It doesn’t matter how long you do this job, no one likes rejections, and no one likes to feel that their work has been ignored. It’s a crushing feeling; enough to make many writers either give up or turn to self-publishing. Neither of these are viable options for me, so I guess I just have to deal with it.
I’m getting three distinct types of rejections: those where someone actually read my query, those where they maybe read it and maybe didn’t, and those where it is clear to me that my query was completely ignored. The letters are all kindly (for the most part) worded, but they sting none the less. So, as a means of dealing with this constant state of negativity, I’m going to have a little fun at the expense of the agents who are rejecting me. This is only meant in humor, and I want to stress that I’m simply venting here. Please don’t take any of this too seriously!
With that caveat out of the way, here is what I think agents would write if they were telling the truth.
The “I actually did read your query” rejection:
I have read your query and all I can say is, “Wow.” Seriously? You thought this would make a good story? Better yet, you thought I’d be willing to have my name associated with it? Are you kidding me? I’m sorry, but not only is this not right for my agency, it’s not right for anybody! A bit of advice: don’t quit your day job. If you don’t have a day job, find one – fast. You will be better offer saying “Do you want fries with that,” than killing any more trees by printing off your stuff on paper.
The “Maybe I read it, maybe I didn’t” rejection letter:
Thank you for submitting whatever it was you submitted to me. I have a sort of vague idea of what you were trying to convey, I think. So here’s the thing: I’ve already go so much on my desk that I don’t even remember to go to the bathroom some days, and I just can’t imagine adding any more to the pile right now. It’s great you want to be a writer, and you might even be a good one, but I don’t really know. Good luck with this and take comforting in knowing that when you become a big name, I won’t remember who you are.
The “Clearly didn’t read your query letter” rejection:
After 15 seconds of careful consideration of your email, I am rejecting you. Don’t take it personally. I really need to clean out that email account, and you just got caught up in the purging. You see, I’m the low guy on the totem pole at this agency, and if I don’t get a vibe that you’re the next J.K. Rowling, the next Stephen King, etc., then you really don’t stand a chance. But hey, 15 seconds is more than I give most submissions, so you should count yourself as lucky. Have a great day and don’t let this even be a second thought!
A little venting is a good thing now and then!
Back to writing!