Lollipops and rejection letters

Rejection letters are a fact of life for writers.

Every writer gets rejected.


Perhaps I should qualify that statement. Every writer who submits to publishers gets rejection letters. No-one is exempt; it’s a fact of life for a writer. If you keep on submitting stories, poems, articles and novels to publishers you are going to get rejected. Not every piece of writing will get accepted, nor will everything you slave over will see publication. Fact.

No writer likes getting rejection letters. I’ve sometimes heard speakers or read in books about writing that we should not be upset about getting a rejection letter. Everyone gets them, and the publisher is rejecting the story or poem and not you. While there is some truth in that, getting such a letter still hurts. Sometimes – many times – we find it hard to divorce ourselves from our babies, er… writing. You don’t like my poem – therefore you don’t like me. It’s an easy conclusion to come to, and it can be quite harmful. And it hurts. I know; I’ve had my fair share of rejection. A few years ago I sent out over 30 submissions to various publishers and every one was rejected. I nearly gave up writing.

The good news

Now for some good news. Not every letter from a publisher is a rejection. If you keep on writing the best work you can produce and keep on sending it out, sooner or later you will see your name in print. And when you get an acceptance the feeling is great. You are entitled to do the Writer’s Dance. Yell and scream in excitement. Tell your family and  friends. And then get back to writing and do it all over again.


Now what about the “lollipops” mentioned in my title? I’ve just read a wonderful story about “How to turn rejection letters into a positive.” The writer of this article learned a valuable lesson from lollipops.

  • Keep working hard at your writing.
  • Only submit your very best work.
  • Keep on striving to improve.
  • Keep on sending out your writing.
  • Enjoy those acceptance letters.

Good writing.


2 Responses to “Lollipops and rejection letters”

  1. john malone says:

    I got 48!!! rejection letters in a row before I got my first poem accepted and have had many morew since. Very true about submitting only your best work. What really gets up my goat is having to wait over 6 months for a reply

  2. Trevor says:

    I admire your persistence, John, the mark of a dedicated writer – or just stubborn? I actually had a rejection of a poem after about 3 years – I’d forgotten all about it! (I now keep better records.)

    On the flip side, I’ve actually had editors contact me asking for material – now that’s a good feeling! They are a rare breed and more power to them, I say.