Fifteen years ago I had just written my first novel, and it had been universally rejected by every major and minor publishing company in the industry. It had lost contests. It had been spurned by agents. Fed up, I wrote my own rejection letter in response to one particularly patronizing editor.
I just found it.
Thankfully, I never sent it. But boy, did it feel good to write. I'm slightly mortified now, but it's a good reminder to me that I am a fighter when it comes to my writing. I always have been. I am also reminded that tenacity, a sense of humor, and hard freaking work are all necessary if you want to survive as an artist of any kind.
Thank you for submitting your rejection for my perusal and consideration. Regretfully, your work has not advanced to the final round: "Having a Significant Impact on My Writing Endeavors."
I know that this letter brings disappointing news, but please don't be discouraged. All the rejections received are very worthwhile projects and deserve to be further developed.
Because I have such a high volume of rejections submitted in response to this manuscript, I cannot pass along to you an individual evaluation. What I can do, however, is give you an idea of why your rejection did not advance.
Rejections that stayed at the semi-finalist round ("Minimal Impact on My Ego and Sense of Self-as-Writer) had problems in the following areas:
1. Dialogue - None. Most rejections lack this altogether. Diatribe and dialogue are not the same thing which brings me to...
2. Point of View - The point of view is unclear here. Is it truly the voice of _________ or some other greater entity? One does not get a sense of who the narrator is here. What are her motives, desires, fears?
3. The Establishment of Plot - There is no hook here. What compels the reader to read on? From the second sentence, the reader knows that rejection is inevitable. Perhaps a little mystery might render this rejection more interesting.
My suggestion to you, in order to achieve your rejecting goals, is to continue to read as much as you can, paying close attention to the craft and then finding ways to decimate it. Also, if you don't have one, please locate a classic novel and tear it to shreds. (Like the ones you read in high school or college.) You can look at thrift stores, garage sales, or used bookstores. Study these relics and learn ways to articulate your critical sentiments in the nastiest of ways.
I know this sounds a bother, but when I see new critics follow this advice, the overall improvement in their criticism is quite noticeable and their chances for success increase and, in time, success is attained.
As always, I applaud you and all of your fellow critics for rejecting me. Successful rejection takes time, courage, dedication, and discipline. Soon you will have a significant impact on the egos and drives and passions of many a young writer.
Please know that I recognize your efforts and offer you encouragement to keep moving forward.