The Rejection Manifesto

For several years I’ve mulled over the idea of rejection. I’ve written hybrid lectures on it (one of them can be found here.) I’ve dug up the word to find the roots (Latin in origin, “a throwing back”). I have seen its myriad blossoms and handled its thorns. It stings but never enough to leave this garden.

Rejections are not to be feared. It shouldn’t paralyze a writer. Rejections happen to everyone, nearly to every piece. Most often we don’t see this. However, I believe firmly in the importance of visibility. I believe if we discussed it more we could encourage emerging and established writers alike; we could set realistic expectations. By sharing numbers, we can have a shared experience and build a stronger literary community.

So here is my manifesto, my small gift, my throwing back.

I want to share not only my acceptances with you, but also how many times those particular pieces were rejected. I will share this information on Twitter (@mschmeltzer01, using the hashtag #rejectionrounds as named by @celloandbow) and on this site. Perhaps by doing so I can help someone laugh at rejections for the devil hates being mocked. Let’s spotlight rejection. Let’s keep writing together.

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3 comments

  1. ” The subject-line calls it an essay submission, and although it’s thought-provoking on that heading (albeit fanciful – of the dozens of factual assertions it makes about Shakespeare in just over 400 words, only two are actually verifiable, and several of the collateral assertions are, to put it mildly, dubious), Open Letters virtually never runs essays of this type. If you intended for us to publish, I’m naturally curious about how willing you’d be to do the heavy revising it would need.”
    Steve Donoghue
    Open Letters Monthly

    Subsequently published twice, and counting:

    http://bostonpoetry.wordpress.com/2014/07/15/what-do-we-know-about-shakespeare/
    http://www.docstoc.com/docs/document-preview.aspx?doc_id=171922352

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