Monday, February 3, 2014

5 Fun Things to do With Rejection Letters

Rejection letters. If you get them, you're doing something right.

Wait, what?

No, really. Getting rejection letters means you're working, that you're writing, editing, and submitting. At least in terms of those seeking traditional publication.

But what are you supposed to do with those rejection letters that swarm in via email and snail mail? That is, after you set it aside and send your piece to a different entity RIGHT AWAY...

Courtesy of OCAL,

Here are five ideas:

1. Wallpaper a room. Your office would be best, but you can paper any room, even the bathroom. Oo, or maybe a closet. One with an old light bulb that flickers, and a chain to turn it on. Yes, do that!

2. Send them back...rejected. Write your own rejection letter about their rejection letter*. Example:

Dear Agent/Editor, <---Write exactly that if they didn't know your name, but feel free to fill in their names if they were polite enough to check your query for your name

In reference to your rejection letter, submitted January 9, we are currently not taking rejections in this genre. Please check your rejection letter over again and re-submit somewhere that is a better fit. If you'd like to review our rejection guidelines, please see and click on the Rejections tab.

Author X 

3. Make a flip-book. Draw a new image on the bottom of each sheet and glue them together on the top to create a flip-book. Come on, you know you secretly love those things!

4. Make them a different kind of art. Carefully connect the periods to create pictures, then color them in. Submit them to art magazines or have your own juried art show! You could become famous.

5. Put them where you really want to. Use them for kitty litter or to line the bottom of a bird/hamster/guinea pig/you name it cage.

Or you can do what I do and put them in a plastic sleeve in a binder with the acceptance letters. It's a story in itself to flip through there and see my history, and I hope to fill that binder one day (with far more acceptance letters than rejections, of course.)

Share your ideas in the comments!

What's your favorite above? What do you actually do with your rejection letters?

May you find your Muse.

*A moment of seriousness in a post of levity...don't really do number 2, mkay? I will not be responsible for you getting blackballed!


  1. Sending them back might not make you very popular, but it would be funny.
    The bottom of a birdcage would be good.

  2. I actually used to keep them on file but now I just make a note in my spiral notebook and move on. Sending them back sounds kind of fun.

  3. LOL! Send them back...rejected. Love that one.

    Hugs and chocolate!

  4. Compost them in your backyard, so that the metaphorical BS can become real fertilized BS?

    "I turned my failures into this beautiful garden!"

  5. I like number two. I would almost send out some queries just so I could do that. Almost.

  6. Sending your rejection letters back would be great. I wouldn't have the guts to do it, but I bet a few other writers would. I'm rather boring. I keep all my rejection letters in a binder. Unfortunately, there are no acceptance letters in there yet.

  7. Bwa-ha-ha-ha! I'm totally sending my rejection letters back. Wait... I don't get rejection letters anymore. *basking in the joy* Now I face reviews. *biting nails* ;)

    I LOVED this.

  8. #2 could be a risky venture, but you never know--it could be just the quirky thing to get you noticed.

    Since I haven't submitted anything anywhere in many years it's been many years since I've gotten a rejection letter. I'm sure I still have them packed away in a box somewhere.

    Tossing It Out

  9. Hi Shannon,

    I'm liking your style. I especially like your number two example. No, not that kind of number two.

    All I ever get, sorry, correction, all Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar gets is praise. How about that.

    Happy Musing,

    Gary :)

  10. I definitely don't recommend #2. We'd like magazine editors to remember us for positive things whenever possible!

    My procedure has honestly just been to stick them in a folder in my desk. For e-rejections, I save them. I don't know why as I don't re-read anything but personal rejections where the editors want more of my work like this-but-not-this. Is that a sort of b-level trophy hunting on my part?

  11. Many years ago, in the mid 90's, I kept them in a folder, but it was bursting so I threw all the letters out.

    These days I put them in an email folder, just as a reference to look back whenever I sign a contract.

  12. Interesting ideas for what to do with rejection letters. How about use them for origami projects. That way you can turn a rejection into something fun. : )