Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Rejection or Revision Request?

One of my dearest friends, who is a writer, sent me an e-mail today, bemoaning yet another rejection. She and I have known each other for about 20 years, served together on the Board for a local chapter of a writer's group for 4 years, and have critiqued and line-edited each other's manuscripts--every last one of them.

Because of this relationship, my friend e-mailed me the text of her "rejection" letter. I'm SO glad she sent it, because--in my opinion--it's NOT a rejection letter. I shot an e-mail right back to my friend, pointing out that:

  • The editor said she's not ready to offer a contract yet
  • The editor pointed out a couple of things she usually does with a "rejection" letter and that she didn't do most of them for my friend because the MS is really good
  • The editor pointed out precisely what she wanted revised and, more importantly, WHY
  • The editor was both complimentary and constructively critical; a tough thing to do
  • The editor ended her letter by stressing that she really hopes my friend tackles the revisions because she really likes the story; she also emphasized that if my friend does resubmit, it should go right back to her

So, is this a rejection or a revision request?

Technically, I suppose, it is a rejection. But the salesperson in me refuses to take a not right now or a not like this, but maybe some other way as a rejection. (The writer in me agrees with the salesperson. So does the optimist in me.)

Here are samples of what I think of as rejections:

  • Months and months of silence, aka You're not even important enough to respond to
  • The form letter rejection, aka Nope, sorry
  • No thank you, your submission doesn't meet our needs at this time
  • Not ever in this lifetime
  • Go away, you suck--don't ever submit to me again

Your thoughts?

No comments:

Post a Comment