someone will discover your work when you're dead. Sorry to disappoint. I'm as depressed as you are about it, but I gotta' go get a latte and some gum. Sincerely, Agent 007"
- "Maestro: If only I could publish you, but I just can't. It's too complicated to explain, but the situation involves my ridiculous bosses and my own lack of acquisitioning power. The corporate structure is killing me. Do you have any idea who owns us now? This huge corporate conglomeration is no joke. So, why don't you try a small, independent press or LuLu? In fact, tell them I sent you. Tell them I'm a fan--of theirs and yours. Maybe it will help because you really deserve to be in libraries until the end of days. And instead of just saying "no" to a book I think is flawless (or at least pretty damn good), I'm going to go out of my way and try to help you get published, pretty much without lifting a finger. Just go ahead and use my name liberally all over town. See if that and two bucks will get you on the subway. Warmly, Not-so-Evil Editor"
Okay, writers, your turn. This is a call for submission. The Quoibler wants to make an anthology, but we'll settle for some blogging fun.
Post your ideal rejection template here.
(BTW, come up with a name other than anonymous, mice, so we can identify and publish the best top three by "name".)