Posts Tagged: rejection

Handling Rejection from the Other Side

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I never heard editors talk about how disturbed and insecure writers might become as a result of relentless rejection, living every day with what James Salter called “the feeling of injustice.” It was more fun for editors to characterize their jobs as overseeing petting zoos full of needy misfits and narcissists, a point of view that was always amusing to other editors but infuriating to writers.

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The Great Film Festival Swindle

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"Never pay an entry fee. If they won’t give you a waiver they aren’t interested in the film."—Programmer for a major film festival ...more

The Art of Losing Isn’t Hard to Master

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Just as there is subjective rejection, there’s subjective acceptance—the editor who sparks to your characters, your plot, your manuscript because of their personal experiences—and you want someone who understands your story to be the champion it needs.

Let’s be real. Rejection sucks, especially if you’re a writer trying to get your work published.

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The Anxiety of the Waiting Game

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For all the aspiring writers who sent out those applications a few months back, the day of reckoning soon approaches: acceptances (or lack thereof) are beginning to get sent out. To offer words of support, TheMFAYears blog shares testimonies from several candidates currently attending MFA programs that might offer the anxious waiting writer some comfort, or at least solidarity.

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Poet Kathleen Spivack

The Rumpus Interview with Kathleen Spivack

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Poet Kathleen Spivack discusses releasing her debut novel Unspeakable Things at age seventy-seven. ...more

Publishers Risk Losing Writers

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Rude rejection letters could cost publishers the next big author, warns Hannah MacDonald, founder of September Publishing. MacDonald told colleagues at the FutureBook conference that publishers need to be kinder, reports The Independent:

Hannah MacDonald said the industry should be more constructive with its criticism and rebuffs, as there is a danger that potential stars might abandon their dreams.

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An Exercise in Failure

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I did give it up. I actually destroyed the manuscript, I even went on my friends computers and erased it.” He said he retrieved the text by searching in the email outbox of an old iMac computer.

Marlon James, who recently won the Man Booker Prize for A Brief History of Seven Killings, tells the Guardian how having his first manuscript rejected seventy-eight times before getting published almost made him quit writing.

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Rejection Makes Us Writers

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Writers are constantly being judged by their work, and naturally that means a regular stream of rejection. But not all rejections are bad. Over at Vol. 1 Brooklyn, JS Breukelaar looks back at past rejections and considers why rejection is sometimes important:

Rejection is the content and context of this life that has chosen us and it forces us to face-off with our doubts and grow stronger.

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So You Think You Can Write?

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A recent poll shows that the majority of Brits would choose the writing life as their ideal career. At the Guardian, Tim Lott isn’t sure they could handle it:

To master dialogue, description, subtext, plot, structure, character, time, point of view, beginnings, endings, theme and much besides is a Herculean labour, not made more appealing by the fact that you always—always—fail.

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Weekend Rumpus Roundup

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First, say hello to our new Saturday media editor, Arielle Bernstein!

Then, in “All The World’s A Stage,” Grant Snider neatly illustrates our inner performer.

Poet Kent Shaw marvels at the “glandular muscularity” of water as a theme in Harmony Holiday’s dual book, A Famous Blues/Go Find Your Father.

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We Respectfully Decline

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At Guernica, Alexandria Peary observes a fine but lethal distinction between being declined and being rejected, a difference that had very real effects on the literary ambitions of nineteenth-century female writers. While to decline a submission implies thoughtful deliberation over that particular work, rejection is an all-encompassing denouncement of something larger: a category or, in this case, a gender:

Women writers in the nineteenth century—when creative writing really got going as a possible profession—faced more rejections than declines, though probably more than a spoonful of dejection.

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Fail Better

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“Then again, you might not be the funny type. How about making the rejection letter poignant, depressing, or even hurtful? Push the envelope. Your audience is a bunch of bored writers begging for a little drama in their pathetic lives. Never be sort of poignant!

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Rejection Practice

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“The Rejection Generator rejects writers before an editor looks at a submission. Inspired by psychological research showing that after people experience pain they are less afraid of it in the future, The Rejection Generator helps writers take the pain out of rejection.”

Here’s a handy tool to support “rejection immunity” and ease the fear of sending submissions into the wild.

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Lit Mag Editors Should Do This, Too

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“… Professor Sandel says a “philosophically frank” university should tell those it rejects that “we don’t regard you as less deserving than those who were admitted” and that “it is not your fault that when you came along society happened not to need the qualities you had to offer.”

In a similar vein, those accepted should be told: “You are to be congratulated, not in the sense that you deserve credit for having the qualities that led to your admission – you do not – but only in the sense that the winner of a lottery is to be congratulated.

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