I have gotten my fair share of rejections in the past, but none lately. I haven't been querying anything in the past couple of months because of the rewrite, but I got a hundred rejections for Without the Stone. Before I started writing fiction, I dabbled in poetry and submitted my work to magazines. Usually I get a handful of form rejections that don't offer any encouragement at all. Every so often I get a glimmer of hope from an agent that I am a good writer and my work is marketable.

I remember one specific rejection for something I submitted to Third Coast Magazine, Western Michigan University's literary journal, The rejection read something like this, "While it was a good read, we can't publish it at this time." If it was a good read, then why don't you publish it? The whole purpose of publishing is to entertain readers, and it sounded like mine did, so why not publish it?

I understand that agents are very busy people and get swamped with submissions. They don't have time to write personally to each one, hence the form rejection. Some only respond when interested. Agents need to understand that we writers don't want sugar-coated rejections. I would much rather get a form rejection than a sugar-coated one like the one above. Sugar-coated rejections don't make us feel any better. We still feel less than our best because our we weren't chosen for publication. Every agent has his or her own response method. All I'm asking is to beware of sugar-coating rejections. They add up, alluding vulnerable authors to false hopes. Give us the cold, hard, honest truth. We can handle it. What we can't handle is broken dreams.


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