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Congenial Rejection

March 22, 2011

Today I received a rejection letter from a university press. I was most excited about possibly making a publishing connection with this press, yet was nearly certain they would be too high for my short legs and careful bounces (see Cat Fidelity). But I gotta say, despite the serious downer that sprang from that thin envelope, the letter was so, so nice. The Acquisitions Editor said she’d read my project “with great interest” and discussed it “in detail” with her colleagues. They’d reached the “reluctant conclusion” that they could not accept the project. I never imagined how charming, how absolutely charming, the word “reluctant” could be. Don’t get me wrong. It’s too bad (it sucks). But it’s not all that bad, if she was reluctant to decline, and if she was willing to write such a personal and congenial letter. I actually want to write her back to say thank you for her rejection letter, but I suspect there’s no form letter for that. So—bummer, but huzzah. Bumzah!

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  1. I think this great topic & post…i’ll be coming back to read another article, thanks, i’d really enjoy it.


  2. I’m sad for you as well as happy for you. All at once! It’s a pretty confusing state to be in. But yes, print and frame and save those “reluctant” nos. I just read a great post about this at Hunger Mountain that maybe will make you feel comraderie: I love you, darling, and you know what? Not every press WOULD be right for your beautiful project, your beautiful brain and language. So your job is to just keep going until you find the press that IS right. And your other job is to know how much your friends adore you and believe in your project, and that the world waits for your words.


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