25 July 2011


The standard literary rejection letter goes like this:
Thank you for giving us the chance to consider your poem "A Lifetime of Navel Gazing" for publication in The Buckwheat Review. Though it does not fit our current needs, we appreciate your interest in our journal and your commitment to quality writing. We wish you the best of luck publishing your work and hope you’ll consider sending us more in the future.
The Editors
If it is 1971, and the editor reviewing your work is the egomaniacal windbag Hunter S. Thompson, then the rejection letter looks like this:

Catch-22, the iconic 1960s novel by Joseph Heller, was famously panned by a publisher:
I haven’t the foggiest idea about what the man is trying to say. Apparently the author intends it to be funny – possibly even satire – but it is really not funny on any intellectual level.

The flip-side of rejection is resolve.

Where do you mine your resolve? From the well of rejection.
Through my illness I learned rejection. I was written off. That was the moment I thought, Okay, game on. No prisoners. Everybody's going down.
~Lance Armstrong
I never allow myself to assume the reviewer is dead wrong. Rather I allow myself a ray of hope that the reviewer might be just wrong enough.

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