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for writers: favorite rejection letters


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#16 hippiecowboyco

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Posted 30 April 2004 - 10:16 AM

Some years ago this one came in (after a few years of grand receptions and peer reviews at state and regional gatherings and PRCA rodeos):

"Thank you for your submissions.  The editors suggest that you gain more experience as these poems are not cowboy enough.  Additionally, poetry needs to rhyme."

I recieved that in my hospital bed after having a shoulder repaired (yet again) from a bronc wreck(I'm retired from that scene, like walking and talking too much, plus I'll be 40 this year).

The periodical?: American Cowboy Poetry Magazine (which I haven't seen in quite a while).

Guess they didn't like the poem (in rhymed couplets, no less)?

I also just recieved a very apologetic email this morning from a vendor who regrets not being able to honor an agreement to carry a book of mine until "perhaps" August due to insufficent funds (and they do over $2 million profit each quarter).

But, it's all good- other sales are enough to keep me in beer during hockey playoffs...
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#17 shellas13

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Posted 01 May 2004 - 10:35 PM

But, it's all good- other sales are enough to keep me in beer during hockey playoffs...


Hey...that's all that matters, right??  ;D

#18 Vampchick21

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Posted 04 May 2004 - 05:40 AM

HOCKEY RULES!  So does beer.  :P

Back on topic here...I have been struggling through an attempt to write a novel based on the Jack the Ripper murders (like the world needs yet another one, but I don't care :) )

However, when attempting to build/create Jack (which should be a creative goldmine, since they never caught the guy) I keep blocking.  I suppose it's due to the fact that not being a serial murderer that makes it hard to create one.  I've been reading and studying case studies on serial killers and their various cases, which is helping somewhat.  Is there anything else I can do to help ease this character out?  It's starting to fustrate me to the point that looking at the word doc the novel is in makes me ill!

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#19 Justa

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Posted 04 May 2004 - 06:17 AM

I have always had been just above average in my own mind at writing.  My teachers encouraged me to write more, saying I had a vivid imagination, and a talent for drawing a picture with words.  But somewhere along the line I put the pen down.  It is just within the last couple of years that I have begun writing again.   I have been encouraged by people in here to submit something, esp Whispers and Willow... and they are subject matter experts in my opinion.  But there are 3 reasons I don't submit...

1.  I write for me, for what I am feeling inside at the time.  Stories, poems, etc, come from my heart.  If the publisher asked me to change something, I couldn't, because then it wouldn't be "me".  I hope that makes sense.

2.  Rejection - I wouldn't take it well, plain and simple.  I would toss the pen aside and end it right there.

3.  The money - I want a gazillion dollars, and book signings... but I was just informed that I would have to pay to get something published.  I wonder if Stephen King has to pay still?

One thing I do remember from my lit class though... I made the mistake in an essay of saying "a bunch of people"... I got an A on the paper, but in big red letters in the margin were these words.... "Bananas come in bunches... people come in groups".  I have never forgotten that.
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#20 randystreu

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Posted 04 May 2004 - 10:10 AM

vamp: writers block happens; we all get it. what i tend to do is either put it up or start a new project. i strongly suggest not doing the latter.

Justa: actually, you don't have to pay to get something published; that's only if you self-publish.

#21 Alsie R.

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Posted 04 May 2004 - 02:26 PM

randy: on the writer's block thing. sometimes the only way i can get an idea that won't leave me alone out is to scribble it down somewhere in a new file. then its out and the mindway is clear for the current project.

hey, it works for me but what works for me doesn't always work for the rest of the masses

vampchick, that sounds like an awesome idea. have you read portrait of a killer by patricia cornwell yet? that's a pretty interesting book for jack the ripper info
A long, long time agoI can still rememberHow that music used to make me smileAnd I knew if I had my chanceThat I could make those people danceAnd maybe they'd be happy for a whileAmerican Pie, Don McLean~ carpe diem, seize the day, make your lives extraordinary.-dead poet's society i eat emo kids for breakfast. with french fried hash browns.

#22 Vampchick21

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Posted 05 May 2004 - 07:47 AM

vampchick, that sounds like an awesome idea. have you read portrait of a killer by patricia cornwell yet? that's a pretty interesting book for jack the ripper info


Yup, I read it.  However, I don't think I'll be using it for a source of inspiration, since she's pretty set on who she thinks the killer is.  I also found it jumped around alot.

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#23 seakla

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Posted 15 May 2004 - 03:01 PM

I happen to have a book titled "The best rejection letters" or something like that.  Some are very funny and some are just burns! LOL

The ones I have gotten have been pretty straight forward "not what we're looking for" type of thing.

Literally, the best I got was from a division of Viking for a children's book.  The editor was impressed with it and actually edited my manuscript for free and had some helpful rejections, but it was still "not what they're looking for."  *huff*  
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#24 randystreu

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Posted 17 May 2004 - 05:40 PM

yeah. those are the kind i've gotten. well, actually i got one that said, "your piece, 'obselescence' doesn't really work for me."

at least he was honest, i guess... :P

#25 MoonChild

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Posted 20 May 2004 - 06:58 AM

Thank God am not writer! ;D

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#26 randystreu

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Posted 20 May 2004 - 09:07 PM

yeah. but i think it's a way of separating the wheat from the chaff, as it were. i mean, the way writers are portrayed in pop media (basically as pansies), those people wouldn't survive the first rejection. it helps to have thick skin.

besides, i've found that you necessarily possess two things if you're a writer:
1. arrogance
2. a natural tendency toward substance abuse (not that you'll actually do it... but that's it's darned tempting)




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