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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Sense of Discovery

Dear [Writer's Name]: Thank you for sending "Title of Story." Your work received careful consideration here. We've decided this manuscript isn't right for us, but we wish you luck placing it elsewhere. Kind regards, The Editors P.S. Without submissions like yours, we'd lose the sense of discovery that keeps AGNI fresh. Please click here for a discounted subscription rate offered as a thank-you to our submitters.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Place It Elsewhere (Not in North America), Bub

Dear Mister Writer: Thanks for sending us your submission entitled "Title." We receive a large number of submissions but can only publish one in a hundred. Since our space is limited, we must often pass on well-crafted writing. We wish you the best of luck in placing your work. The Editors North American Review

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Best Colleges Has Literary Rejections

Here's an article called 20 Famous Rejection Letters We Can All Learn From, including a few letters that we've displayed and discussed here at LROD, including rejections of work by Gertrude Stein, Kurt Vonnegut, George Orwell, and others.  See the label famous for more well-known rejections.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Broken Piano For President by Patrick Wensink

When did you start writing you novel? Six years ago.
How long did it take to finish the first draft? One month.
How many revisions did you write? At least 25.
Who read your drafts? Not many people. A friend of a friend who was a published author gave some brief encouragement, but mostly I went with my gut.
Did you use an agent to sell it? If not, why not? I did at first. She was horrible. I met her at one of those weird writer's conventions that seem to always be held at airport Sheratons. I've had more success being my own agent, frankly.
How long did it take to find a publisher? I found my publisher, Lazy Fascist Press, about three years ago, but it took another three for my editor to consider Broken Piano for President ready for publication.
What is your worst rejection story? The above mentioned agent sent my manuscript to Viking. The editor there called Broken Piano for President "Nauseating."
What is your best rejection story? The same. I am still tickled by that story. Nausea is an incredibly strong reaction to reading something. I'd have preferred the editor loved the book, but I'll take nausea over ambivalence any day.
Where were you when you received the offer for the book to be published? In my basement office, alone. Which was fitting, because that's how all the hard work of writing was done, alone.
Who was the first person you told about the book deal? My wife. She is very level-headed and greeted it with the same enthusiasm she uses when I announce we're having spaghetti for dinner. She's good at keeping me grounded.
Has your philosophy on getting published changed? It's hard and demoralizing. But after the first 50 rejections, you get a kind of dementia about it all. Rejection is just business. There is, sadly, very little artistic whimsy in publishing.
What words of advice would you give to a writer on the journey toward publication? Do a lot of research and work on your own because nobody else is going to be your champion. Unless your last name is Safron-Foer or something. Then, it's probably a lot easier.

For more information about the author, go discover all things Wentastic!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Nauseated Penguins

Here's one for the books. An LROD reader sent in this rejection in which the editor found the actions of character "almost too outrageous, and sometimes even nauseating. For this reason, I cannot see this as a Viking title and so I will pass."  Click on the rejection to make it bigger for easier reading.  In the meantime, all best and alas and cheers.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

I Before E, People....I Before E

There are a lot of links in this rejection:

Thank you for the opportunity to consider your work, but we are sorry to inform you that your manuscript was not selected as a finalist for the prize. As you know, we read a great number of quality submissions, and we hope you understand that we can only nominate a small fraction of those writers.

With your contest submission, you should have by now received a copy of our Spring 2012 issue of Arts & Letters, as well as the link to download the new issue of our digital ePub, Arts & Letter Prime. Just in case, here is the link for Prime 1.2: And if you have not recieved [sic] Issue 26, please email us ( and let us know.

Your submission also gives you access to PRIME 2.1, coming in the fall, which you will be able to download here: And next spring, you will receive Arts & Letters Issue 27, featuring the prize winning work from this contest, as well as access to the updated edition of PRIME 2.2. (Same download link as PRIME 2.1.)

Thank you again, and good luck with your writing.

The Editors
Arts & Letters

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

An Irritated Dame

FROM AN LROD MOUSE: Background on this rejection: I sent the submission in on November 7, 2011. Notre Dame Review doesn't allow for simultaneous submissions (which I totally ignore) and they didn't have a way to withdraw the story online or email an editor when the story in question was accepted elsewhere. So, I decided to try to do the right thing anyway, called their office directly, and spoke to an extremely irritated man who snapped that they'd rummage through the pile for my work throw it out. Well, I guess not, since today - over five months later - I got this:

Rejection: Dear Author, Thank you for your contribution to The Notre Dame Review. We regret that we are unable to use it for our publication. We are pleased that you chose to send your work to us for consideration. Best of luck to you in your writing.Sincerely, The Editors
If you've ever been in one of those review offices, you know they are a total mouse's nest of unread stories, envelopes piled to the ceiling, though know is it email piled to the cyber-ceiling?  I'm not sure. 

Monday, May 7, 2012

Fell Off The Log for A Minute

Yo, mice, so sorry about the all-around spottiness lately. I've been deep into my novel overhaul, and feeling enthusiastic about the change in p.o.v. I must say, it makes the whole thing way less fragmented to have it in one person's p.o.v. Of course, it's sort of omniscient first person, so there's that, but still.  We'll see if I can make the whole thing work. That would be solid. In other distractions, my family discovered my other blog that is not anonymous, and they are upset by its public nature. My mother called crying: "We are not the Kardashians!" One brother wrote me a threatening email.
     They are especially mad about the post entitled, "Alien Raised by Rednecks," which I have decided is probably the best memoir title ever. And so true. Can't you just see the cover looking like one of those cheesy tabloids?
     I know that you'll be sad to hear I've been officially uninvited from the family Fourth of July Pig Roast. (That's right, it's a pig on a stick in a pit in the yard, and there are fire-works and kegs of beer. The last (and only) time I went to one of these, my brother Darryl* had on a hat that said, "Fuck Obama." And my other brother Darryl* had on a shirt that said, "Fuck Obama." Red Necks? You decide.)  My father used to parade around proudly announcing that he was a Red Neck. "That's right," he'd say. "Want to see my gun?" So, I'm not sure what all the fuss is about; he always seemed so proud to carry that NRA banner.
     Anyway, as my mother says, "it just seems so much worse when you see it in writing...even if it's true."
   And there you have it.
   My other blog is password protected now to keep call off the guns...literally; also, I don't want to get stuck and stop writing, so I figure I'd just put a little lock on the door for now. If you'd like to check it out, give me a holler at writerrejected [at] aol [dot] com, and I will send you a link and the password, which by the way, is password.

*Not they're real names.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

May Has Brought Spring Flowers and the First Person

So, I'm working on the novel again. I don't know exactly what came over me, but I'm reworking it into the first person, sort of an omniscient first-person point of view...hard to explain.  Will it work?  Who knows? I am bravely charging forward. I think after all these years in therapy, my therapist will consider it a breakthrough to have found this self-identified character a confident new voice of its own.  Publishable? Who the hell knows...or, at this point, cares? I'm beyond all that (today), and it is super freeing.  I am actually writing to discover what it is I've been trying to say all these years. Will keep you posted. In the meantime, here's a Gigantic rejection to tide the people-mice over, auspices a loyal LROD reader:
Thank you for your submission and your interest in Gigantic. Unfortunately, this didn't feel quite right for us, but we wish you the best of luck placing it elsewhere. Sincerely, The Editors