A positive rejection letter from a publisher

Writers and authors who have been working on their craft for long enough know that rejection letters from publishers are normal and expected. In fact, if you don’t get them, then you’re not a real writer, because you’re not submitting, submitting, submitting. But getting rejection after rejection doesn’t make it any easier to take.

Except when the rejection letters start turning into positive rejections.

What do I mean? Well, they’re not the standard “thank you for your submission but we won’t be offering publication of your manuscript at this stage”. Instead, they become more personal, with comments about your work in the letter. And editors only do this when they recognise good writing.

I got one of those today and boy, am I bouncing off the walls. It was from a major publishing company in Australia, which makes it even better. They said that although they could not offer publication, their editors feel that my manuscript has “real promise”, and they hope I won’t be discouraged and will continue to try and get it published.

Whooppee! That was for my junior fiction novel, “Seeing Dogs”. Just yesterday, I was thinking maybe I should abandon any idea of getting it published, maybe it was just not good enough. Now I have renewed energy and enthusiasm to find the right publisher.

The message to all writers is never give up. We hear it all the time, but sometimes we just need reminding. So here’s to a better future for “Seeing Dogs”. May it find a publisher in 2007.

4 Responses to “A positive rejection letter from a publisher”

  1. Avatar for Jay Lathwood Jay Lathwood says:

    Hi there, I received my first ever rejection letter yesterday which was a bit of a blow. This is what it said:
    “Thank you for giving us the opportunity to read your manuscript. We have read your story with interest, but unfortunately we feel it is unsuitable for (Publisher) at this time. We wish you every success in your search for a publisher.”
    Is this just a standard response? It drives me crazy that there is no other feedback even though I know it’s not part of the service!!
    Love to hear from you,


  2. Avatar for janet janet says:

    Hi Jay,
    Unfortunately, this is a standard reply. I’ve had lots of these, so don’t give up. Turn it round and look at the positives. You’re a writer! This is what writers all get, and we get heaps of them. Some writers frame their rejection letters, some plaster their walls with them. One day, you’ll get a different rejection letter, like the one I’ve talked about in this post. Then you know you’re getting closer. And then, at last! You’ll strike it lucky, catch an editor’s eye, and you’re in.
    So don’t give up. Keep writing and keep sending it out there.

  3. Avatar for Monique Monique says:

    I am the founding editor of Perspectives Magazine (http://1perspectives.webs.com).

    I receive submissions where the writer clearly did not read the guidelines, and need to reply with similar letters. The only difference is that I make each letter personal (I included passages from the manuscript) to acknowledge that I have read the author’s piece.

    Keep the ink flowing!

  4. Avatar for janet janet says:

    Hi Monique,
    Thanks for dropping by and giving us an editor’s perspective on manuscript submission, as well as your way of issuing rejection letters. And you’re right, we just need to keep working at it.

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