Monday, January 18, 2010

An Interpretation of a Recent Rejection Letter

NOTE: Regular font is what the letter actually said; Italic font is my own idea about what they were trying to say. Hope that clears it up.


[Name & Address]

Dear Sarah,

Thank you for submitting your manuscript ______ to _______ for consideration for publishing. We appreciate you giving us the opportunity to review your work

(This is just standard practice and is built into the letter template. Don't take it personally. We aren't really thanking YOU; we are simply being nice.)

We receive a great many submissions and we review each one.

(The corners of our offices seem bare without the stacks of slush pile manuscripts, and we often use them to prop up uneven tables and chairs. One employee prefers to use manuscripts for reusable coasters for her coffee mugs. In fact, we probably wouldn't have even noticed yours except for the fact she ruined a pile by spilling an entire coffee pot on it, and we had look through them to see which ones were soaked and might attract bugs. Yours was okay, and, since it was almost time to go home, we read it.)

We take into consideration where our particular segment of the market is going and what our customers are looking for when we review items for publishing.

(We are interested in making a lot of money. Our customers want books, and we want money to make the payments on our new boats/cars/RVs/summer cabins-- it's a mutually beneficial relationship; too bad you're not a part of it.)

After careful consideration, our new products committee has decided to decline the opportunity to publish your work.

(Though we all had a great time laughing over your manuscript. We all placed bets on how many typos we could find! I lost that's why I ended up writing this letter.)

Please let us know if you would like your manuscript returned or destroyed. If you would like it returned you will need to cover the postage costs. Let us know by ____ or we will have it shredded.

(If you don't take it back, we will have a great time destroying it with all the other unwanted manuscripts we receive. It's a quite a party: shredding first, then a bonfire where we roast marshmallows and hotdogs. These parties really build company morale.)

We would be happy to review any future projects you may wish to submit for publishing/distribution.

(We haven't laughed so hard in years!)

We wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors.

(May we recommend taking up another profession? Soon.)




Kristin said...
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Paul West said...


A pretty good analysis of the standard rejection letter. I've gotten lots of letters similar to this and agree pretty much with how you've characterized them. They all say about the same thing - thanks but no thanks. But your interpretation was a lot more humorous than my take.

Thanks for the laugh.