Friday, September 21, 2007

Rating the Rejection

Arbitrary Marks asked in a recent post how many rejections it would take to re-think a career. I started to respond, but couldn't. Writers get a lot of rejection and most of it isn't very nice. My most recent rejection via email? Simply: We will not be pursuing this further.

All right then. Don't. I only asked once.

So I especially appreciate A Writing Year's Rate the Rejection series in which rejections from literary journals are rated. Because many rejection letters lack any compassion or taste. My primary gripe is that the wording of rejections suggests that the writer is crap. Period. Not that this is one editor with one opinion on one piece of work. No. The. Writer. Is. Crap.

For example, here's journal I like very much: Tin House. I've written glowingly about their conference, I've bought their journal, and the work of the writers in it, but their rejections have as much class as....I've erased my metaphor for your own protection. Really. You might look at some other rejections to compare (click on the journal name).

I actually think turning rejections into some sort of a game is a good idea. It gives you a small sense of control and fun over a process that is out of control and no fun.

Via Perpetual Folly via Katrina Denza