Faye Arcand, My Twisted Writer Brain…

How To Deal With a Rejection Letter

Today I received a Short Story Competition Update about a story I submitted about three months ago.

The opening line is often the same regardless of where the letter comes from:

Thank you so much for entering….


So right away I know it’s not a letter of congratulations. I didn’t win. My twisted writer brain is pulled in two different directions.

First,—these guys are absolute idiots! They don’t know what they’re talking about and the story that won is probably some sort of shitty fluff.


and my second thought takes me to the idea of knowing that the story is worthy of recognition and I must find it a home.

A couple of years ago I would’ve been crushed.

Rejection is something every writer must deal with and learn to channel. Click here to read my blog Whaddya Mean I didn’t Win? and here for even more rejection. Ugh…. no matter how experienced you are as a writer the rejection never stops and judgment is always passed.

Get used to it.

I don’t get down anymore. It’s so not worth it. I’m reminded that my work isn’t a perfect fit for all and that’s okay.

It’s really not personal though it can feel that way after you’ve put so much work and emotional collateral into your word baby. It’s like someone calling your kid ugly.

But, as a professional writer you really need to learn to put those knee jerk reactions where they belong–and that’s in File #13 (aka the garbage) along with all the other stuff you don’t need. If you need to mourn the rejection then say a little prayer, cross yourself, and get on with it.

Onwards and upwards.

Remember all it takes is for the right person to read the story and then it’ll soar. I know it’s good I just need to find place for it. One “yes”–that’s all it takes… the search continues.

Back to the letter I received today…

At the end of the first paragraph of this rejection letter it says:

Unfortunately your entry was not one of the four selected for publication on this occasion, though your story was one of the 60 stories long listed in our competition.

Debbie T. Editorial Director Mslexia Publication Ltd.

So, the story was “long listed” (60 seems like a huge list) so I’m taking that as a win….even if there were only 61 entries. lol.

Keep writing everyone.

Remember your work will find a home sooner or later. Just keep putting it out there.

11 thoughts on “How To Deal With a Rejection Letter”

    1. Hi Heather. Yeah, I don’t know. it’s the first time I’ve entered a contest outside of north America. I’ll take 60th for sure. xoxo Thanks for stopping by.

  1. At a writers’ conference I attended, a first-time writer won the right to be critiqued by a big-name New York editor. In front of the 200 attendees, the editor shredded the story & told the writer to stop writing as she had no talent. Absolutely cruel. When the writer stopped crying, she got mad and sent the story to a publishing company. It accepted it immediately & the woman went on to become one of the best-selling romance authors with a long career. Keep the faith, sister.

    1. what a terrible editor! That’s so awful. It does nothing to tear someone down. I’m so glad that woman had the strength and fortitude to continue and become successful. I’ve never lost the faith….it dims every so often but I have great support in my corner. xo Thanks Aggie.

  2. I am not technically a writer; but I do wrote for my blog. Sometimes even the post got weird replies, and we are wondering we didn’t mean this, or where we have written that. So, you are absolutely right ; your writings need to get to the right guys. keep faith, stay optimistic, and spread the knowledge, as you did by writing this post.

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by Sara. Yes, even in blogs it’s important that it reach the intended audience. Sometimes it takes time and I’m ok with that. Thanks for your kind words. They’ll keep me going. xo

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