Home > Editing, Writing > The Hierarchy of Rejection

The Hierarchy of Rejection

The Making Light blog is one of my all time favorites – written by some of the best editors in publishing, lurked at by some of the finest minds in reading, it’s one of the few blogs that always delivers.

I found it by accident. Six years ago, I was procrastinating instead of writing query letters for a travel article. I was reading posts at Rejection Collection (no longer seems to exist – it was a site devoted to publishing rejection letters), and the site host posted a link to Making Light. One of the Making Light owners had also been reading posts at Rejection, and posted a response.

That response ranks up there as the most brilliant, succinct, life changing deconstructions of the publishing process I’ve ever read. The most important thing it did, of course, was give me perspective.

When you read it, especially if you’ve been writing for any length of time, you will either slap your forehead and cry “My god, it’s so obvious, why didn’t I think of that?” (or you’ll want to reach out and slap my forehead and say “My god, it’s so obvious, why didn’t you think of that?”).

If you read nothing else today, scroll down to #3: The Context of Rejection. That list is gold. I do freelance editing, and to this day, I mentally assign a number from that list to the manuscripts that cross my desk.

And if you have a few more minutes, read #5 and keep it in mind when you think of the people in charge of rejecting us.

  1. January 27, 2010 at 10:34 AM

    There’s nothing wrong with rejection. I personally would rather have that note telling me what’s wrong with a story, or that it’s not the right voice than have it published by the wrong person to represent it.

    Then again, I have enough success to not depend on every incoming letter being acceptance.

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