All posts tagged rejection

A writing tip from Chuck Wendig


Any creative person has to be a little bit hard of heart — how can you not be? You can’t go sobbing into a potted plant every time you get a bad review. Just because someone told you “no, I can’t rep this, can’t publish this” doesn’t mean it’s time to head to the bell tower with a .300 Weatherby and start taking out anybody carrying a book or a fucking Barnes & Noble rewards card. Rejections toughen you up. Step to it. Suck it up. Lean into the punch. We all get knocked down. This is your chance to get back up again with your rolled-up manuscript in your hand and start swinging like a ninja.


* I can respect anyone who can put “Care Bear” and “Ninja” in the same paragraph.  Thanks for the laughs 🙂


Check out the rest of his tips regarding rejection @terribleminds 🙂




I got my first taste of rejection as a writer recently.  I had submitted a (very) short story (the word limit was 400 to 500 words) for the CBC True Winter Tales contest.  I really wasn’t expecting too much, since it would have been the first writing contest I had ever entered – but I was still a little disappointed not to see my name when the short list of the top 15 stories was announced.  Not disappointed enough to cry over it, mind you.  I took a look at the submissions that did make the cut and they were all very good.  It was a reminder to me that pursuing writing will not be easy, but it will be a worthwhile journey where I will be constantly learning and growing.  I will be a lifelong student – without the tuition fees 🙂

Congratulations to Katrina Johnston from Victoria, B.C who was the winner of this contest with her submission, Girls Versus Janitor.

For those that are interested, I found this recent post about handling rejection as a writer.

Is there anyone out there who would like to share their story of overcoming rejection?  We all know that even successful writers have to deal with it from time to time…


Rejection in Publishing – The Help

Kathryn Stockett’s ‘The Help’ Turned Down 60 Times Before Becoming a Best Seller

How do you keep going when it seems the world, not to mention 60 literary agents, wants you to fail? Kathryn Stockett, author of the best seller “The Help”, started keeping secrets, even from her husband: “It was as if I were having an affair.”

By Kathryn Stockett

Photograph: Ben Hoffman

By rejection number 45, I was truly neurotic. It was all I could think about—revising the book, making it better, getting an agent, getting it published. I insisted on rewriting the last chapter an hour before I was due at the hospital to give birth to my daughter. I would not go to the hospital until I’d typed The End. I was still poring over my research in my hospital room when the nurse looked at me like I wasn’t human and said in a New Jersey accent, “Put the book down, you nut job—you’re crowning.”

It got worse. I started lying to my husband. It was as if I were having an affair—with 10 black maids and a skinny white girl. After my daughter was born, I began sneaking off to hotels on the weekends to get in a few hours of writing. I’m off to the Poconos! Off on a girls’ weekend! I’d say. Meanwhile, I’d be at the Comfort Inn around the corner. It was an awful way to act, but—for God’s sake—I could not make myself give up.

In the end, I received 60 rejections for The Help. But letter number 61 was the one that accepted me. After my five years of writing and three and a half years of rejection, an agent named Susan Ramer took pity on me. What if I had given up at 15? Or 40? Or even 60? Three weeks later, Susan sold The Help to Amy Einhorn Books.

The point is, I can’t tell you how to succeed. But I can tell you how not to: Give in to the shame of being rejected and put your manuscript—or painting, song, voice, dance moves, [insert passion here]—in the coffin that is your bedside drawer and close it for good. I guarantee you that it won’t take you anywhere. Or you could do what this writer did: Give in to your obsession instead.

And if your friends make fun of you for chasing your dream, remember—just lie.

This essay appears in the anthology The Best Advice I Ever Got: Lessons from Extraordinary Lives, edited by Katie Couric and published by Random House in April. The Help has just come out in paperback, and a movie adaptation is scheduled for release in August.