Rejection Junction, What’s Your Function?

June 17th, 2005 · 7 Comments
by Booksquare

It’s Friday, we’re practically on vacation, and we’re thinking nothing says weekend better than a funny rejection story. Names have been changed to protect the innocent. Also to protect the not-so-innocent. And the guilty. Everyone else is fair game.

Dear Julie,

Thank you for your recent rejection and the return of my manuscript*, despite the fact that I neglected to include a stamped, self-addressed envelope. I always think that major multinational corporations have deals with the Postal Service and I am a starving artist. You can buy the stamps.

I will admit to a bit of confusion as I read your rejection letter. You see, Julie, you had already passed on this particular manuscript. Your first letter, and pardon me because I am quoting from memory, said, “Your writing sucks and you should drown yourself to protect others from suffering through your attempts at plot and suspense. I am taking out a restraining order.”

Yes, I believe I have your words right, though perhaps the order is a bit off. Your second rejection was much kinder, though still a rejection. Apparently I can omit the drowning myself thing because I am now witty with good dialogue. This is a marked improvement from the days when my writing style was flat. I take comfort in knowing I exhibited such growth in my work without revising a single comma. I might make it in this business after all.

Given the fact that my work clearly improves with each reading, I am taking the liberty of enclosing my recently-rejected-but-not-revised manuscript. I thank you for your time and look forward to hearing from you in about two years.

* – Though it is a bit dog-eared and has someone’s phone number scrawled on the back page. With area code.

File Under: Square Pegs

7 responses so far ↓

  • Lorra // Jun 17, 2005 at 10:33 am

    I’m just going to cut and paste this to enclose with my next submission package. (I’ll run the manuscript over a few times with my car to make sure it looks legit.)

    Thanks for the laugh.

  • Booksquare // Jun 17, 2005 at 10:37 am

    I think the running over is good. You can always blame the post office…

  • Brenda Coulter // Jun 17, 2005 at 11:29 am

    Man, I hope she gets that manuscript right back in the mail. That editor is definitely softening!


  • Lorra // Jun 17, 2005 at 6:09 pm

    Hey Booksquare – whoever you are – just have to tell you, after you kept me company all winter (the most brutal on record; I live near Cleveland) – I just finished a major rewrite of my novel after ten of the most arduous months, 24/7, I have ever spent in my life.

    Just wanted to thank you – even tho you don’t know me and I have no idea what your name is – how much your blog helped me. It was funny, entertaining and informative and I looked forwad to its goofiness every day. My favorite comment all year was the one about it being opening day for drive like an asshole week – I hee-hawed over that one for a couple of days. (That’s what we do in these here parts: we hee-haw instead of laughing. The cattle are more comfortable with that response.)

    Anhow, thanks for the company. Gotta go and jump right back in that old submissions’ pool with all the other poor writers . . . after I drink a lot of wine!

    Happy Day!


  • Jill Monroe // Jun 18, 2005 at 8:35 am

    Lorra – not only do I know booksquare’s real name, I have pics!

  • Lorra // Jun 18, 2005 at 9:37 am

    Jill – I don’t think it really matters; you couldn’t convince me that Booksquare is a real person, even with pictures. I’m positive she’s some kind of character in a work of fiction – something funny and light-hearted like you’d find in a good beach read.

    Thanks any way.


  • Booksquare // Jun 19, 2005 at 9:25 pm


    It is good that you’re skeptical. “Jill Monroe” is just one of the many elves here at Booksquare. She pretends to be an independent entity, but that’s because of excellent programming. The fact that she’s a published author is proof that our deception at Booksquare headquarters knows no boundaries*. Booksquare is not a real person; if she were real, she’d be tall, thin, and able to engage in witty repartee.

    Thank you so much for writing — it’s always inspiring to know at someone reads this stuff (also scary — when you sell your book, you’ll know what I mean). I’m one of the few who knows her mother isn’t reading her blog…wait, why isn’t my mother reading my blog? That hurts.

    By the way, Drive Like An Asshole week is starting up again. You can tell it’s imminent when people start thinking the white lines are just suggestions.

    * – Also known as taking credit for the hard work of others.