Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Always glad to improve!

A recent querier took me to task (nicely) for the rejection letter he received. It was "too nice;" he needed brutal lashings so he too could rail against the evil that is Publishing.

Always happy to oblige, I have found a template for my new rejection letter. Herewith:

(via Gothamist)

For my sight-impaired readers, herewith the text not as a picture:

You worthless, acid-sucking piece of illiterate shit! Don't ever send this kind of brain-damaged swill in here again. If I had the time, I'd come out there and drive a fucking wooden stake into your forehead.  Why don't you get a job, germ?  Maybe delivering advertising handouts door to door, or taking tickets for a wax museum.  You drab South Bend cocksuckers are all the same; like those dope-addled dingbats at the Rolling Stone office.  I'd like to kill those bastards for sending me your piece . . .  and I'd just as soon kill you, too.  Jam this morbid drivel up your ass where your readership will better appreciate it.


Yail Bloor III
Minister of Belles-Lettre

P.S. Keep up the good work. Have a nice day.


John "Ol' Chumbucket" Baur said...

But you know, even when they say "I regret that I don't think I'd be a good match for this work ..." blah bah blah, all nice and polite, it still FEELS like "You worthless acid-sucking piece of shit!"

I particularly like the "Have a nice day" at the bottom.

Feaky Snucker said...

Rejection letters should always be that creative. That said, I've been editing for a while, and am only JUST getting ready to start querying. But, you know, if I have to be rejected over and over, I'd rather something creative rather than an, 'it's not you it's me.'

Marsha Sigman said...

This letter makes me miss my dad.

SBJones said...

Hummm. A rejection letter that gives an example in its writing of what you are looking for. Excellent.

GalaktioNova said...

Too nice!

"Unfortunately, your submission didn't hold my interest" hurts muuuuch more! :-)

John Wiswell said...

The P.S. is the best.

And you know, it might actually sting less than the typical polite rejection. Probably varies by the touchy author.

Phil Hall said...

It may be a pipe-dream, but I wish all agents would spend just a send to say *why* the submission wasn't right for them...anything constructive would be fantastic. Even if it hurts, or if they call me "acid-sucking", that's fine provided they say why.

Sha'el, Princess of Pixies said...

Bill E. Goat: [reading over my shoulder] Damn! That's exactly like the one she sent me last year.

Me: Not exactly, Bill. This one leaves out the part about you being smelly, needing a bath, your choice of girl friends and the hang over after the last party we had in Brooklyn.

Bill: Oh, ya, ... it does. Anyway, my new novel ... mostly a fictional novel ... Under Cover Goat - A thinly disquised tail of the trenches ... will knock her socks off...

Me: I'm sure it will, Bill. Now about that bath ...

Bill: Your mother is calling you ... I'm outa here

Kristin Laughtin said...

I might welcome rejection letters if they were always that entertaining. I'd like one in pirate speak, please.

angie Brooksby-Arcangioli said...

Great article on Thompson. I especially like his offer to work for Jack Scott, Vancouver Sun. That he'd rather live off the dole than write for a paper he would be ashamed of.

I wonder how many writers and artists could afford to write that to their future reps. My guess is zero.

jesse said...

My first round of querying, the polite no thank yous were nice, much better than no answer at all, at least. However, for my next round, I'd prefer some brutal honesty: it would be useful. If I knew what wasn't working I could fix it. If it was unfixable, I'd start again - after some drinking.

Sha'el, Princess of Pixies said...

Dear Kristen L. ... Watch what you wish for ... you may just get it:

Yar, me hardy,

I read your screed.
I’d like to make you bleed.

Your book is bilge water;
Go learn how to write a book like you otter.

I’ll make you walk the plank,
Or I’ll keelhaul you, you skank!

Never be sendin’ be pence when I want dabloons.
I’ll own you for one of them writer goons!

I’m slippin’ you this here black spot …
Go learn that after each sentence come a dot.

Michael Seese said...

I think my first girlfriend read that before breaking up with me.

Stacy said...

The funniest part about this story to me is that the recipient framed the letter. Talk about someone who can take rejection!

Wes Gilbert said...

Delightful. A tad too sweet, but all in all not bad.

Dr. Cheryl Carvajal said...

So, if I send my stuff to Rolling Stone, I can get a rejection letter like this one?

I'm on it! Gotta have it for my wall!

Julie said...

What really makes this work is the "PS: Keep up the good work." It's like the girl in the red coat in Schindler's List, or the happy little kid in Les Mis. It just makes the rest of it sound more awful and makes it all work better.

Here's to putting in little bits of contrast to make our dramatic scenes more effective!

That was the point...