I took a creative writing workshop my sophomore year of college on the topic of publishing. Fifteen eager undergraduates arrived with notebooks and pens, ready to learn exactly what it would take to see our names in print.
My professor pulled out a thick manila folder and set it out on the table. “I brought you all of my rejection slips,” she said, and proceeded to pass them around the room. Some papers were small and hand cut, where an editor would print four rejection forms to a page to save paper. Some were printed on extra thick blue or yellow paper. Some were handwritten and rather thoughtful. Others simply read:Thank you for your submission. Your work is not a good fit at this time.
As it turns out, rejection is an inevitable part of publishing, and of life.
Even our well-respected, widely-published professor had a large amount of rejection slips saved in her drawer, and these weren’t even the entire lot. Although we discussed cover letters, researched literary magazines, and debated the merits of having an agent, what we really spent the quarter learning about was confidence.Read More